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Fashion Stores

Quinn West

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on April 21, 2011

Quinn West TorontoQuinn West is a mini-antique shop and hair salon all in one, offering a nice browsing alternative to flipping through pages of LiLo's latest drug debacle while waiting for a trim.

Walking down the steps from the Parkdale entrance, the first thing I notice is the fabulous orange sectional and vintage white coffee table. While those aren't for sale, two white stools by the register are, as well as the Victorian jelly moulds, antique cups and saucers, and other kitchen odds and ends displayed on wire racks.

Quinn West Toronto"It's all stuff I would have in my own home," owner Erica Quinn tells me. "Some of the d├ęcor is mine, some is bought by my pickers. I just love anything art deco or retro."

Quinn West TorontoIt only makes sense that Quinn's salon is an extension of her own living room. That's where she performed cuts for her clients after leaving a Toronto salon to go back to school. But she eventually got tired of living and working in the same space, and longed to get back some structure and camaraderie in her life.

Quinn West TorontoSo when she found this lower level space on Queen West formerly occupied by a church, she jumped on the space. As for camaraderie, it's just Quinn and her full-time colourist now that the salon is four weeks in, with two part-timers and a freelance makeup artist on the side.

Quinn West Toronto"I really have no specialty whatsoever," Quinn tells me when I ask about her style of cuts. "I do a lot of everything, since my clients are all over the map. But, I guess I am focused on teaching people how do keep up their styles themselves. I want to make sure clients go home with the tools to keep their hair looking great."

In terms of what she's digging now, Quinn says she's all about the shaggy, layered cuts for women. "And for men, I'm loving the 1950's military cut; a chance for me to get out the clippers."

Quinn West TorontoWomen's cuts are presently $70, men's are $45, and colour ranges from $65 to $130.

Quinn hopes to make the space feel even more like home. "I want to get local art on the wall, create spaces for photoshoots, and of course, just get people in the chairs."

Quinn West Toronto"Parkdale has a wonderful sense of community," she continues. "I'm hoping this place can be a hub."

Quinn West TorontoPhotos by Dennis Marciniak

Discussion

29 Comments

Arnel / April 21, 2011 at 02:20 pm
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I am going to hit up my mom and dad for scrilla so that I can open up a cheese and vintage footwear shop.
jameson / April 21, 2011 at 05:39 pm
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I've walked by this place quite a few times and wondered what it would be like to get my hair cut here...

I'm not nearly gentrified enough to afford those prices, especially considering I need to get my hair cut every 4 weeks...
William / April 22, 2011 at 11:36 am
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The furniture is hideous. The floors are Home Depot. Tryhard. Painful. Looks like a fake room
at Ikea.
KP / April 22, 2011 at 12:06 pm
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Place looks great.
Nice chill atmosphere.
And my cuts have been terrific.
Richard Flohil / April 22, 2011 at 12:22 pm
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Well, Ms. Erica is a powerful personality, a neat mix of smarts and fun. And she's persuaded me to have my first haircut in 21 years; I have my appointment next Thursday. But no clippers, for God's sake - just a trim, OK?
Suzanne / April 24, 2011 at 06:27 pm
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Go see Erica for the best haircut. She has a gift. Her salon is comfortable and welcoming and funky. You'll enjoy the time you spend with her.
emma / April 24, 2011 at 08:07 pm
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Oh, honestly. Quinn West is more than worth a visit. Erica's got the raddest style! Meaning stellar haircuts in a mega-gorgeous-but-not-in-a-scary-way place. I've been getting my hair cut by her for years, but with a few instances where I got curious and checked out other hairdressers/wanted to cut it myself, with results ranging from underwhelming to totally unfortunate. She's given me a wide variety of hairstyles, so definitely really versatile. And maybe the best part is that her cuts don't just look good after leaving her, they're always super wearable and don't necessitate much work. So: Erica knows how to make your hair look really good, always. It's pretty stellar.
Cass / April 26, 2011 at 07:05 pm
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Got a cut and colour from Quinn West today and unlike some other salons in the city, it's a place you feel at home as soon as you walk in.

Cozy and funky, this ultra creative space is worth visiting. Even if you're not in the market for a cut, the vibe and decor are a must see and the stylists are a must meet.
Niall / April 28, 2011 at 10:12 am
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I love this place. Erica is great. She's been cutting my hair for nearly 5 years now. Do yourself a favor and check her out. Cheers.

