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Fashion & Style

10 under-the-radar vintage clothing shops in Toronto

Posted by Natalia Manzocco / February 9, 2014

vintage clothing shops torontoToronto is a fabulous city for vintage shopping. We've got swaths of stores on Ossington and in Kensington Market, multi-store chains like 69 Vintage, and even secondhand mega-marts like Black Market. That rich vintage scene also means plenty of lesser-known or underrated gems, each of which are worthy of a visit.

Some are obscure just due to being new on the scene, while others are hidden away in spots with less foot traffic or TTC service. But they all have something to offer, whether that's a selection that hasn't been picked over by bargain-hunting shoppers, lower prices, or (of course) the bragging rights that come from having an awesome secret vintage source.

Here are 10 great under-the-radar vintage clothing shops in Toronto.

Print Vintage
Print's been in the same tiny space on College for over 15 years, yet folks still wander in off the street and ask if the store is brand-new. It's like falling into a walk-in closet stuffed with fantastic vintage, from full-skirted, wasp-waisted dresses to mod '60s coats to heavy jackets coated in hand-sewn sequins and beads. Prices hover at around $40 to $80 for non-super-rare pieces.

Thrill of the Find
This Leslieville vintage spot is accurately named; Owner Mireille Watson stocks the store with a host of vintage pieces from illustrious fashion houses like Chanel, Hermes, Chloe and Prada, as well as numerous no-name finds. Watson keeps the best pieces in the back room, but she may let you check them out if you ask nicely; she's also known for having a knack for giving you the once-over and handing you a vintage piece that fits perfectly.

Maggie's Farm
You will definitely want to work on Maggie's Farm, a Roncesvalles repository of clothing, shoes, accessories and housewares. (Look for the "Holy Land Food and Video" sign.) When I visited recently, nothing -- from the leather pants to the vintage heels to the wool coats -- rang in at over $50.

Kingpin's Hideaway
Previously located in the basement of Queen St. vintage fairyland Cabaret, Kingpin is still tucked out of sight in its new home on Mercer St. The "gentlemenswear" store, as owner Jonathan Hagey calls it, is filled to the brim (in this case, the brim of a very dapper felt hat) with vintage pieces like python leather shoes and uniform jackets. Prices aren't terribly cheap, but with a selection this good, you won't look cheap, either.

A Homerun
Formerly Pretty Freedom Vintage, A Homerun has a new name and a new space (right next door to the old one, at 165 Augusta). The carefully-decorated store is more boutique-like than the jumble-sale atmosphere of most of Kensington's vintage stores; despite the more 'edited' feel, nearly everything I checked out during a recent visit was priced at $25.

Boutique Monique
Boutique Monique isn't anywhere near what you might consider a popular shopping area, but the lower rent at St. Clair and Oakwood means owner Monique Nanton can pass on savings to shoppers who make the trek. The store was born out of Nanton's extensive collection of designer vintage: With most items (including pieces by the likes of Max Mara, Valentino and Oscar de la Renta) topping out at around $150, you'll be able to expand your own collection pretty quickly.

Da Vintage Code/Fashion Old And New
These sister stores (at 22 Kensington Avenue and 27 Kensington, respectively) share an owner, but differ slightly in their product offerings: Da Vintage Code focuses more on clothes (including tons of sequined and beaded pieces for $60 or less), while Fashion Old And New hosts a huge stockpile of vintage bags, including Coach and Dooney and Bourke. Both are remarkably well-organized (by size and, often, colour).

Mrs. Huizenga
Located at the foot of Roncesvalles, this vintage emporium looks less like a clothing boutique and more like an antiques shop. Racks of clothing are tucked away at the back, with gorgeous vintage clothing, shoes and accessories woven into the vignettes of items around the store. (There's so many treasures they actually hold auctions on the first Sunday and third Thursday of each month for the rarest and most unusual pieces.)

DuWest Vintage
Apparently, DuWest is a nickname for Dundas West; it's also the name of this warm, lived-in boutique, helmed by a 20-year veteran of Toronto's vintage clothing scene. Where prices might be driven up in another neighbourhood, the vintage shoes and worn-in rock tees here are available for a steal.

Stella Luna
Stella Luna's existence isn't exactly a secret - the vintage boutique has been tucked into a storefront at Queen and Roncesvalles for nearly 20 years - yet it somehow tends to slip away from local media when it comes time to round up Toronto's best vintage stores. It's reportedly a favourite of Toronto's most fashionable, including pro stylists, due to its mix of owner Crispian Underwood's careful eye for selection and rock-bottom prices, even for designer vintage (Christian Dior labels are frequently spotted on the racks).

What did I miss? Suggest a vintage shop you think more people should know about in the comments below.

Discussion

11 Comments

Julian / February 9, 2014 at 01:10 pm
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Mama Loves You at Queen and Augusta is really wonderful and worth a visit!
Lloyd / February 9, 2014 at 02:26 pm
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Fully agree with you re Kingpin's Hideaway. Jonathan Hagey also often takes booths at the twice-a-year Vintage Clothing Shows at the Wychwood Barns.
Mary / February 9, 2014 at 02:53 pm
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Two stores on St. Clair West, near Christie/Wychwood - Caravan and Gypsy. Same owner, great items - clothrs, jewellery, shoes, some small antiques.
les / February 10, 2014 at 12:09 am
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Re; Fashion Old and New; I bought a $40 Coach bag there two years ago and found out that it was FAKE, a Korean fake, made of plastic. Buyer beware. The store wouldn't exchange or refund.
Rehana / February 10, 2014 at 02:39 pm
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I love A Homerun! The selection is great and the owner is greater :) I never leave empty handed!
veggie pizza / February 14, 2014 at 02:28 pm
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Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with my myspace group?
There's a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content.
Please let me know. Many thanks
sloan / June 11, 2014 at 10:41 am
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who still has myspace?

Jamie replying to a comment from veggie pizza / June 11, 2014 at 10:58 am
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Why don't you identify yourself and your group properly and use the contact us link below to ask the question. Are you really asking someone to have an agreement with a slice of veggie pizza?

Tina H. replying to a comment from les / August 21, 2014 at 03:14 pm
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Those products are sold as is condition.
We don't authorize they are real or fake.
Most of them are real but we don't know sometimes.
Some couch bags are not leather. Our dealer, or picker try their best for sellection of real items. Sometimes, because of the style or condition even though they are replica, they are sold as low price as is condition.
Tina H. replying to a comment from les / August 21, 2014 at 03:17 pm
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Those products are sold as is condition.
We don't authorize they are real or fake.
Most of them are real but we don't know sometimes.
Some couch bags are not leather. Our dealer, or picker try their best for sellection of real items. Sometimes, because of the style or condition even though they are replica, they are sold as low price as is condition.
les / August 21, 2014 at 11:22 pm
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Today at 9:06 PM






Ha, this bag had a serial number that was listed online as a well known fake originating from China. I paid $45 for this fake plastic garbage. I cut the bag open and it was made of plastic and foam. Coach bags of this type were never made of plastic, and your pickers should know the difference before they are put up for sale. And so should the owner of the store. $45 is not cheap for vintage Coach bags, and it appeared to be in perfect condition, that's expensive.




I can get real vintage Coach bags from Ebay for much less than I paid for this fake, which is the only place I have purchased after this. AND they have a money back guarantee. Even Value Village gets them in for half what I paid.




I have told everyone I know about this and will continue to, there are much better places to shop in the Kensington Market that are selling the real thing.


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