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Fashion Stores

Red Canoe

Posted by Staff / Posted on July 10, 2010

Red Canoe TorontoRed Canoe is a brand that boasts licensing deals with Boeing, CBC and the Royal Canadian Air Forces - if you ever wanted the retro logo of the CBC on a t-shirt, bag, hat or folio, Red Canoe Brands offers all of that and more.

I questioned the value of the brand for most fashion conscious consumers, but it became very clear, very quickly, that owner Dax Wilkinson was not approaching this market naively.

Red CanoeIn addition to its Dundas West location, Red Canoe moved in to Trudeau Airport and Whistler B.C. - areas both known for their high tourist traffic. If you have ever been hard pressed to find something last minute in an airport gift shop, you may been a touch disheartened by the ubiquity of stuffed moose and hockey playing bears. At least Red Canoe speaks to iconography that is not so cliche. You can also be assured that your CBC t-shirt is printed with care and at $32.50, you would likely have spent the same amount on some factory-tortured novelty.

Despite what I may think about the excess logo placement, Red Canoe is wearable and practical for gift giving to those relatives who may ask for a little piece of Canada. They really do not want any more maple syrup.

Red CanoeWhere Red Canoe's clothing may have a too-close-for-comfort Roots aesthetic, the beauty lies in their covetable Black Canoe label.

A camel Canada field sweater is made with 100% Merino wool and is detailed with contrast cotton twill patches (chocolate) on the epaulettes and elbows ($159.99). It is a very classic option with full button down closure in a slim fit. The same palette is attached to a cardigan option, with ribbed cuffs and a more casual v-neckline ($159.99).

Red CanoeAccessories were peppered throughout the Dundas showroom from both the Red and Black labels, including a bateau scarf ($29.99) that serves as an ideal accent for a nautical inspired ensemble.

Ontario and BC tartan scarves ($49.99) are lightweight and boast a pop of colour that will add interest to a solid jacket during the city's cooler months. However, scarves were not the only accessory that demanded attention. Strewn on a chair or next to a pair of staged hiking boots were patch-appliqued bags at very affordable prices. A North West Mounted Police kit bag ($149.99) and a CBC thunderbolt Radio-Canada small kit bag ($129.99) update a market of travel bags that is relatively untouched.

Red CanoeWhile some may opt for vintage Louis Vuitton luggage to make a statement, the same can be made with Red Canoe's many options - the beauty of their product being, it is made for wear. Their rugged twill body will stand up to any mistreatment you would expect from your favourite airlines or bus terminals.

Given the volume of stock that Red Canoe has in their showroom, you may be overwhelmed. Sort through the racks of over-embellished t-shirts to find the gems that both collections offer. They are there, I promise.

Red CanoeThursdays and Fridays, 9:00am - 5:00pm
Otherwise, book an appointment: 416-205-1271

Writing by Kevin Naulls. Photos by Dennis Marciniak.



Simon / July 12, 2010 at 09:33 am
Dat CBC bag... yes they will be getting some of my money soon enough.
eh / July 12, 2010 at 09:59 am
Saw this stuff at niagara falls. I now remember why I've only been there with out of towners.
H / July 12, 2010 at 10:13 am
Why is there so much stuff that says USA?

BlogTO Staff: Also to comment more generally about 'fashion' articles that are posted- it's endlessly annoying to be reading the stories wherein specific pieces are highlighted and then not photographed. If you are going to write about "A camel Canada field sweater [that] is made with 100% Merino wool and is detailed with contrast cotton twill patches" who don't you follow that with a picture of said sweater? You do this all the time in your fashion articles, it's particularily bad with runway show pieces.
ep / July 12, 2010 at 10:24 am
Their website does not specifically state where these items are made, which would make me believe it is made out of country. Lame.
Rajio / July 12, 2010 at 10:35 am
ha! I just bought two red canoe CBC bags last week including the one pictured!
m / July 12, 2010 at 10:38 am
"Dax Wilkinson's Red Canoe Brands literally asks you to wear that patriotism on your sleeve. If not your sleeve, stitched into a hat, or at the hem of a CBC logo-emblazoned cotton tee."

or maybe wear our patriotism with a USA or USAC patch-appliquéd bag, or a shirt emblazoned with an american company, such as boeing or cessna. the only canadian gear shown in the photos is the CBC stufs and an RCAF shirt.
Mark Dowling / July 12, 2010 at 10:48 am
This sounds like the kind of outfit that TTC should be partnered with, not the current lame offerings.
LJ replying to a comment from Mark Dowling / July 12, 2010 at 10:57 am
nobody wants TTC novelty items Mark.
Andy / July 12, 2010 at 10:57 am
There's one of these at Pearson too.
alison / July 12, 2010 at 11:32 am
again, to echo others' comments: why is all this stuff emblazoned with "USA" and "USAC?" In the photos posted, it appears that the major pieces at eye level are USA-branded, while the maple leaf and CBC logo pieces are folded onto the bottom shelves. What kind of merchandising plan is this for a store that's trying to draw out nationalistic shopping dollars?
Gloria / July 12, 2010 at 02:16 pm
I may be wrong, but I've seen this stuff at Blue Banana in Kensington for a while now.
Kevo replying to a comment from Gloria / July 12, 2010 at 03:33 pm
@Gloria - yup, I've seen them there too. I bought an RCAF tshirt from there a year or two ago for $20, I think. I like the RCAF logo and its simplicity.
Prince / July 12, 2010 at 03:37 pm
They'll be out of business in 2 months.
Aside from selling medium-high priced items that are very niche..
..otherwise (including saturday) book an APPOINTMENT? pfft.
why can't Dundas St. ever get it right?
Andrea / July 12, 2010 at 04:13 pm
You can buy all of the CBC stuff at the CBC Shop online or at the shop inside the CBC building at Front and John.
Angie replying to a comment from ep / July 12, 2010 at 06:30 pm
All the Tee shirts are made in Canada....products available in the Collingwood & Thornbury ON at new store called Evolution for Men in Thornbury.
Sean / July 12, 2010 at 08:07 pm
Hope all the copyrights have been cleared to sell said items.

And, please... no TTC stuff. It means nothing to a Canadian living in Alberata.
Adam / July 12, 2010 at 09:57 pm
Isn't this the stuff that's been at Blue Banana the whole time that I haven't been buying because it's made in China?
Ratpick / July 13, 2010 at 05:28 am
I am sure I have seen some of this crap for sale at Pearson (RCAF jackets, etc.).

Boeing & Cessna aren't exactly Canadian icons, are they?
jt / July 13, 2010 at 06:49 am
pricey...(30 bucks for a tshirt?)
Gabe / July 13, 2010 at 08:24 am
If you like the CBC why not support the CBC and buy the bag from their store or from their online store???;lang=en-CA
LJ / July 13, 2010 at 08:37 am
great products, terrible store hours.
dave / July 13, 2010 at 09:32 pm
Lots of military propaganda or "patriotic apparel". Doesn't anyone else find it ironic that this stuff is all made in China?

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