Boutique Monique is stuffed with vintage fashions
In fashion, everything old is new again, and often priced at a premium. But not at Boutique Monique, where owner Monique Nanton brings vintage apparel and accessories to the masses at wallet-friendly rates. A collector and stylist, Nanton’s eye for fashion is evident in the quality and variety of her store’s products—well-made garments from such past and present designers as Oleg Cassini, Lilli Rubin, Rodier, Missoni and Allen Cherry in sizes two to 18. Step into the back salon, a warm and inviting space with a velvet couch from the 1930s, a fireplace and mirrors, to try on lavish gowns by the likes of Givenchy, and accessories such as gloves and opera coats. —Linda Luong
• Boutique Monique, 1024 St. Clair Ave. W., 647-345-3446; boutiquemonique.com
• Map and reviews
Raw Eco Jewellery is but one vendor on hand at Artfest in the Distillery District
MAY 18 TO 20 The Distillery Historic District is already a prime location for browsing the wares at designer boutiques, galleries and studios; it’s even more of a shopping sweet spot when more than 85 Canadian artists and craftspeople assemble here for Artfest. Spend the Victoria Day long weekend strolling the Distillery’s cobblestone streets and ogling unique baubles by Raw Eco Jewellery, wool works by Knit Gallery, art by Lory MacDonald and much more. Live music and gourmet food products add to the attraction of this open-air market. Free admission; visit artfestontario.com for more information. —Anna Marszalek
Tiger of Sweden’s Toronto boutique is a hot shopping spot on Ossington Avenue
Ossington Avenue, a street known largely for its restaurants and bars, is gaining standing as a shopping strip—due in part to its new Tiger of Sweden store, only the second in North American. Though the Scandinavian brand is a century old, it’s been especially popular since the 1990s among young male professionals, who covet Tiger’s slim-fitting suits. The boutique’s sleek black facade emphasizes the fashion-forward company’s hipster cred. Though the label has been available at such retailers as Harry Rosen and Gotstyle, this is the first time Toronto shoppers can view a more comprehensive selection of offerings, including suede wingtips, trench coats, women’s options like jersey dresses, and accessories such as cufflinks and leather bags. —Linda Luong
• Tiger of Sweden, 56 Ossington Ave., 416-588-4437; tigerofsweden.com
• Map and reviews
Each and every month we scour the city to bring you all the very best that Toronto has to offer!
Best of Toronto #1: the lush flora of the Allan Gardens Conservatory
1 A quiet moment of respite amidst the beautiful blooms at Allan Gardens Conservatory.
2 Playful mobiles hanging from the ceiling of Kol Kid.
3 Spending the day with four-legged animals like the Masai giraffe at the Toronto Zoo.
4 A cheese platter composed of offerings from Ontario, France and Australia at Edulis.
5 Donning red and chanting along with the BMO Field crowd during a Toronto FC match.
Stuart Weitzman’s new Bloor Street store
Footwear impresario Stuart Weitzman is set this month to open an eponymous flagship boutique on the Mink Mile. This eighth Canadian outpost—locally there are two others at the Toronto Eaton Centre and Sherway Gardens—joins such lofty Bloor Street West neighbours as Prada, Michael Kors, Cartier and Chanel. Designed by Italian architect Fabio Novembre, the 1,800-square-foot shoe haven boasts a mosaic tile accent wall, Alphano stone floors and serpentine shelving accenting a steely palette of white and grey, which is all the better to display Weitzman’s collection of stilettos, boots and handbags favoured by the likes of the Duchess of Cambridge, Beyonce and Angelina Jolie. —Linda Luong
>> Stuart Weitzman, 151 Bloor St. W., 647-748-0551, plus other locations; stuartweitzman.ca
>> Map and reviews
The Distillery District’s Gotstyle has apparel for both men and women
The Victorian-era Distillery Historic District, a popular destination with chic art galleries, posh cafés and more, gets another infusion of modern luxury with the opening of Gotstyle. Already a respected name in menswear thanks to its original King West-area store, the retailer’s second location is notable not only for its size—a hefty 6,700 square feet spread across two floors—but for adding a significant stock of ladies’ apparel, too, with such designer brands as Rachel Roy, Malene Birger and Rebecca Minkoff. Bonus: An in-house barbershop and salon helps you top-off your new look, literally, while professional tailors ensure everything fits perfectly. —Craig Moy
>> Gotstyle, Distillery Historic District, 416-260-9696; gotstylemenswear.com
>> Map and reviews
Lacoste’s 80th Anniversary apparel features a special-edition designer logo
Croc marks the spot. Lacoste, the enduring French label instantly identifiable by its reptilian logo, is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. Founded in 1933 by René Lacoste, the company was originally known for its tennis shirts—Lacoste was a Grand Slam champ who was dubbed “The Crocodile” for his tenacity on the court. To commemorate the milestone, a special logo of circles forming the number 80 by British designer Peter Saville is emblazoned on a capsule collection of footwear, watches, dresses, jackets and, of course, the classic polo. Among the desirable items are perforated herringbone sneakers ($335) and polo shirts ($125 and up) for men. —Linda Luong
>> Lacoste, 131 Bloor St. W., 416-513-1212, plus other locations; lacoste.com
>> Map and reviews
The Cupcake Girls’ “Blue Hawaii” is composed of coconut cake with blue vanilla buttercream
Fans of the W Network’s reality show The Cupcake Girls rejoice! Heather White and Lori Joyce have brought their cheerful, retro-style bakery Cupcakes to Toronto. The Leaside location, the pair’s first outside their native British Columbia, features fresh-baked cupcakes and cakes in such mouth-watering flavours as Blue Hawaii (coconut cake with blue vanilla buttercream), Caramella (caramel-filled chocolate cake with praline-sprinkled caramel buttercream), and more traditional offerings like red velvet, chocolate, and cookies and cream. If a warm-from-the-oven treat isn’t enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, the shop also has an ice cream counter, as well as Cupcakes-branded items. —Linda Luong
>> Cupcakes, 85 Laird Dr., 416-287-2253; cupcakesonline.com
>> Map and reviews
BY CRAIG MOY
Pimlico Design Gallery is one of Toronto’s best gallery boutiques for artistic home products
You needn’t take home a $10,000 painting to prove your good taste. An art book, handcrafted home-decor item or even a unique piece of jewellery from one of these 10 gallery boutiques will do the trick.
Best of Toronto #3: a primadonna-approved exercise regime at Barreworks
1 Gourmet donuts like blueberry balsamic from Paulette’s Original Donuts and Chicken.
2 Charming and whimsical decor items from Corktown’s Even & Odd.
3 Challenging yourself to a workout using a ballerina’s barre at BarreWorks
4 A photo op at the iconic Flatiron Building with its wedge-shaped edifice separating Front and Wellington streets.
5 Chowing down on the khao soi, a Northern Thailand specialty of yellow noodles in curry gravy, at Sukho Thai.
We searched through the best shops in Toronto and emerged with spring 2013′s trendiest, most inspired indulgences—all in the brightest of seasonal hues, naturally.
Check out the gallery below for a closer look at the 25 carefully curated accessories, baubles and beautiful home products in our spring 2013 shopping guide.