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The Goods

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Street Style: bikini-clad Torontonians hit the beach (at the end of September)

Street Style: bikini-clad Torontonians hit the beach (at the end of September)

(Images: Jenna Marie Wakani)

For west-enders looking to escape the city bustle, Sunnyside Beach (south of High Park and off the Martin Goodman Trail), is a peaceful retreat. It’s easily accessible by bicycle and has a sheltered inlet for water activities. Plus, there’s a great boardwalk and a stellar view of the downtown skyline. We headed to the water on a late September Sunday to chat to people taking advantage of the uncharacteristically warm weather. Here, sixteen shots of the laid-back crowd, including bikini-clad sunbathers, leisurely paddle-boarders and a cheerful musician serenading passers-by.

The Goods

Health and Beauty

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Creams of the Crop: our favourite all-natural lotions, potions and goops

Creams of the Crop

In Toronto, we want our meat house-cured and our coffee micro-roasted seconds before we drink it. It was only a matter of time before the artisanal ethos wormed its way into our beauty regimens. In workshops across the city, modern-day apothecaries are using organic ingredients like farmers’ market honey, rosewater and bergamot oil to concoct products as luxurious as the latest miracle cream—without the unpronounceable chemicals. Here, our favourite small-batch grooming products.

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DEODORANT
Leaves of Trees

Most natural deodorants leave pits smelling worse than a folk festival campsite. Roohi Qureshi, a doctor who crafts grooming products in her spare time, has one that actually works. It contains peppermint oil to deter bacteria and kaolin clay to absorb moisture, and holds up during the sweatiest spin class. $15. Leaves of Trees, 177 Queen St. E., 647-391-0177.

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The Goods

Stores

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Store Guide: Agent Provocateur, the London lingerie label’s first Canadian flagship

Store Guide: Agent Provocateur, the London lingerie label's first Canadian flagship

(Image: Kayla Rocca)

Name: Agent Provocateur
Sells: Women’s lingerie, swimwear and accessories
Contact Info: 131 Bloor St. W., 416-944-3544, agentprovocateur.com
Hours: M-W 10-6, Th-Sa 10-7, Su 12-6

Agent Provocateur has luxe boutiques all over Europe and the States, but this is the London-based lingerie label’s north-of-the-border debut. (At least for a standalone flagship—its other Canadian outlets are all located within existing Holt Renfrew stores.) With black glass casing, mirrored surfaces and dangling chandeliers, the new addition to Bloor Street’s Mink Mile resembles a 70s-style boudoir—complete with sales staff clad in towering stilettos and pink housecoats.

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The Goods

Shopping

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The Find: a graphic cushion designed by an eleven-year-old artist

generation_art_pillow_02

Eleven-year-old artist-in-the-making Andrew Lee created this pillow design as part of EQ3’s Generation Art Project. For the homegrown furniture maker’s second annual competition (which is designed to empower youth by celebrating creativity), applicants of all ages were asked to submit art that represents their personal expression of Canadian diversity. Here’s what Andrew had to say about his winning piece:

“Sports bring people together. I think sports are really good. Through basketball I met different kinds of people and learned to accept everyone.”

All proceeds from the collection (which, for now, is only available at the brand’s Liberty Village flagship store) will go to the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, which funds a range of arts-based community projects for underprivileged youth. While we’re partial to Andrew’s playful sketches (and especially the guy with “skating rocks” on his t-shirt), there are also other appealing designs in the collection, including a geometric pattern in pretty pastels from 28 year-old artist Selina Wong. $50

EQ3, 51 Hanna Ave., eq3.com

The Goods

Stores

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No one wants to buy (or run) Sears Canada
(Image: Imgur)

(Image: Imgur)

This hasn’t been a good week for Sears Canada. First, Eddie Lampert, the CEO of Sears Holding Corporation, tried to sell off his majority stake in the struggling retailer. Unfortunately, the auction attracted exactly zero acceptable bids, according to the New York Post, forcing the billionaire to fork over a $400 million loan from his own hedge fund. And now, the Globe reports that Sears Canada’s CEO, Douglas Campbell, is resigning after less than a year at the helm. Needless to say, the outlook for the department store looks pretty bleak, and people are noticing.

The Goods

Shopping

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Michaels is officially moving into the old Chapters space at Richmond and John
(Image: Mike Mozart/Flickr)

(Image: Mike Mozart/Flickr)

It looks like we can officially stop dreaming about which cool international retailer will take over the enormous old Chapters plot at Richmond and John. Michaels, the gigantic craft supply chain, has broadcast its claim on the space by placing “Coming Soon” signs in the windows, according to BlogTO. It seems a bit odd that the vibrant downtown venue will be home to mass amounts of knitting supplies and fake floral arrangements—but on the bright side, non-crafty downtown dwellers will have a new spot to pick up inexpensive home décor items and minimalist storage cabinets.

