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The Goods

Stores

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Drake’s OVO store is here to stay on Dundas West

(Image: Kayla Rocca)

(Image: Kayla Rocca)

Drake’s latest expression of Toronto pride is his much-hyped October’s Very Own shop on Dundas West. The store is actually the brainchild of Oliver El-Khatib, OVO’s co-founder and the guy behind the summer pop-up shop in the same space. He describes the project as his “baby,” and promises that it’ll be sticking around for good. The stark white room is currently stocked with a familiar selection of OVO merchandise, like “6” toques and t-shirts printed with label’s signature owl; however, a new collection of low-key winter basics (slouchy hoodies, leather varsity jackets) will be hitting shelves soon. For El-Khatib, though, it’s not all about the stuff: he hopes the place will become a hub for the city’s creatives, where people can stop in and “see what kids are wearing and what they’re listening to.” Plus, chance run-ins with Champagne Papi himself aren’t entirely implausible—just last week, the star dropped by the store wearing OVO’s new camo-print parka, which is part of a collaboration with Canada Goose.

899 Dundas St. W., octobersveryown.com

The Goods

Shopping

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Hazelton Lanes will become “Yorkville Village” as part of a major neighbourhood revamp

(Image: Screenshot/Youtube)

(Image: Screenshot/Youtube)

News of First Capital Realty’s upcoming $100 million renovation of the Hazelton Lanes shopping centre in Yorkville surfaced last summer. Now, it sounds like the developer has even more extensive plans for the posh neighbourhood. Apparently, the mall’s revamp is just the first step in a much larger redevelopment strategy. Retail Insider reports that First Capital has already snatched up most of the properties on the north side of Yorkville Avenue, and has plans to purchase most of the commercial real estate on Cumberland Street as well. According to the retail news website, First Capital’s goal is to turn the area into a “world-class entertainment district.”

As for what’s set to change within the Hazelton complex itself, shoppers can look forward to a grand new entrance on Yorkville Avenue, which will turn two existing storefronts into a breezy, indoor-outdoor walkway with a glass ceiling and a giant retractable door. Gym rats can rest assured that Equinox won’t be leaving the building; however, it will be moving upstairs to the third level of the concourse, where it will occupy 20,000 square feet of former office space. (As expected, Whole Foods and TNT will also be staying put.) Generally, the plans show a brighter, modern makeover of the space, which currently has a pretty dated feel. And, of course, the mall will be getting a brand new name—Yorkville Village—to match its shiny new image. Click here to take a virtual stroll through the revamped space.

The Goods

Shopping

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The Find: pretty hand-painted paddles from Norquay Company

(Images: Norquay.com)

(Images: Norquay.com)

Natasha Wittke, founder of camping brand Norquay Company, designs beautiful paddles that would look equally at home in a rustic living room or a cedar-strip canoe. Handcrafted from Northern Ontario cherry wood, the paddles are stained, branded and painstakingly painted by Wittke in her Montreal studio, creating what the designer calls “collectible pieces of functional art.” You may not want to risk the paintwork on a rugged back-river canoe trip, but a special varnish finish makes them sturdy enough to withstand a leisurely cottage paddle (just be sure to wipe them down afterwards). In the meantime, we suggest hanging a particularly bold piece—like this one, dubbed “Hunter”—anywhere in your house for an artful, outdoorsy look. $275–$380

Available at Tuck Shop Trading Co., 1226 Yonge St., or online at norquay.com

The Goods

Stores

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Modern furniture maker Stylegarage has an expansive new home on Ossington

Stylegarage

(Image: Stylegarage)

After almost 15 years at the corner of Queen and Shaw, mod furniture maker Stylegarage has moved to a significantly larger home on Ossington. The new space is an old heritage warehouse with multiple storefronts, one of which used to belong to the now-shuttered AWOL gallery. The company renovated the space, uncovering the original brick walls to create a two-storey showroom that store manager Neil James describes as “raw, yet warm.” The upgrade means the shop can now house a wider selection of its custom Stylegarage line, including larger pieces like a seven-foot-long boardroom table for $5,250. Shoppers will also find items from the brand’s more affordable Gus* Modern collection, including an extensive range of loft-size sectionals and sofas. If you don’t happen to be in the market for a two-thousand-dollar cowhide ottoman, there are still plenty of unique accessories worth a checking out, like suspension lighting from Montreal-based Lambert et Fils and handmade woolen rugs from Peace Industry.

78 Ossington Ave., 416-534-4343, stylegarage.com

The Goods

Street Style

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Street Style: mall-goers look surprisingly cool while “getting in and getting out” at the Eaton Centre

Street Style: holiday shoppers “get in and get out” at Toronto Eaton Centre

(Images: Jenna Marie Wakani)

Looking stylish isn’t usually a top priority for stressed-out mall shoppers. (As one man put it, “It’s a get-in-and-get-out kind of process.”) But earlier this week at the Eaton Centre—during the peak holiday-shopping frenzy around 5 p.m.—there were some surprisingly cool-looking people wandering amongst the usual crowds of loitering teens, lost tourists and suit-clad businessmen. The best power-shopping outfits united functionality with effortlessness. Our favourite looks were unexpected: a bright floral shirt underneath a parka, an intricately handwoven sweaterdress and a cozy take on the Canadian tuxedo.

