McManus and Campbell
McManus and Campbell opened in November of last year at 90 Distillery Lane. This is the only salon in the Distillery District - a strategic move on the part of owners Sharon McManus and Anelise Campbell.
McManus started doing hair many years ago, beginning her career at Bruce of Crescendo at the age of 16. Throughout her career she's owned and worked at a number of salons before she ended up at John Steinberg & Associates on King West, where she met her now partner, Anelise (who worked at Steinberg for 12 years).
"[John Steinberg] passed away three years ago, but not without his blessing - he was so pleased to hear that Sharon and I decided to be partners and open our own shop in the Distillery. He thought we were a perfect pair to continue his legacy in a new space and area," Campbell told me.
Located inside was originally Rack House J , built in 1889, a wall from the original rack house is still on display inside, in keeping with the area's historical vibe. Finished with exposed brick and reclaimed distillery wood, this salon space is the perfect mix of contemporary and old.
The salon was a long time in the making - after signing the lease for the space four years ago, the owners had to wait for the new Gooderham Condominiums to be built above them. The long wait was no problem, though: "We wanted to open somewhere where there were no other hairdressers and we absolutely fell in love with the architecture. We're so happy to be a part of this growing community and have our business grow with it," Campbell explained.
McManus is a top colourist, having done colour for movies like Chicago , so it's no surprise that she has a loyal clientele that has followed her from salon to salon. For many (myself included), the hunt for the perfect life-long stylist can be hard - and stressful - but if you're looking to start somewhere, this salon is the perfect go-to.
"We seem to attract people looking for a lasting relationship with their stylist. People looking for an easy going, unpretentious salon where they can come in their Sunday comfies or on a Friday night to get dolled up to go out," said Campbell.
Depending which stylist you choose to go with, a women's cut will set you back either $60 or $70, while men's cuts range from $30-$60. Compared to other salons downtown, particularly with such seasoned stylists, that's quite reasonable - but they seem to do it for the love. "I love standing behind the chair and making people happy," Campbell told me. Â
Best of all, they're open seven days a week - because you just never know when you'll choose to chop your locks or change a hue.
Follow Chynna on Twitter @chynnawilson.
Photos by Morris Lum.