Toronto has a very unique style and the city’s vintage scene plays a big part. But you don’t have to venture to Queen West or Kensington for the best vintage finds – they are hiding all over the city. Here are some essential vintage shops by neighbourhood.
MAGGIE’S FARM SECONDHAND VINTAGE CURIO EMPORIUM, RONCESVALLES
You never know what you’ll find at Maggie’s Farm. This store is a mish-mash (like it’s name) of anitques, men’s and women’s vintage clothing, furniture, and odds and ends. For those with a good nose for vintage this is a haven.
COMMON SORT, RIVERSIDE
Common Sort has two locations: one in Riverside and one in Parkdale, but the east end spot has the bonus of being attached to The Tiny Record Shop so you can hunt for threads and vinyl in one stop! The staff are extremely knowledgeable and friendly and know how to make the perfect outfit. Pop in for some thrifting and you might catch an in-store performance.
LIFE OF MANEK, DUNDAS WEST
This Little Portugal vintage shop is one of the newer ones in the city but some may already be familiar with their fashion truck that’s been known to pop up around town or at Field Trip Music Festival. The clothing, accessories, and shoes at this vintage store are often gems of the 1960s and you’re also likely to find contemporary, lightly used clothing here too. Whether you’re looking for something from the last century or from last season, you can be sure that the curatorial eyes of the shop’s owner, Nicole Manek, have passed over everything that comes into the store.
COURAGE MY LOVE, KENSINGTON
(Photo by Seth Anderson)
Kensington Market is a mecca for vintage shoppers in Toronto. New shops seem to open every year here and still none have yet to unseat Courage My Love from the throne. Here you’ll find candy-coloured cashmere sweaters, leather jackets, a fantastic shoe selection, pretty party dresses, and an incredible display of vintage and cultural jewelry. Some of the jewelry pieces are pricey, but not all are, so don’t be afraid to ask someone to open a case for you.
HOUSE OF VINTAGE, PARKDALE
This spot is a great shop if you’re looking for the regular plaid shirt or super soft t-shirt. But this is also a great place to find a great selection of designer purses (in great condition!), unique accessories, and secondhand shoes. In the fall and winter, the coat and jacket inventory here is insane so be sure to head here first if you need something to keep warm in cold weather.
V BY 69, TRINITY BELLWOODS
69 Vintage is practically a household name in Toronto, but their concept-y shop just east of Trinity Bellwoods Park is their lesser-known boutique. This hand picked selection of 1960s gems is a curated delight for vintage hounds. This is where you’ll find one-of-a-kind reworked vintage pieces too – let the experts turn that silk scarf into a top and avoid creating your own #vintagefail.
THRILL OF THE FIND, LESLIEVILLE
This appropriately named vintage shop has a wide selection of clothing that goes as far back at 1950s. The selection here is not limited to retro styles though. Shoppers can expect to find contemporary brands here too. If you love a brand name but you’re looking for a deal, search through the “Diamonds in the Rough” section for designer fashions with minor imperfections selling at great prices.
I MISS YOU VINTAGE, OSSINGTON
Featured a few years ago in The New York Times, I Miss You Vintage on Ossington is now an international name in vintage shopping. With their high-end, couture selection this is no surprise. The prices here may be higher than some expect when they’re thinking vintage clothing but this is more about the one of a kind “find” than the deal.
THE CAT’S MEOW, YORKVILLE
North of Yorkville on Avenue Road sits a jewel box of a store, The Cat’s Meow. This store is stocked with vintage finds from estate sales and modern luxury pieces from neighbourhood sellers. So you can expect to find the sort of clothing that reflects the tony area the store is situated in.
(Main photo by risa ikeda via Flickr)