The Goods

Shopping

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Pop-Up Pick: shop mid-century antiques, handmade accessories and chic vintage apparel at The Post Market

Pop-Up Pick: shop midcentury furniture, handmade jewellery and chic vintage apparel at The Post Market

This Sunday, The Post Market is popping up for its autumn shopping fair in The Great Hall on Queen West, giving visitors the opportunity to browse a variety of vintage, handmade and contemporary wares from Toronto-based retailers and artists. In addition to cozy fall clothing from local shops like Violet Crown Vintage, shoppers will find plenty of furniture (both vintage and modern), a range of holistic beauty products from brands like Province Apothecary and even some adorable apparel for pooches (think: dapper doggy pea coats and bow-ties). Look out for the new east-end design shop Goodfolk, which will be on-site selling folksy antiques and one-of-a-kind finds, like handwoven blankets from PEI. Accessories-wise, designer Michelle Ross is bringing in her chunky statement necklaces (which are handmade with semi-precious stones) and local artisans The Leather Atelier will be peddling their latest collection of cute purses and clutches. Though not everyone will jump at the chance to purchase skull candles from the Chief Salvage Company, this likely won’t be the type of market that requires heavy sifting to score quality goods.

Sept. 28, 10-5. The Great Hall, 1087 Queen St., facebook.com

The Goods

Shopping

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Target Canada’s prices are now lower than Walmart’s

(Image: Target Canada/Facebook)

(Image: Target Canada/Facebook)

One of the (many) complaints shoppers have had about Target’s north-of-the-border expansion has been higher-than-expected prices (even though the discount retailer explicitly warned everyone that products would be more expensive than in American stores). But it turns out that Target Canada isn’t really such a rip-off, at least compared to one of its Canadian big-box competitors. A new study shows that Target Canada is actually cheaper than the Canadian arm of Walmart, which is pretty much a global benchmark for inexpensive goods. According to an article in the Globe and Mail, the study compared the prices of 33 national brands across the two chains’ grocery, health and beauty aisles and found that Target’s prices were 3.9 per cent lower than Walmart’s, on average. Given that the same study done in 2013 found prices between the two retail giants to be about the same, the struggling chain has clearly gone to some effort to appease its disappointed customers.

The Goods

Stores

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Store Guide: Tuck Shop Trading Company’s rustic new outpost within Love the Design

(Image: Jocelyn Reynolds)

(Image: Jocelyn Reynolds)

Name: Tuck Shop Outpost
Sells: Casual wear and accessories for men and women
Contact info: 1226 Yonge St., 416-855-9991, tuckshopco.com
Hours: M-F 11-6, Sa 10:30-5

Tuck Shop Trading Company, maker of the popular City of Neighbourhoods toques (the Toronto version of which was recently sported by Method Man on the TIFF red carpet) now has a physical shop within the Summerhill boutique and gallery Love the Design. The shop-within-a-shop comprises three separate rooms at the back of the space, each of which is packed with Tuck Shop’s vintage finds and rustic Canadiana clothing and accessories. Within the cozy, cottage-like space, shoppers will find colourful cashmere scarves, woollen capes and recycled fur hats nestled among hand-painted paddles and pretty watercolours.

The Goods

Stores

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Garrison Bespoke has a new grooms-only boutique in the King Edward Hotel

Garrison Grooms 11

(Image: Artiese Studios)

Garrison Bespoke, local maker of one-of-a-kind tailored suits (and outfitter of the Toronto FC), has created the first bespoke boutique in North America that’s dedicated exclusively to grooms and groomsmen. At Garrison Weddings, located within the King Edward Hotel, newly engaged men can book appointments to sip champagne and browse a variety of suiting styles, including classic tuxedos and elegant three-piece ensembles. Then, over five fittings, they’ll work with personal stylists to figure out all the details, with one of Garrison’s expert tailors on hand to ensure a perfect fit. For men who aren’t sure about their nuptial style, the shop is happy to provide some sartorial inspiration—for instance, grooms-to-be can try on the bow-tie Kanye wore to wed Kim Kardashian, or the particular brand of suspenders favoured by James Bond.

Garrison Weddings, 37 King St. E., garrisonbespoke.com

The Goods

Shopping

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The Find: twelve fresh fall coats to combat end-of-summer blues

The Find: Fall Coats 2014

This autumn, coats are brighter and funkier than ever. Instead of settling for muted seasonal tones (remember army green?), shoppers can opt for an oversized blazer in a bold floral pattern or a boyish bomber jacket in a refreshing pastel hue. Cozy quilted jackets are also making a comeback (we love the bright orange at Mackage). Plus, now that summer’s over, homegrown outerwear designers are really getting a chance to shine: Rudsak has just released a limited edition luxe rocker collection, and Smythe has debuted a chic anniversary collection, in honour of 10 years perfecting blazers. Here, twelve fresh new jackets for fall.

