Drake's OVO Flagship store in downtown Toronto appears to have closed for good
The interiors are bare. The door, scraped clean of all discernable branding. The golden owl that long beckoned people into the small, stark retail unit is gone, and as for the OVO team? They're not talking.
It would appear as though Drake's first-ever official clothing store has disappeared from its longtime home on Dundas Street West in Toronto without any sort of warning or even a confirmation of closure.
Despite multiple requests for comment, October's Very Own brass have yet to address any questions about what's up with their original (and once widely-hyped) flagship location at 899 Dundas St. W.
Fans first started buzzing about the location's potential closure earlier this month when they noticed that the place had been emptied out.
While closed under provincial lockdown orders for much of the pandemic, the OVO flagship on Dundas had been displaying racks of clothing, easily visible from the window, until early 2020.
The clothing came down in January, followed by the racks that held the clothing, as well as the marbelesque floor, sales counter and glowing interior logo.
As of early February, the exterior owl signage was still in place, but has since been removed, leaving only some holes in the black brick wall above the store's front windows behind.
While possible that the team behind Drake's first fashion baby is merely "renovating," it seems unlikely given that the the store is no longer listed as a retail location on OVO's website.
An older page for the 899 Dundas Store simply reads "temporarily closed due to COVID-19."
But there's more to the story: A 2018 real estate listing for the entire building states that a "prominent international retailer" on the ground floor had extended their lease only until February of 2021.
The building's current owner could not be reached for comment, but an agent who formerly listed the property told blogTO it was sold more than a year ago, and that the buyer (whom he did not represent) had assumed OVO as a tenant.
Without another business moving in, a public commerical listing, or confirmation from Drake's team, it's hard to say for certain that the original OVO flagship is gone — but that's certainly what it looks like right now.
Drake's OVO line is absolutely massive, in fact, with most drops selling out online within hours of going live.
Toronto fans who love the in-person experience of browing Drizzy-designed wares need not fret over the closure of the Dundas West Store, however, even if it's permanent: OVO currently has three much larger stores within the GTA, all of them within major shopping malls.
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