The Goods

Stores

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Magwood, the beloved Queen West vintage boutique, is closing for good this month

magwood1

Magwood, the upscale vintage boutique on Queen West, will be closing its doors for good at the end of the month. The shop, which recently got a shout-out in Vogue’s online guide to Toronto, has been a west-end institution for almost five years. (It started out at Dundas and Dufferin before moving to its current location next to Trinity Bellwoods.) As of December 24, passers-by will no longer be able to stop in and marvel at owner Sarah Magwood’s impeccable selection of demure 1950s frocks and intricate jewelled broaches; however, it’s not all sad news: fans of the store will soon be able to book one-on-one style consultations at a brand-new Magwood studio space, and they’ll also be able to browse an even larger selection of vintage pieces on the shop’s website. Sarah Magwood, who’s also a designer (known for her made-to-order wedding ensembles), will also be branching out into a few new areas, including custom home decor and handcrafted wedding invitations.

The Goods

Shopping

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Pop-Up Pick: browse gifts for well-dressed guys at Park and Province’s temporary Ossington shop

Pop-Up Pick: shop gift ideas for discerning men at online retailer Park and Province's holiday shop

(Images: Park and Province/Facebook)

Park and Province, the city’s latest online purveyor of well-made menswear and grooming products, has opened a holiday pop-up on Ossington for the month of December. It’s a chance for Toronto guys—or anyone who’s got a relatively urban, style-conscious man on their shopping list—to browse the website’s selection of 29 thoughtfully chosen brands, plus two new additions that aren’t yet featured on the site (jewellery maker Giles and Brother and organic skincare company Consonant). For winter, the temporary store is stocked with the kind of cozy, warm-sounding things that need to be touched to be fully appreciated, like ultra-soft plaid shirts from Guimarães-based Portuguese Flannel and sustainably made alpaca sweaters from Industry of all Nations. For particularly hard-to-shop-for guys, co-founder Gray Butler recommends Daniel Wellington’s classic York watch or Apolis’s durable mason bag, which is handcrafted in LA using an army-strength wax cotton.

Until Dec. 31. 104 Ossington Ave., parkprovince.com

The Goods

Street Style

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Street Style: visitors show off chunky knits and statement coats at the Distillery’s Christmas Market

Street Style: visitors bundle up at the Distillery District's Christmas Market

(Images: Kayla Rocca)

The annual Christmas Market in the Distillery District—with its twinkling lights, enormous tree and old-fashioned merry-go-round—is a wonderfully festive place to do some holiday shopping, take in live music, and snack on poutine or gooey grilled cheeses. Unfortunately, an outdoor market in December is going to be cold (no matter how much mulled wine you sip), and that can make looking fashionable a challenge. Amid the sea of black parkas, we spotted a handful of market-goers who managed to look both warm and stylish. Here are their strategies for looking chic in sub-zero temperatures.

The Goods

Shopping

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The Find: a parka that manages to be incredibly warm and extremely stylish at the same time

Untitled-1For Toronto women, appearing even remotely stylish in the dead of winter usually involves a stiff trade-off: do you put comfort first in a cozy North Face or Canada Goose (or any other ubiquitous winter parka), or brave the chill in a fashionable peacoat or menswear-inspired piece? It’s a lose-lose scenario. That’s why we’re thrilled about this jacket from Montreal label Soia and Kyo. It manages to satisfy winter warmth requirements—generous hood, down filling, durable outer layer—while ensuring its wearer doesn’t resemble an arctic explorer. On less blustery days, the fur trim can be removed for a simpler look. A bonus: the lower sides zip open to allow for a wider range of movement, should you need it (spontaneous ice-skating, perhaps?). $545

1-855-588-5287, soiakyo.com

The Goods

Stores

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Lawrence Park has an unusually fashion-forward new boutique for kids

(Image: Chalk)

(Image: Chalk)

Chalk, a stylish new kids’ store in Lawrence Park, is the latest addition to the increasingly posh strip of Yonge Street between Blythwood and Eglinton. Owner Asli Tusavul, who opened the shop after becoming fed up with children’s shopping choices in the neighbourhood (or lack thereof), stocks the store with chic European brands—like fair-trade footwear label Veja and Copenhagen-based Petit Nord—for children and teens aged four to 16. The goal of the store, says Tusavul, is to “let children draw their own style in high-quality, comfortable clothes.” (The “drawing” part is what inspired the name Chalk.) Since last month’s launch, one of the shop’s bestsellers has been a colourful—and extremely warm-looking—down jacket from Italian brand Al Riders on the Storm ($399), which comes with a face-covering hood and built-in goggles for frostbite-free cheeks. Despite the awkward name, Parisian label Finger in the Nose, which designs effortlessly fashionable, pint-sized apparel (and these ridiculously cute baby snowsuits), has also been a hit with neighbourhood moms. Of course, the down side to outfitting your offspring in hard-to-find European brands is that it rings up quite the tab: visitors should expect to drop between $50–$250 for most items, with winter jackets selling for up to $560.

