Offsite is a cafe, gallery, boutique and events space all in one. Merging Canadian fashion with coffee culture and art, this concept shop on Dundas West was the former location of Made ( it's since moved to King East ).
Continuing the tradition of showcasing Canadian-made goods here (except now it's fashion and art instead of furniture), co-owners Vanja Vasic (of Fashion Art Toronto ), Calder Ross and Siya Chen have combined their expertise in fashion, design and art (not to mention a love of coffee) to highlight the talent this city and country has to offer.
Their goal is to promote and present artists in a social setting, and they've definitely succeeded at creating a gorgeous, bright, light-and-plant-filled space you'll want to spend time in and explore, outfitted with unique and quirky light fixtures and old-school classroom chairs.
A communal table along with a few smaller tables for two can be found in the cafe area in the front, while tightly curated clothes and accessories occupy the boutique part of the shop in the back.
Local roaster de Mello Palheta provides the beans for espresso-based beverages (espresso/Americano, $3; macchiato, $3.25; cortado, $3.50; flat white/cappuccino, $3.75; latte, $4.25/$4.75) and brewed coffee ($2.50/$2.75; cold brew, $5), while loose leaf teas ($3 each) come from Pluck.
My friend and I each have a latte, and both are lovely, with nice latte art, mine using Harmony Organic Milk and my friend's with almond milk, which is especially impressive, since it's difficult to pull that off with non-dairy milk that isn't made specifically for baristas.
Enticing baked goods that include gluten-free fudgies, power bars and mini carrot cakes (all $2.50 each) come from nearby Jack and Lil's , while a variety of croissants ($3.75-$4.75) are from The Tempered Room in Parkdale.
We try the carrot cake, which is decadently topped with a yummy cream cheese frosting and flecks of edible silver leaf, and it tastes as delicious as it looks.
Similar to a gallery, the accessories, threads and art featured in the store will switch up every two months or so, while more elaborate, site-specific art commissions will change less frequently (during the opening run, there's an eye-catching installation of broken plates entitled "Mending Broken China" by Vessna Perunovich on the wall).
Most of the clothes and jewellery in the boutique are by Toronto designers with a few from Montreal thrown in for good measure (for the opening, TO-based Som Kong and Sera Ghadaki , plus MTL-based RUzica , and YYY are just some of the designers showcased).
For trendsetters and those who appreciate good design, this is a spot to visit and re-visit, as it will constantly reinvent itself and stay on the cutting edge (while also keeping you caffeinated).
Photos by Jesse Milns.