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Fashion Stores

Hastings Barber Shop

Posted by Ryan Bolton / Posted on August 22, 2013

Hastings Barber Shop TorontoHastings Barber Shop has a small stack of '70s era Playboy magazines on the windowsill, and when you look up, the next thing you notice is two large taxidermied deer heads on the wall, flanking the turn-of-the-century wood and mirror barber back bar. Hastings Barber Shop is a cozy space, but it's packed with personality and straight-up quality fades and shaves.

Hastings Barber ShopOpening last November in Leslieville, Hastings is quickly becoming a neighbourhood staple through word of mouth, which seems fitting for a new take on a classic barber shop. In fact, the original space used to be Mario's Barber Shop for about 30 years.

Hastings Barber Shop"The old guys [barbers] are retiring," says Roger Janes, the shop's co-owner and the founder of Toronto's Blood & Bandages in the west end. "I think it is a second calling of the guard. All the old guys are going and the new people are coming in. It's a bit of a free-for-all."

UPDATE FEB 2014: Roger Janes is no longer associated with Hastings Barber Shop.

Hastings Barber ShopHaving had solid success and acclaim with Blood & Bandages, which opened in 2007, Janes wanted to bring the concept to the east end. "When we opened we didn't want to step on anyone's toes," says Janes as we chat on the front bench outside of the shop. "You gotta get into an area and respect your ground."

Hastings Barber ShopLeslieville, according to Karolina Conroy, the shop's co-owner with Janes and chief barber, is the perfect backdrop for Hastings. Like Leslieville, Hastings is laid back and relaxed, she says. Adding that the shop is for everyone from John, their oldest client at 94, to young families to guys looking to get a classic cut or straight razor shave. The shop also houses Gary Carroll a.k.a. "Dublin's finest" who just came over from Ireland three months ago to join Hastings as a part-time barber.

Janes and Conroy originally met at hair school. Conroy first went into the salon industry, but fell for the uniqueness of a barber shop. "Barbering is very unique to its craft," says Conroy. "What happens in a barber shop you can't get anywhere else."

Hastings Barber Shop TorontoAnd although you can get Playboys and taxidermy elsewhere, you can't get them packaged with quality haircuts and shaves just anywhere.

A haircut is $26, straight razor shave is $30 and a cut and shave is $50. Hours of operation: Monday-Friday from 1-7 p.m. / Saturdays 10-5 p.m. / Sundays 11-4 p.m.

Hastings Barber Shop TorontoWriting and photography by Ryan Bolton



Jeremy / August 22, 2013 at 11:49 am
Review said everything I otherwise would have.

Gary and Karolina are awesome and I'm thrilled to have this place in the neighbourhood.
a little off the sides / August 22, 2013 at 12:41 pm
Glad to see more shops like this open up to keep the craft of barbering alive.
Alastair Johnson / August 22, 2013 at 01:20 pm
Do they offer the skrillex style haircut? I've been searching for such in this area.
Paul / August 22, 2013 at 01:38 pm
Gary cut my hair last week and he did a great job. I don't live in the area but i'll be coming back in a few weeks for sure.
Wow / August 22, 2013 at 02:03 pm
You could bounce quarters off that....
Anfernee / August 22, 2013 at 02:33 pm
Karolina and Gary have the best shop on the east side, and one of the best places to get your head cut in the city. I live a block from Hollow Ground on the west side, but I now travel to the east side to get my barber on because this place is so cool, and i rarely have to wait. It definitely helps that Karolina is jusy so damn charming.
ccw75 / August 22, 2013 at 02:36 pm
Is it more of a walk-in type place, or a make-a-booking type place?
Holy Thundering Jesus / August 22, 2013 at 03:05 pm
looking at porn in a barber shop is creepy
^^^cronicMasturbator2gayporn^^^ / August 22, 2013 at 03:24 pm
playboy and penthouse was standard in most barber shops. you must get your haircuts at magic cuts or some poofy salon.
nodice replying to a comment from Holy Thundering Jesus / August 22, 2013 at 03:38 pm
No it isnt.

Rifling through old Playboys at a barber shop has been going on for decades.

