Courage My Love
With stock ranging from exotic costume jewelry to repurposed dresses to retro barware, Courage My Loveoffers the experience of being inside a bohemian fashionista’s tickle trunk. Since 1975, a devoted following has enjoyed losing track of time scouring this eccentric mix of merchandise. (14 Kensington Avenue / 416-979-1992).
A staple for men’s vintage fashion, Kingpin’s Hideaway has a wide variety of suits, dinner jackets, tuxedos, ascots, fedoras and more. Owner, Jonathan Hagey, takes pride in making sure customers find unique and signature pieces to add to their personal fashion collection. (71 Duncan Street/647-466-2945).
Filled from floor to ceiling with a vibrant selection of clothing, accessories, and eccentric curiosities from the late 1800s through to the 1970s, Gadabout is a one-stop-shop for creative vintage wardrobe add-ons. If sifting through crates, bins and racks is your game, Gadabout is sure to offer you an afternoon of fun and finds. (1300 Queen Street East / 416-463-1254).
Penny Arcade Vintage
For those whose fashion idols include icons like Patti Smith or Debbie Harry circa 1975, Penny Arcade will not disappoint. Offering a curated selection of used, vintage and consignment for rockers at heart, the clothing racks here are all killer, no filler. The minimal décor, no-nonsense store layout, and friendly service make Penny Arcade’s higher price point well worth it. (1177 Dundas Street West / 647-346-1386).
Black Market Vintage
Be beckoned in by the “$10 for everything (yes everything!)” sign outside and head down to the basement haunt that is Toronto’s pioneering vintage store. Called the “punk rock granddaddy of second hand stores,” Black Market started off as a collection of pop-up shops in 1980 and grew into the 7,000 square foot mega warehouse that brings surplus, vintage T’s and alt-poetry chapbooks under one roof. (256 Queen Street West/416-599-5858).
Love vintage but hate rummaging? 69 Vintage is a well-organized treasure trove of expertly curated clothing. Here, on the trendy Ossington strip between Dundas and Queen, you’ll find fashions and accessories worn by local icons like Emily Haines – and no second-hand-store smell. (921 Queen Street West / 416-516-0669).
House of Vintage
A can’t-miss stop on Queen West for designer junkies, House of Vintage keeps a vast selection of furs, boots, bags and frocks in a spacious Parkdale warehouse. Testament to his eye for fashion, owner Dennis Adamis launched a second store in London, England a few years ago, which has been thriving ever since. (1239 Queen Street West / 416-535-2142.)
I Miss You Vintage
One of Toronto’s more upscale vintage stores, I Miss You Vintage houses an elegant selection of cocktail dresses and women’s clothing from the 60s and 70s. If you’re looking for the perfect dress for a fab event, this is the place to find it, along with a matching pair of kitten heels. (63 Ossington Avenue / 416-916-7021).
Three Fates Shop
For women who want unique style options and a fun place to shop, Three Fates offers vintage finds alongside new clothing from Canadian and American brands. Vintage boots, floral dresses, structured skirts and plaid shirts are just some of the pieces you’ll find. (1573 Dundas Street West/416-901-1553).
This tiny hole-in-the-wall boutique in Parkdale is as well-loved as it is unassuming. In a space no bigger than Carrie Bradshaw’s walk-in closet Stella Luna has dynamic and fashion-forward vintage pieces in brands like D&G, Alan Cherry, Holt Renfrew and more. Savvy and chatty owner Crispian Underwood will help you find what you want and be totally honest about how it looks. (1627 Queen Street West / 416-536-7300).
Toronto’s vintage stores offer not only a way to find fantastic souvenirs for low prices, but also a one-of-a-kind day of exploring. Shop like a local. Shop vintage!