William, I'm glad you hate the place because you sound like a dick.
Ashley / April 30, 2011 at 11:32 am
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since I've passed you salon a few months back, I have looked you up to see what the prices are for your services? And what your services are? just cuts? color? I have yet to come across any listing or a phone number. (did get the number as I passed from the tiny tiny sign in the window). the place looks inviting and love the vintage and modern mix. it is hard to find info on the place sine I am not with facebook or tweet. any good business needs an easy website to get to, to make them great . . . .
Sarah / May 2, 2011 at 09:38 pm
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I've been wanting to try this place because I'm looking for a new stylist and I like the atmosphere of this salon. Unfortunately I can't see paying almost double what men would pay for a haircut. That seems kind if ridiculous given that my hair is pretty simple to cut. I wonder if I ask for a 50's military cut if I could get the mens price? I wonder if my brother (who has long hair) would get charged $70 or if his male privilege would get him the "man discount"
Erica / May 3, 2011 at 12:03 pm
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Thank you to those who have posted positive comments. It is very much apprieciated.

It seems that blogto has written the number down wrong.
The number is 416-588-QUIN (7846)

@Sarah,
Our mens cuts are currently $45.00, womens cuts are $70.
Eventually hoping to hire a junior stylist that will charge a lower rate, but for now, just a senior cut.
Hope to hear from you.
Erica / May 6, 2011 at 10:12 am
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the number has now been corrected.
416-588-7846.
Thank you blogto.
maddie / May 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm
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So pleased for you Erica, your place looks great. Long way to come for a haircut but remember with fondness our girlie day last year when Bev & I visited. Good Luck with your new saloon, sooooo you! xx
Lorna / May 31, 2011 at 10:13 am
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I have been going to Erica for years and have followed her to various locations. She does an amazing job and is well worth the price. I've tried other stylists and I just keep going back to her. She does such a great job that I don't have to get cuts nearly as often as a result. I'm yet to check out her shop (used to go to her home because I love her work so much) but looking forward to doing so next Tuesday. Hell, I even hired the girl to do my hair and makeup at my wedding 3 years ago - that's how much I trust her!
Susan / June 21, 2011 at 08:31 pm
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You moved into Parkdale and you're charging $70 for a haircut?
That's obscene. No doubt the cheap rent appealed to you - but maybe you really belong where people can throw that kind of cash around.
Quinn West / June 22, 2011 at 12:31 pm
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Dear Susan,
Thank you for your message. Unfortunately I am not new to bringing my business to the area as I have been here for many years successfully cutting Parkdalians and other residents of Toronto, Ontario and the U.S. who are happy to pay $70. We also offer a lower rate with a junior stylist. As for this notion of where I belong and who can afford my rate, Parkdale residents and business owners have been nothing but welcoming and grateful for my opening a business here on Queen Street (current hot spot for Toronto). I have been overwhelmed by the amount of people who have said “thanks for coming here”, and “I am so happy there is a nice place to get my hair cut”. The first week I opened, I ironically gained two criminal lawyers as clients who live JUST two streets away (EEK! They live among us!!!). Presidents and VP’s of major companies come to see me, artists, students, servers, established musicians, mothers, chefs…you name it, Parkdale has it. Parkdale is a beautiful place with a wide variety of arts/culture and food with people of different socio/economic statuses. It’s what makes it amazing. Like most areas in Toronto, there are some people with money and some people less fortunate. It’s part of the reason why I love it so much. Diversity! You can go to Stavros for amazing $6.00 bacon and eggs, or for something more special, you can go right next door to Cowbell and enjoy brunch for $20.00, where food is local and cooked by a chef with years of experience and credibility. Sometimes I love a bowl of noodles from Le Tibet for $8.00 and once and awhile I LOVE a delicious $20.00 burger and $15.00 cocktail at the very sexy Parts and Labour where I can socialize with other Parkdalians. Mmm, well worth it and all on the same block! If you are not into getting your hair cut, send me your email…I’d love to invite you to Quinn West’s next art exhibit. NO CHARGE!…just free food and the love of art. Peace and good vibes.

Cass / June 22, 2011 at 01:02 pm
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I just have to say again how much I love Quinn West. I've ben getting my hair cut with Erica for years now - about 6 to be exact and even though I've since moved to NYC, I still plan my haircuts around my visits home.
It's hard to find a stylist that's not only damn good at what she does, but that listens to you as a customer. She always makes sure that you 100% love the colour/cut/style you're walking out the door with. It took me a long time to find a stylist like this and I'm not letting her go!