Playboy isnt "porn" as you internet generation know porn to be.
Angelo / August 22, 2013 at 04:47 pm
Karolina is good, a trip for men's sexual imagination.
Phil / August 22, 2013 at 05:20 pm
yo more pics of the chick
Ted / August 22, 2013 at 05:52 pm
Best haircut ever, no bs. Place is cool but without attitude.
DS / August 22, 2013 at 06:46 pm
Roger really knows how to run a barber shop!!
the lemur / August 22, 2013 at 06:46 pm
Does the chick give head?
Adam Sobolak / August 22, 2013 at 09:13 pm
Never mind Playboy, how about vintage issues of Argosy
Dr. Strangelove / August 22, 2013 at 11:23 pm
No offense to Karolina, I'm sure she's very good at what she does, but the Barbershop has always been a place for the guys. I wonder if having a female barber changes that dynamic at all?
Joey replying to a comment from Dr. Strangelove / August 23, 2013 at 12:36 am
Look at the type of comments people have been writing about her here and take a look at what she's wearing in the lead photo. I'm sure that the type of guy that would go to this faux-"old school" barbershop would love to have her cut their hair before they put on their fedora and finish re-reading Strauss' The Game on the TTC.
try hard facade / August 23, 2013 at 05:44 am
Give me a break.. Let me guess- they play mumford and sons on repeat?? No place that has to proclaim to be an escape for men can ever be a true old school barber shop. Its basically a movie set/amusement park. What do they do? Try to re create the Gran Torino barber shop? You can't fake authenticity, something many places in the city are not realizing. You want a real experience? Go to the places near Honest Eds or eglinton. Where OLD real men cut hair. Not some overpriced fem/masc/vintage shop that looks down on gay/sexist jokes.
Torontonian owners/patrons- stop trying to be something you are not.
Thank you for listening.
um... yeah replying to a comment from try hard facade / August 23, 2013 at 09:43 am
So what you're saying is you only get your haircut at places that are pro-gay jokes?
Lobos / August 23, 2013 at 10:10 am
dude on the left of first pic is wishing Karolina was cutting his hair hahaha
try hard facade replying to a comment from um... yeah / August 23, 2013 at 10:13 am
Apologies- places where I don't have to worry about political correctness. Can't decide if you frequent this place or house of lords..
Matt replying to a comment from try hard facade / August 23, 2013 at 10:14 am
You feeling alienated bro?
try hard facade replying to a comment from um... yeah / August 23, 2013 at 10:16 am
Places unlike blog to lol. hipster
umm... yeah replying to a comment from try hard facade / August 23, 2013 at 03:33 pm
Trying to figure out why your posting in the comments section about a barbershop article on BlogTO if you're not a fan of barbershops that aren't run by geriatrics, websites like BlogTO, or the people that comment here. I'm sure The Sun has some articles that might be more to your liking?
Ben replying to a comment from try hard facade / August 26, 2013 at 03:56 pm
Newsflash, Stupid Homophobic Guy: The old guys who cut your hair used to be young guys that cut hair (just like--gasp--the ones featured in this post).
discerning / August 28, 2013 at 01:16 pm
Dublins Finest aka Gary cut my hair yesterday. Awesome guy, and great barber. Will definitely be coming back!
Phil / November 4, 2013 at 06:01 pm
I can understand girls dressing slutty on the street, but on the job? And acting casual like it's ok because saying so would be 'sexist'? Even the porn mags are placed there even though it's got women undressed just a little more than her.
M. / December 1, 2013 at 10:15 pm
I had a very nice haircut by Gary. I believe I have found my barber shop.
JRT / August 21, 2014 at 09:47 pm
I had my hair cut today by Karolina's partner, Mike I think his name was. Nice guy, friendly, but a pretty bad haircut. Quite uneven, so I'll be going back tomorrow hoping someone can straighten it out for me. That's not really what bothered me, though. The cut was still $26, and this after he told me he'd only been cutting for 6 months (this was apparent in more ways than one). I'm all for learning a trade, but I'd suggest that if you have folks that are essential apprenticing then they should charge accordingly. There's just no way that I got what I paid for and that's what was disappointing. Also, and I won't belabour this point, but in my opinion Crow's Nest is the top barbershop in the city, both with regards to the skill of the barbers and the overall experience, and they only charge $25 a cut. In comparison, Hastings should be coming in under that price and folks like Mike (or whatever his name) should not be charging more than $15 a pop.

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