North Standard Trading Post
North Standard Trading Post, the newest clothing retailer to set up shop in Parkdale, is the epitome of Canadian-style coziness - a notion I should've realized when I first saw their grizzly bear logo. On the walls hang maps of different parts of the country, the shelves are littered with deer antlers as décor, and the floors and furnishings are all made with unfinished wood - but what struck a chord with me the most was all of these background elements in unison with the boutique's merchandise for men, women, and children.
Owners Francesco Fiore and Pamela Hopson aim to fill their store with things that make you feel at home; although not necessarily all Canadian-made, there's a piece of heritage behind each pant, jacket, necklace, and (of course) grooming product.
For instance, Murray's pomade - a brand from that thrived in the 30's - is available in its original tin can alongside other pompadour-controlling substances by Dax and Royal Crown ($8 - $12). Ben Davis workwear is also stocked at North Standard, making them the first (and only) Canadian stockists today. My favourite is their men's raw denim jacket ($98) - the ruggedness a telltale sign it's made for the great outdoors.
For the ladies, they've got utility jackets by Lifetime ($249), a selection of moccasins by Minnetonka ($70 - $120), and enough tank tops and flip flops to coordinate your entire closet. Nature-themed jewellery by Canadian designers Happy Camper, Birds of a Feather, and Sasha Eillenna dangle by the cash desk and are dainty enough to wear every day. A small section of North Standard branded kid's clothing ($20 - 45) is found at the back of the store, neatly placed next to Hunter boots for little feet ($60) and the celebrated Hudson's Bay blanket.
Although the boutique is already filled to the brim with homey Canadian goods, Francesco and Pamela are bringing in more local brands like OSC Cross for the fall. In the future, they hope to increase their online presence and expand their house brand to offer leatherwork. I for one can't wait to see what they've got planned for the coming seasons - hopefully they'll help us brace ourselves for another too-long winter.
Photos by Morris Lum