Lilliput Hats is anything but small

Hands down this is one of my top five stores in the city. Until recently, I had never set foot in Lilliput Hats. On the way to Sneaky Dee's in university I would ogle at the window walking by. I drooled over the hats but I never set foot in the store. I chalk it up to fear and unavoidable disappointment Fear that I would put my textbook money to a hat or two. Disappointment in knowing that I would fall in love with so many hats and couldn't by anything. So, basically it was a type of depression avoidance routine I would go through. If you don't see nice hats, you won't be sad.


So here I was crossing the threshold into the atelier. Hats line the walls for half the space and numerous hat stands are spread in various places. There are a lot of hats. I'm having a Distill moment. I'm overwhelmed. The next thing I notice is the hat blocks, tons of them. I'm quite uninformed on the subject of millinery so I was very curious. The best part of this initial reaction is when I noticed that there were people making hats right in front of me, how cool is that. It was fascinating. Everything is done by hand, I didn't see a machine anywhere. They use old world hat making techniques I'm told. I could loiter here for hours watching them.

The finest velour felt and straw are used with couture embellishments to create the beautifully crafted hats. The felt hats would stand up to any Canadian winter. I particularly love this mustard felt hats for winter. There are hundreds of hats to choose from whether casual or dressy. Lilliput offers both women's and men's designs. If nothing strikes your fancy, you can get a hat custom made to your wishes. Over the years film and theater companies have come to rely on Lilliput Hats for the production's millinery needs, especially their expertise in building and restoration. Working with wholesale buyers, they also create special collections for stores.


Karyn Gingras is the owner and designer of Lilliput Hats. Her career began because a night school class in tap dance was full and millinery was not. Karyn has also taught at Ryerson, IAOD the Haliburton School of the Arts. Her hats are worn by women like Adrienne Clarkson, Sandra Oh and Celine Dion.

Lilliput Hats
462 College Street
Toronto, Ontario
(416) 536-5933
Mon - Fri 10am - 6pm
Sat 11pm - 6pm
Sundays and alternate times by appointment


images: Tanja-Tiziana Burdi

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