The Goods

Shopping

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Pop-Up Pick: shop vintage Rolex, Omega and Patek Philippe watches at Garrison Bespoke’s two-day event

Pop-Up Pick: browse vintage Rolex, Omega and Patek Phillipe watches at Garrison Bespoke's two-day event

If you’re the type of guy who likes to invest in his watch collection, Garrison Bespoke’s two-day event may be the perfect opportunity to score a rare vintage timepiece. While sipping on Remy Martin cocktails, shoppers can browse over fifty sleek models from the Vintage Watch Company, including rare Rolexes that date as far back as the 1950s. To make any purchase truly unique, Garrison will also be offering special customized touches—for instance, shoppers can choose to change the face colour, switch up the leather wristband or engrave the back of any watch purchased. As anyone with a penchant for designer watches knows, these vintage models don’t come cheap: here, they’ll range from $1,500 for brands like Omega or Longines, and up to $25,000 for some of the pricier Rolexes. The event is by appointment only, but interested gents can call 416-561-2581 or e-mail info@garrisonbespoke.com for a reservation.

Sept. 23-24. Garrison Bespoke, The King Edward Hotel, 37 King St. E., garrisonbespoke.com

The Goods

Stores

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West-coast wellness brand Saje is opening four new Toronto locations

(Image: Saje/Facebook)

(Image: Saje/Facebook)

Vancouver-based natural-wellness label Saje is planning some serious Ontario expansion: four new stores in the GTA by the end of the year, to be exact. The first location has just opened in Mississauga’s Square One (shoppers can score discounts at the grand opening tomorrow). As for the three other stores, according to Retail Insider one will be located on Queen Street West, another on Yonge Street north of Eglinton and another in Vaughan Mills. The company seems to have rebranded slightly since its incense-burning days in the mid-nineties. Along with its roster of essential oils, Saje now peddles organic skincare products like tamarind body scrub, rose repair moisture cream and mint lotion. And, like many of the other apothecaries popping up around the city, the company also creates its own natural healing products for ailments like insomnia, heartburn and fatigue. For example, anxious shoppers can purchase a stress-release remedy. (Cures for low libido, menopause and food cravings are also available.) For Torontonians interested in natural alternatives to Advil or Tums, the west-coast import may be worth checking out.

The Goods

Culture

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Swap a sweater with Sheila Heti—and read her new book, too

From left: Sheila Heti, Leanne Shapton and Heidi Julavits, editors of Women In Clothes. (Image: Gus Powell)

From left: Sheila Heti, Leanne Shapton and Heidi Julavits, editors of Women In Clothes. (Image: Gus Powell)

When a book happens to be co-edited by Sheila Heti, its claim to be “a book unlike any other” instantly becomes more believable. With 2012’s genre-defying How Should a Person Be?, the New York-via-Toronto writer, playwright and semi-celeb startled readers and won the praise of critics. Now, with Women in Clothes, she’s done it again. Alongside Heidi Julavits, an award-winning author and founding editor of The Believer, and Leanne Shapton, a New York based Canadian illustrator and author, Heti curated the 500-plus-page collection of text, photos, essays, illustrations, interviews, poems and thoughts that, at its core, is an anthology of responses to a survey completed by women around the world. Among the 639 contributors are the famous (Lena Dunham, Kim Gordon), the anonymous (soccer moms, female artists, a five-year-old) and everyone in between. (The evolving list of 80-odd questions included things like “What are you trying to achieve when you dress?” and “Do you think you have taste or style?”) To continue the conversation, the editors are throwing a book launch and clothing swap at Gravitypope on Queen West. Choose up to five items from your wardrobe and safety-pin a note to the fabric with your name and the story behind the garment—and prepare to never look at a blouse the same way again.

Sept. 18, 7-9. Gravitypope, 1010 Queen St. W., 647-748-5155, womeninclothes.com.

The Goods

Quoted

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HBC’s CEO explains why Target botched its Canadian launch—and why Saks will do better

Saks

In hindsight, maybe Target should have hired Richard Baker to oversee its foray into the Canadian marketplace. In an interview for the Globe, the CEO of the Hudson’s Bay Company pinpoints no fewer than nine mistakes made by the big box retailer, including not having an office and spending enormous amounts of money on leaseholds. He says he’s planning a “very low risk” approach for Saks Fifth Avenue’s north-of-the-border launch:

I’m opening up two stores, not 100-and-whatever stores. They paid $1.8-billion for leaseholds, then they paid $10-million per store to fix them up. They had no office, they had no buyers, they had no planners, they had no distribution centre, they had no POS [point-of-sale] system, they had no IT backbone. They created everything from scratch while we’re coming in very quietly opening up two stores with existing infrastructure.

Hopefully, this means shoppers will find Saks’s shelves plentifully stocked when the department store opens in spring 2016.

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