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Fashion Stores

Uncle Otis

Posted by Staff / Posted on May 1, 2014

uncle otisUncle Otis turns 23 this year but it has faced many reincarnations since its birth on Yorkville's money-rich Bellair St. Originally home to international streetwear labels, Uncle Otis recently revamped its image offering more contemporary looks with a timeless quality.

The store meets its mandate - casual, yet stylish.

Entering the space reminds me of an industrial loft space. Bric-à-brac is kept to a minimum and clothing becomes the focal point (as it should be - ahem, Anthropologie). You might not think this would be successful, given the simplicity of the clothing presented, but the craftmanship and careful selection of product speaks to a new manner of thinking. Call it a KISS attitude.

uncle otis torontoPopular brand Liberty of London is sold at Uncle Otis and I recommend the Estaban short sleve t-shirt in blue - a multi-coloured flower print that demands some summer attention ($225). Apart from the cool cotton tees from Rag & Bone and perfect tribe inspired print options from Canadian new label 18 Waits and Canadian-made United Stock Dry Goods denim. Both are brands that emphasize structure and uniformity over garish over-design.

uncle otisAfter combing their endless supply of luxury basics, I decided to speak with the kindest gentlemen in the history of retail ownership. Uncle Otis isn't the kind of shop where you will have an employee lurking about, hoping to catch you in a moment of theft. The mood is relaxed, but should you have a question, they are informed and eager to share some info on any of their products.

uncle otisWhat I learned:

  • 20-25% of their stock is Canadian
  • Uncle Otis will be exclusively selling local label Creepl
  • Most expensive item in the store: a Uniform Wares watch retailing for $1,000
  • Their top seller is button shirts
  • Stock rotation is seasonal, every 6 months (get it while its good)

uncle otis torontoHours: Monday to Friday 11:30 am to 7 pm, Saturday 11:30 am to 6 pm, Sunday noon to 5 pm

Discussion

26 Comments

Liz and Cedric / August 6, 2010 at 09:34 am
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From one retailer to another congrats! The nicest bunch of people ( D is so charming) in a lovely shop with very good taste and good manners.
We heart Uncle O!
Ramanan / August 6, 2010 at 10:11 am
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I remember when they were located on Queen. It's strange to think that there was a time when there were interesting shops between University and Spadina. This place is great.
gr1 / August 6, 2010 at 10:39 am
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I have spent a lot of money here. The staff is always nice and accommodating. Wish they'd stock some new Rokin shoes, love the addition of Filson and always appreciate their selection of Red Wings. jist
CuriousBystander / August 6, 2010 at 10:53 am
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Hey, that's Martin in the penultimate picture. Martiiinnn!! I remember when he used to work for Goodfoot; back when that was a Toronto institution.
CuriousBystander replying to a comment from Ramanan / August 6, 2010 at 10:54 am
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I don't remember that time. I guess I'm just far too young :(
Annoyed / August 6, 2010 at 12:07 pm
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WHY DO I HAVE TO FOLLOW TWO LINKS TO GET TO THIS ARTICLE???
SOMETIMES BLOGTO IS SO ANNOYING. WHY NOT POST A DIRECT LINK TO THE FULL ARTICLE ON THE MAIN PAGE???
metoo / August 6, 2010 at 12:19 pm
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yes!! This is a nuisance. I've been trying to determine what the advantage of 2 links is for quite some time! perhaps I'm missing the logic?
gr1 / August 6, 2010 at 12:46 pm
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blog links to fashion section.

you guys are seriously lazy. every review is like this and look, you made it here!

complaining about an extra mouse click.. lmao. fatties.
Phil / August 6, 2010 at 01:53 pm
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great store and the guys running it are really nice, congrats on 20 years and good luck in the future.
Jason / August 6, 2010 at 02:31 pm
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The only place in Toronto that plays a live feed of BBC Radio too!
Mike / August 6, 2010 at 03:18 pm
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Come on! Two mouse clicks and THEN I'm expected to scan my eyes across the words to read the review. What is this, a triathlon?
ramanan replying to a comment from metoo / August 6, 2010 at 03:23 pm
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I think they seperate things out this way so they get two page views, which probably is something they can show off to advertisers. Maybe. It also could have something to do with how the site is structured.
Tim replying to a comment from ramanan / August 6, 2010 at 03:40 pm
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It's the latter. We're not trying to get extra page views. If you'd like to get here in just one click you can click the name under the ""Latest Reviews" section on the homepage.
TJ / August 6, 2010 at 04:01 pm
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Good for them for being in business so long. Personally, I'm not a big fan of paying such premium prices for non-main stream or indie brands (minus Fillipa-K, although they are not hugely main-stream either) even at their posted "sale" prices.
bob / August 6, 2010 at 06:05 pm
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2 hip 4 mi
bob / August 6, 2010 at 06:05 pm
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they've been getting a little too skater-ish (aka sk8er) for me over the past few years..
louc / August 6, 2010 at 07:19 pm
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My favourite men's store in Toronto. I bought my first ever Stussy t-shirt here, and the guys who run this store have been some of the niciest/coolest guys I've ever met when hanging out in Yorkville.
Nick / August 8, 2010 at 01:38 am
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Those old enough will remember when Uncle Otis (then turned defunct Vice Store) and Number 9 (now Delphic) were the only hot-shit stores in TO. Glad both have made it this far and have really paved the way for places like Nomad, Sidney, etc.
Dennis / August 9, 2010 at 10:03 pm
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congrats on 20 years! nicest people in the business... quality service.
Jason / August 26, 2010 at 03:41 pm
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Best men's store in Toronto period. Martin is a great dude...knows his sh*t and is super nice.
Keith / September 16, 2010 at 06:02 pm
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I use to go here when it was parachute ( totally different owner and scene) ... when Uncle Otis opened up i bought quite a bit ... now my kids where the stuff .....vintage Stussy...
Jeffrey / March 3, 2011 at 03:34 pm
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We are one of big wholesellers for men's wear in Toronto.
We have pants, shirts, neck ties, cuff-links, suspenders, bow ties, vests,puffs.... please come to our warehouse to see and order some items for your store soonest. Our address;
589 Middlefield Rd unit 4
Toronto On M1v 4Y6
Look for your coming soonest.
tel: 416-412-3215
Jeffrey Liu
Jin Qun Inc.
cvd replying to a comment from Nick / July 6, 2011 at 11:43 pm
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you mean Number 6
Mike / October 7, 2011 at 03:39 pm
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Always great service from the guys at Uncle Otis, always my go to shop if I need anything. Martin is a good dude, and the new asian girl they hired is insanely sexy!
Roberta / March 9, 2013 at 06:41 pm
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How do men feel about anti aging products for men? If it were to be subtle changes in the way you look where you look better but people can’t put their finger on how, would you consider it? Is looking good important to you? Is 500-1000 k too much every 6 months on over all maintenance? Is anonymity important to you? Would you prefer someone to come to you?
diablo 3 tips / May 1, 2013 at 11:14 pm
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Another issue is that video gaming became one of the all-time largest forms of entertainment for people of every age group. Kids participate in video games, and adults do, too. The actual XBox 360 has become the favorite gaming systems for people who love to have hundreds of games available to them, and who like to learn live with some others all over the world. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

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