Hello and happy Thursday, everyone!!!
With the 4th of July fast approaching, today’s post is a tad contrary to expectations: Instead of profiling AMERICAN vintage stores, I’ve decided to profile CANADIAN ones, instead!
Why? Because part of being a proud American is recognizing the strength in other country’s people, cultures, economies and for all intents and purposes here … VINTAGE!
I’ve lived in the bubble known as the US Northeast my entire life. The farthest west I’ve ever traveled? Chicago. The farthest north? Boston. The farthest south? Florida. I know — tsk tsk tsk on me!
Thanks to the growth of Facebook and in particular, YouTube, I’ve learned that vintage love spreads far and wide … and relative to where I live in NYC, far north to CANADA!
I’ve interacted with a flurry of Canadian vintage lovers as of late — from favorite vintage sellers like Sandra Witt of The Witchery Vintage, to bloggers like Danielle of Mrs. Chong to YTers who spread vintage love by watching my videos.
This northeast bubble of mine? I think it’s time to POP – because after researching for PART 1 of the best vintage stores in Canada, I’ve decided that my next big “trip” is a (vintage-inspired!) Amtrak train ride to Canada.
And my vintage store visits? Keep reading after the jump to see which stores made MY wishlist — and for inspiration on how we can celebrate our great country this 4th of July by celebrating the culture of others!
I’m positive that I missed a ton of great vintage shops in my research. If you’re a vintage lover with experience shopping vintage in Canada, don’t hesitate to send me some more to add!
Today’s post features Toronto, Victoria & Vancouver, and tomorrow features Quebec, Montreal & Ottawa. So be sure to check back in for PART 2.
TORONTO: 69 VINTAGE
WHERE: 1207 Bloor Street West / (416) 516-0669
HIGHLIGHTS: Arguably the most famed vintage store in all of Toronto, 69 Vintage was featured in Verge Magazine for its modern selection of vintage finds that average at $50 — with very little priced over $150.
With great lighting and easy-to-shop merchandising, from the pictures I’ve seen 69 Vintage looks more like an upscale boutique. But it still has that nostalgic flair: The shop is situated in a very traditional brick structure, and the finer, more “fun” details of decades past (think: ’80s boombox) offer decorative decor to the airy space.
WHERE: 273 Augusta Avenue / (416) 598-0204
HIGHLIGHTS: You know what they say: A picture speaks a 1,000 words, and the picture of Bungalow’s interior above certainly does just that … in vintage language, it speaks a thousand PIECES!
There are the curated vintage boutiques, merchandised as inspired by the store owner’s taste or thanks to the pulse of the area’s fashion scene. And then there are those vintage stores that source mass quantities of pieces to offer a ‘lil something for everyone.
Bungalow is just that — a bounty of vintage finds, and it would be blasphemy if you didn’t leave with the perfect find for you!
The 3,000 square foot store doesn’t just have clothing — but housewares, furniture and bric-a-brac, too. A new trend that I’m noticing in the vintage boutique world is mixing new designs with vintage, so that customers can mix and match for a modern look. Bungalow is part of this rising trend, selling new fashions at the front of the store for inspiration on how to style with a (according to reviews, insanely affordable if not bordering on cheap) selection of vintage in the back.
Plus: The store is located in Toronto’s “Kensington Market,” a food & fashion-forward area that’s tourist-friendly AND features other vintage stores to check out within close proximity, too.
WHERE: 249 Gerrard Street East / (416) 934-9009
HIGHLIGHTS: With a name that combines “eclectic” and “dinosaur,” you can’t help but muse on how creative the owners and curators of vintage/antique/art shop Eclectisaurus must be.
And creative they are, having even made a store tour “video” on their site chock full of vintage tease that makes me want to move from NYC to Toronto just to have the excuse to buy new vintage pieces for my home from the shop.
Eclectisaurus is for the vintage lover looking to add touches of retro decor to her modern home, those “talking” pieces that work mixed with cheap Ikea furniture and second-hand finds or hand-me-downs from our parents.
VICTORIA: THE PATCH
SHOP: The Patch
WHERE: 719 Yates St / (250) 384-7070
HIGHLIGHTS: Huge thanks to vintage lover Rock Vintage Soul for suggesting The Patch! This vintage lover has worked at the store, so obviously the suggestion was subjective however thanks to reviews at YELP I agree that The Patch should be your visit stop for vintage shopping visiting Victoria, British Columbia.
One reviewer described The Patch as “vintage heaven,” going on to say that she so euphoric that she almost hyperventilated!