Thanks again for the recent great cut, Erica/Quinn West. I'll see you guys soon. Probably when I'm home visiting for Thanksgiving :)

KD / June 22, 2011 at 03:23 pm
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I'm with Cass in this...I have followed Erica from salon to salon for the past 10 years. I've since moved out of Toronto (Guelph) and still come back to have my hair cut. I refuse to go anywhere else. Her cuts are amazing and you always leave feeling like you're her favourite customer.
MR / July 6, 2011 at 05:56 pm
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Went to get my hair cut at this salon. I was comfortable and really liked what the stylist did with my hair. I get nervous going to a new salon, this cut was what I asked for. My hair looks really good, i'll head back in a month.
Nicole / September 8, 2011 at 01:29 pm
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I had my hair cut months ago, a short funky cut that usually requires a lot of up keep.
It still looks amazing!! I've been hunting for a stylist that I can trust. One that isn't an air
head and can keep up a conversation while I'm getting my cut. Erica is a beautiful smart woman that totally squashes all the stereotypes about stylists being vain and dumb.
Her salon is gorgeous! Will, you need to get your head out of your ass.
And Susan, unless you were unaware, the rent for a business in Parkdale is astronomical,
and cannot be compared to the bachelor or 1 bed apt that can be had
in shitty apts on Jameson and the like.
Business owners pay THOUSANDS on rent and mortgages per month
That's THOUSANDS (like 3,000-15,000 depending on the size
of the space and proximity to other notable perks etc)
Parkdale is a hot spot! They're building condo's here now
So instead of bitching about a $70 cut, bitch about all the abandoned places
or the shady businesses, not someone who's coming into an area and providing
a service that's so appreciated by neighbours
When the property value skyrockets and Parkdale is a place you're not
concerned to walk through at night, you'll have to pop into Quinn West to thank Erica.
And you can pass by all the funky vintage jewellary shops, gourmet food places and restaurants
galleries and coffee shops too.
Felipe / December 28, 2011 at 01:12 pm
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I am happy that I found this place. Great job thank you.
Marianne Lynam / May 30, 2012 at 09:15 am
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Dear Erica,
I really enjoyed having my hair cut last week at your fantastic hair salon.
I was a visitor to Toronto visiting my son and his girlfriend. Erica treated me as though I were a regular customer.I explained to her what style I would like and I am thrilled with the result. Erica took plenty of time and her attention to detail is amazing. It is clear she wants the customer to leave the salon satisfied with the style and feeling so well treated. I am really happy with my hair and will definitely return to the salon on my next vist. Ericas salon is a comfort zone for the client. Thank you Erica for your attention.
Best Wishes,
Marianne
Quinn West / May 31, 2012 at 05:23 pm
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Marianne!
What a lovely message. Thank you so much.
I hope your trip back to Ireland was safe and that your husband didn't miss you too much!
Lovely to meet you and I look forward to seeing you again in the future (now that you are a professional solo traveler ;)
Thanks again for the lovely words.
xe
Wendy Weiler / June 24, 2012 at 11:29 pm
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Just a quick note to say THANK YOU Erica for a GREAT cut, which I got at your salon just yesterday! From the moment I walked out of your salon, I KNEW that this was a cream-of-the-crop cut! I sooo appreciate you taking the time to listen to my many neurotic issues, the time and care you took with my hair, and your attention to detail when cutting. It's rare to find a hairdresser who's not only talented, but who goes the extra mile to make sure everything is perfect! And the result...a beautiful, cute haircut, on which I've already gotten some nice feedback. What a difference a good haircut makes...my universe is once again in balance! Thanks again Erica! Take care and see you next time!

Wendy xo
Quinn West / August 2, 2012 at 12:08 pm
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Wendy~
Thank you for coming to Quinn West! I hope your new cut helps you make new and amazing Jazz songs.
It was a pleasure getting to know you! (insert funny SNL skit here:)
Look forward to meeting you again.
katrina beaudette / November 15, 2012 at 08:12 pm
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I never write reviews but I feel inclined to as this was the first time I walked out of a salon genuinely happy with my hair cut.
Amazing store with a vintage feel and the staff are super friendly.
Norelle - you were amazing and I will be recommending you to all my friends. See you soon for a trim and some more vintage treasures!!
-K
Gosia / May 24, 2013 at 07:45 pm
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Just got a stellar haircut and dye at Quinn West. It was a big change as I was going from a brunette to a platinum blond! I walked out of there feeling like a million bucks! These ladies really know what they're doing and they make you feel like you are VIP while you're sitting in your chair. Wish I could post a photo on here, so good.. Thanks Sabrina & Erica :) p.s. Some advice when you book your appointment - get there way before your appointment so you can browse through all the awesome vintage gems which are displayed for sale throughout the salon! Amazing!
Maria Todson replying to a comment from Susan / June 27, 2014 at 06:25 pm
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Having been there several times and been transported through the experience, I can tell you this delightful, unselfconscious place is not for people named Susan. Suzanne - sure, but not Susan. Just saying.

This salon is one of the highlights of Parkdale - a lovely, warm, caring place that seeks to be part of the neighbourhood instead of changing into what it thinks it should be.

$70 is cheap for amazing skill and a lot of love and support.

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