The Best Skateboard Shops in Toronto
The best skateboard shops in Toronto serve more than a once-upon-a-time niche market. With some shops having been around for decades now - Hogtown and So Hip it Hurts - Toronto has always had a solid rep of skaters, skate spots and the corresponding skate shops. And with the growth of skateboarding being on MDMA with Tony Hawk Pro Skater video games and the likes of a West 49 in every great mall across the city over the past 10 years, Toronto's skate shops, for the most part, stayed independent and true to their roots. That counts for something; and says even more about Toronto's skate community.
With conventional skateboarding still around and resilient, longboarding, as you have probably seen on every street corner, has blossomed. Chatting with the guys at the historic Hogtown, they now sell 10 longboards for every skateboard. Like the record player, things have gone straight-up old school in Toronto's skate culture. But skateboarding, God bless it, is still mighty healthy in Toronto.
Here's a list of the best skateboard shops in Toronto.
Having been around for some 26 years – hardcore since ‘84 – Hogtown is a Toronto skateboard institution. Carrying a lot of the more traditional skate brands like Santa Cruz, Vans and Powell, Hogtown has an unbeatable collection of pool decks that are hard to find. Trying to keep up with the hustle, Hogtown has opened its doors to snowboarding, BMXing, apparel and safety equipment over the years, but skateboarding is still at the crux. And rightfully so. More »
Not so much for the kiddie boppers, but for the more mature, discerning boarder, So Hip it Hurts holds legend status in Toronto having been around for 20-something years. Like the other classic, long-term shops, So Hip stocks up on the hard-to-get brands and decks and holds true with reliable customer service to continue to pioneer and steer Toronto’s skate scene. More »
If you’re looking for a longboard, this is the spot. Tucked away in Kensington, Longboard Living is a prized mecca for a booming longboarding community. Having only been around for a few years, Longboard Living offers skate lessons, skateboard art, a wide variety of boards of various styles and simply exudes a genuine love for longboarding culture. More »
Hammer is one of those tiny skate shops just stuffed with shoes, decks, hats, shirts and stickers. They stick to their chops – that would be skateboarding only – and hold on tight. Serving the dedicated skaters, pool riders and longboarders, Hammer knows where it came from and is proud to support the local skate community. More »
As a mini-franchise, Sanction brings a little bit more garnish to your typical local fare. With a clean look, set-up and vibe, Sanction is safe for the whole family, but still an independent shop. With a solid selection of the top skate brands like DC, Element, Lakai and Independent, Sanction has something for everyone. More »
Pretty much brand spankin’ new, having opened their doors in the spring of last year, Cardinal Skate Co. has been quick to carve out a loyal clientele of riders. This is also helped by Cardinal coming together with the now-defunct Common Ground indoor skate park, which was one of the largest indoor parks in the country during its prime. Selling a mixture of skateboards, snowboards and old-fashioned roller skates, Cardinal Skate Co. is place to keep your eyes on. More »
More of an apparel and skate culture spot than a bona fide skate shop, Adrift is a pretty slick operation. In a tucked away basement studio at Spadina and Richmond, these guys narrow in on the fashionable apparel and kicks. You’ll find the trendier stuff here than the other shops, but not as much on the hardware. If you’re the type looking for the new PRod 5 from Nike, here’s your spot. More »
It doesn’t get any newer than a month-old, but Blue Tile, which got its start in Newmarket in ’97, has already made a splash. Landing in prime real estate on College St. beside The Cloak and Dagger is a mini shop. With a skate team boasting some of Canada’s best skaters, like Corey Sheppard and Morgan Smith, Blue Tile has landed in Toronto for good. More »
Don’t like any of these shops and can’t find the right deck? Screw it, build your own. Roarockit, founded by Ted Hunter when he was in Maui in 2001, builds custom decks for all riders. Using a patented Thin Air Press, Roarockit also offers lessons and classes for kids that want to build their own decks. To date, they’ve pumped out more that 10,000 hand-built custom decks. Right on. More »