Us vintage lovers can relate — when we find a good store, our adrenaline-infused excitement moves us to well, MOVE! But the great thing about The Patch is that it’s consistently low prices and habitual restocking of the store means you’ll never miss out — just visit often!
VICTORIA: SAM’S SIDESHOW
WHERE: 559 Johnson Street / (250) 590-3494
HIGHLIGHTS: Sam’s Sideshow is located in the fashion district of Victoria — think Williamsburg’s N. 6th Street, hipster-fashion-central of Brooklyn, NYC.
According to Victoria-based blogger Vicky of Hey Vicky the Blog, owner Sam (yes, we share the same name!) is a “living burlesque pin-up” whose high energy is both infectious and inspiring.
I love shopping vintage stores not just for the fashion, but the friends. And there is always a friend to be made in a vintage boutique owner. They open their stores with passion and pride, and my research of Sam’s Sideshow illustrates that this boutique is a representation of just that.
If you get a chance to visit Sam’s, tell her that Sammy sent you! ;-)
*Thanks to Hey Vicky the Blog for above picture of Sam’s Sideshow*
VANCOUVER: COMMUNITY THRIFT & VINTAGE
WHERE: 41 West Cordova / (604) 682-1004
HIGHLIGHTS: Community Thrift & Vintage may not be an exciting name … but with affordable fashion that’s quality-controlled and quantity-controlled in a modern space, you don’t need a witty name to pull you in. The pieces speak for themselves!
I was tipped to CT&V by Canadian vintage lover & Sammy Davis Vintage supporter Danielle of Mrs. Chong. She lives in Vancouver and highly recommends CT&V for its modern selection and grab-everything-you-can prices.
Why the awesomeness? CT&V takes clothing donations both modern & vintage, so they’re able to resell them at reasonable prices. A portion of profits goes toward various non-profit initiatives and causes.
I love shopping karma: Give a little, and you get a whole LOT. It’s the care (and community!) that can make vintage & thrift so much fun.
*Pictures above of Community Thrift & Vintage are thanks to the site of Canadian vintage lover Mrs. Chong*
VANCOUVER: F AS IN FRANK
SHOP: F as in Frank
WHERE: 2425 Main Street / (604) 568-5130
HIGHLIGHTS: We all have a “vintage story” and the story of F as in Frank is probably one of the most “vintage” vintage stories I have ever heard!
Owners (and brothers!) Jesse and Drew Heifetz spent their childhood’s jumping into piles of vintage Levi jeans. Why? Because their father, David, was one of the originators of the used clothing business — even selling at WOODSTOCK!
Their story is evidence to the cause-oriented influences of “vintage” to begin with: As the peace-love-progress generation of the ’60s began to see the effects of man on earth, they turned to “used” clothing as a way to lessen their consumption of new, potentially planet-harming materials.
Today, vintage isn’t only sustainable but it’s stylish — and F as in Frank offers what they call “top shelf items,” the best-of-the-best pieces curated from (seriously) over 100,000 of clothing that they sort through daily. Woah!
These top shelf pieces are sold in their brick & mortar store, along with to top designers like Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, Urban Outfitters and Supreme for inspiration pieces, to name a few.
My #1 one reason for wanting to visit F as in Frank? The store offers a high selection of DEADSTOCK, which are pieces of clothing from companies which “went under” and therefore never sold a large amount of product. In essence, it’s “new vintage” because it’s never been used or worn.
VANCOUVER: VINTAGE MINTAGE
SHOP: Mintage Vintage
WHERE: 1714 Commercial Drive / (604) 871-0022
HIGHLIGHTS: Mintage Vintage was founded in 2005 for vintageistas to find their “something old, something new” fix, as one reviewer on Yelp wrote of the store.
The store not only offers 100 percent vintage pieces, but 50% new/50% vintages ones, too. These are the “repurposed” pieces of vintage given new life when altered and combined with new materials to create a modern style that’s both practical and one-of-a-kind. I’ve seen so many vintage pieces that with just a few snips, would make wonderfully contemporary cuts for new-old fashion.
For the vintage lover looking for a specific piece, the store offers a “search-and-seize” service of requesting a particular vintage style/piece for the associates to hunt for. It’s like having a personal vintage picker!
Check out the store’s Facebook page for sale updates, too — apparently, the store’s famed fixture is a permanent $10 rack!
Did I miss your favorite vintage shop in Toronto, Victoria or Vancouver? Let me know in the comments below so I can add it to the list!