The Best Vintage Clothing Stores in Toronto
The best vintage clothing stores in Toronto have some of the best vintage shopping in North America. From high-end and designer to cheap-and-cheerful rock tees and poly frocks, the variety is almost endless. Parkdale, Ossington, Kensington, and Dundas West are the major epicenters but almost no Toronto neighbourhood is devoid of some decent vintage.
And what makes a vintage store worth a thorough look? Friendly customer service, clothes free of tears and stains, and fair prices are musts--but a truly great vintage store has a personality and vibe all its own, from the decor to the styles offered.
Here are the best vintage clothing stores in Toronto.
Note: This list was previously published on September 5, 2008. Comments below made up until December 10, 2010 are in reference to the old list. We've purposely kept the archived comments here because we believe they (mostly) add value to this topic. If you don't want to have to wade through all of them, simply hit the "sort by newest first" link at the top of the thread.
People just love Courage My Love. One of the longest-running vintage stories in the city, the super-friendly owners and very reasonable prices keep vintage hounds coming back to Kensington Market. There’s a solid selection of men’s vintage (score a pair of dress pants for a mere $25), plus racks and racks of sixties sheaths, Bakelite jewelry, and mounds of fancy heels. More »
Upscale doesn’t have to mean snobby - the staff here are always friendly and helpful (bonus - this gorgeous store looks like a sexy fifties boudoir). Need a special occasion dress? This is the place. Silk cocktail dresses, forties gowns, and sparkly costume jewelry are all to-die-for. The price-point is a little higher, but the piece you’ll get is well worth it (and there’s cheaper separates in the basement if you need something a little more budget-friendly). More »
Got a few hours to spare? Plumb the depths of Black Market Vintage on Queen West. Sure, the store feels a little grottier than most on this list, but there's tons of deals to be had on rock tees, leather purses, and biker jackets that are crammed into the thousands of square feet of vintage treasure. The store also has crazy deals on the reg, so it pays to visit frequently. More »
Complaints about the snob-factor of I Miss You’s customer service are legion, but the quality of the goods at this elegant Ossington store is unimpeachable. High-end vintage doesn’t get any better than the Dior, Yves St. Laurent, and Hermes that crowd the shelves with goodness here. I Miss You is also perfect for exquisite one-of-a-kind dresses from the fifties, sixties, and seventies. More »
Kensington Market is crowded with vintage emporiums, but this store sticks out due to its eye-catching Kubrickian design - all the better to see the vintage wares, my pretties. Seventies stuff seems to be the specialty here, whether it’s polyester floral frocks or the teak furniture lying about. Menswear is noteworthy, too, including cheap denim and the standard black leather jackets. They've also recently opened a sister store, Bungalow West, across the street. More »
A great cry of “Yessssss!” went across the land from fashionistas and vintage-lovers just over a year ago when the House of Vintage opened up once more, this time in chalet-chic digs in Parkdale. Strut your stuff in leather shorts, designer duds to die for (Burberry trenches, Dior sweaters, Halston heels), and awesome boots. More »
Opened by the old hands from Black Market Vintage, this Parkdale shop is all about the mental deals. Most days you can go by and see “everything for $20!” sales, and “buy 1, get 1 half-off,” to say nothing of the store’s dead-simple pricing, which is often done per type, rather than item. (Pssst. The store also sells super house stuff like ceramic panthers and kitsch art, along with vintage bikes.) More »
The best vintage store in the east end, Gadabout is worth the journey to lovely Leslieville - the place is stuffed to the hilt with va-va-voom vintage. Take the time to poke through the filing cabinet filled with gloves, scarves, hosiery, and other fun surprises. Need the perfect piece? The owner goes to great lengths to keep their vintage in prime condition - no rips or stains here. More »
This new Dundas West favourite has something for everybody - there’s always a huge selection of ass-kickin’ boots, fun accessories (pick up gaudy gold earrings or a statement belt), and outlandish, awesome options, whether it’s an eighties-tastic red-leather bustier, nautical swimsuit, acid-wash miniskirt, or jewel-toned frock from the sixties or seventies. They even have vintage baby clothes! More »
Once Franny Vintage turned into The Future of Frances Watson, the Parkdale space was taken over by a new vintage shop that has plenty for the fellas - Philistine specializes in good ol’ boy workwear, including denim jackets, flannel button-ups, cowboy boots, and lots of sturdy leather brogues. A small selection of women’s vintage, shoes, necklaces, and the fledgling in-house line rounds out the selection. More »