A little off the beaten path, the strip of Dundas West that stretches from Grace Street, near Trinity Bellwoods Park, past Ossington, to Dufferin is one of the coolest in the city. Home to some amazing vintage stores, great places to eat, and, of course, the best darn lazing-around park in the city, this neighbourhood just gets cooler every year. One of our favourite things about shopping here is that most of the boutiques are owned by young, awesome women who, beyond curating a great stock, create relaxed and friendly environments and are happy to give you styling tips.
Plaid Magazine, an independent Toronto fashion and lifestyle publication, is hosting a vintage crawl this Tuesday, Oct. 23rd, from 7 pm until midnight. Over twenty boutiques will be participating, so whether you’re looking to explore the neighbourhood, or already familiar with some favourites, this is a great time to shop!
While Plaid’s crawl features stops from Bloor to Kensington to Queen, we’re focusing on Dundas West.
Here’s a guide to where to shop, eat and grab coffee on Dundas West!
Getting there: You can take the 63 Ossington bus Southbound from Ossington Station on the Bloor/Danforth line and get off at Dundas and Ossington, or you can take the 505 Streetcar West from Dundas Station and get off at Grace St.
Magwood (1418 Dundas St. W.)
Run by the ever-elegant Sarah Magwood, the clothes in this consignment shop are usually a bit (or, sometimes, a lot) out of most of our price range. But the jewellery and accessories are priced accessibly, and the space is seriously inspiring. IF YOU LOVE: Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, high fashion elegance, Grande Dames of old Hollywood Cinema.
Dalston Grey (1317 Dundas St. W.)
Easily my favourite shop on the strip, Dalston Grey combines new and vintage, and the vintage is extremely reasonably priced. They also have a good variety of sizes, despite being a small shop. Some of my favourite pieces have come from here. Favourite? An oversized, overdyed vintage sweater in muted pink, jade and grey tones, and a yellow silk blouse with a bow-tie neck. IF YOU LOVE: The style of ladies like Bat for Lashes Natasha Khan and Rookie’s Tavi Gevinson, separates that look great in class or on Friday night, or you’re looking for a formal dress that’s more cool than poufy.
The Monkey’s Paw (1229 Dundas St. W.)
This is one of the coolest bookstores in the city, where hidden treasures like first editions of Ginsberg poetry are tucked beside campy instruction books from the 50s and cool astronomy manuals. This is the best place to buy a gift for a quirky friend.
Penny Arcade (1177 Dundas St. W.)
A vintage shop with more of a selection than most on the strip, they have great picks in almost every category: Knits, shoes, dresses, denim jackets, cozy plaids, even a small section of kids stuff. My favourite find from here? A floor-length snake-print tshirt dress, and an oversized red and white silk tshirt top that is my constant party go-to.
IF YOU LOVE: Vintage. There’s something for everyone here.
Bridge + Bardot (1138 Dundas St. W.)
A newcomer to the strip, Bridge + Bardot is saturated, sexy, 70s-style clothes that will make you feel like you’re living a surreal LA fantasy. IF YOU LOVE: The aesthetic of films like Boogie Nights, the style of girls like Chloe Sevigny and Kirsten Dunst.
Armed (1024 Dundas St. W.)
Designer Desiree Girlato sells her own jewellery in her space, and hosts guests designers and vintage items as well.
Grasshopper Records (1167 Dundas St. W.)
At first distinguishable only by a Wu Tang poster and the crates outside, Grasshopper is a new record shop opened by notorious vinyl collector Derek Madison. You’ll find a little bit of everything here.
The Lakeview (1132/1134 Dundas St. W.)
The Lakeview is such a classic that it was featured in episodes of Ready or Not, but a few years ago, new owners took over and rebranded it into a hipster diner featuring delicious comfort food, milkshakes, and more. It’s excellent for people watching, and while the service is a little slow, this gives you ample time to hang in the booths and review your purchases. It’s also open ALL NIGHT LONG.
Gayley’s (1424 Dundas St. W.)
Delicious comfort food, breakfast and sandwiches served in a homey atmosphere.
The Federal (1438 Dundas St. W.)
The best brunch you will ever have, and we’ve had a lot of brunch. Like, a lot. Apparently their Cubano sandwich is amazing, but we’ve only sampled their excellent vegetarian options. They also have house-made soda pop and sometimes, warm apple cider.
OMG Baked Goodness (1561 Dundas St. W.)
Vegan cupcakes, savoury treats, and more!
~ Haley Cullingham
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