2647 Yonge St., 647-349-7422, chlk.com

The Goods

Stores

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Store Guide: Muji, the popular Japanese minimalist brand’s new Toronto home at Yonge and Dundas

(Images: Jenna Marie Wakani)

(Images: Jenna Marie Wakani)

Name: Muji
Sells: Apparel and household products
Contact info: Atrium on Bay, 20 Dundas St. W., 416-591-2233, facebook.com/MUJI-CANADA
Hours: M-Fr 10-8, Sa 10-7, Su 11-5

Muji, the Japanese label known for its perfectly minimalist products, opened its first Canadian store outside the Eaton Centre this past weekend—and those who made the trek on Saturday had to brave a decidedly maximalist line. There’s no food, furniture or electric appliances as there are at Muji stores elsewhere in the world, but the downtown store’s nearly three thousand items include clothing, kitchen and bathroom products, bedding, travel necessities, stationery and storage containers, all thoughtfully designed and highly functional. (So much so that it’s tempting to just purchase it all and embark on a simplified life, complete with cat-shaped Post-its and seated floor mats.)

Read the rest of this entry »

The Goods

Stores

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Store Guide: Spacing, the independent city magazine’s first Toronto-centric retail outlet

(Images: Jenna Marie Wakani)

(Images: Jenna Marie Wakani)

Name: Spacing Store
Sells: Toronto-themed merchandise
Contact info: 401 Richmond St. W., spacingstore.ca
Hours: M-Fr 11-7, Sa 12-6

Spacing, the city’s independent urban-landscape magazine, has just opened its first Toronto-centric retail store. (Actually, it’s the city’s only strictly Toronto-centric store, if you don’t count tacky souvenir shops.) The mag’s been selling its wildly popular subway station buttons (500,000 of which have been sold since launching ten years ago), transit t-shirts and other merch online for years. Now, city enthusiasts can browse all kinds of Toronto paraphernalia in person, including screen-printed pillows of the Great Lakes, neighbourhood toques, vintage maps and posters, and a variety of cycling gear (we quite like the six-pack beer caddies).

Read the rest of this entry »

The Goods

Stores

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Ossington has a whimsical new wedding boutique

(Image: Loversland)

(Image: Loversland)

Loversland, a new bridal boutique on Ossington, takes a refreshingly laid-back approach to the whole wedding concept. (For instance, it’s totally free of pink satin, three-way mirrors and hydrangeas.) In fact, shoppers may not realize they’ve wandered into a wedding shop until they reach “The Haven,” a cozy tented lair set up at the back of the room. That’s where brides-to-be can make appointments to try on dresses from contemporary designers like Rafael Cennamo and Mira Mandic, whose dreamy, romantic gowns look nothing like the stacks of tiered tulle available at more mainstream bridal boutiques. For laid-back brides—and bridesmaids who’d prefer not to wear matching lavender taffeta—the store also sells trendy, ready-to-wear looks from non-bridal brands like For Love and Lemons. (Or, for those who would like to outfit their entire bridal party in the exact same shade of lilac, there are customizable dresses from Twobirds Bridesmaids, the Canadian arm of which is run by Loversland’s three owners.) The boutique also carries various other wedding necessities, like stylish lingerie from Toronto label Fortnight and a selection of delicate flower crowns—an absolute must for any bohemian bride. And price-wise, it’s pretty affordable (especially in the weirdly overpriced world of weddings): gowns range from $1,000 to $7,000, ready-to-wear dresses start at $140 and you can pick up cool gifts for as little as $10.

Loversland, 215 Ossington Av., 416-551-3321, shoploversland.com

The Goods

Stat

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Canadians are feeling pretty frugal this Christmas

$589.60

—The average amount Canadians expect to spend on Christmas presents this year, according to a recent survey of 2,006 gift-givers conducted by the Royal Bank of Canada. As reported in the Globe, that’s a three per cent decrease from last year’s average spend of $608.60, and a six per cent decrease from 2012’s total of $628.50. (On the plus side: fewer misguided gifts to return on Boxing Day.)

The Goods

Shopping

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The Find: the 17 coolest items on offer at the Christmas 2014 One of a Kind Show

The Find: fifteen amazing items on offer at the Christmas 2014 One of a Kind Show

The One of a Kind Show, a twice-yearly shopping extravaganza dedicated to Canadian-made goods, kicks off its 40th anniversary tomorrow at Exhibition Place. The massive hall will once again be crammed with stalls selling all kinds of unique gift ideas—including gourmet food, quirky toys, artful kitchen accessories and statement jewellery—from over 800 designers and artisans. It’s the closest you can get to a one-stop-shop for Christmas gifts, and well worth a trip or two. That said, navigating the hundreds of sellers can be overwhelming, so we’ve nailed down the coolest products you won’t want to miss. Here, our 17 favourite items up for grabs this season, including leather baby moccasins, a hand-blown glass Scotch set and ultra-luxurious facial masks.

Nov. 27-Dec. 7. Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, 100 Princes’ Blvd., oneofakindshow.com