Exclucity had humble beginnings as a basement store peddling off hats and t-shirts before eventually opening four (aboveground) locations in Montreal and establishing itself as one the city's best sources for stylish sneakers.
Following success in Montreal, Exclucity finally headed to Toronto, and opened its Queen West doors to the city with a sneakertooth (that's not a real term; I just made it up now). With rows and rows of illuminated shelves running down the length of the space (and other decorative cues little to non-existent), it's hard not to get lost in the plethora of *fresh* footwear they offer.
Two young women I can only describe as "chill" welcomed me as soon as I walked in, and were quick to show me around and talk new releases like the most recent OVO Air Jordans that garnered a lineup nearly a week before the drop.
Obviously, the most sought-after sneakers fly off the shelves minutes after they're stocked, but the store carries an impressive roster of shoes outside the occasional Triple Red Nike Air Huarache Run and Lebron XIII.
My favourites include a white, sand and salmon pink pair of Reebok Insta Pump Furys ($180) and the still-in-stock black Huaraches ($130). The women's section is about a quarter the size of the men's selection, but I still found some Nike Roshe Run DMBs with a black, faceted texture ($165) to ogle at.
Aside from shoes, Exclucity offers a handful of street wear clothing, most of which is branded with their house label "XCLU." When asked what's next for the basement-turned-bricks-and-mortar shop, the sales associates told me I'd just have to wait and see.
Oftentimes, they don't know which rare sneaker they'll stock/restock next - the only surefire way to stay in the loop is to follow the retailer on Instagram or receive their weekly email newsletters.
Photo by Hector Vasquez