June 18th, 2010
April 2009: Topshop opens its flagship store in Soho.
March 2010: Topshop begins shipping online orders to Canada.
One more sleep: Topshop arrives in Toronto.
Yes, tomorrow Toronto gets Topshop access in the flesh thanks to Ossington favourite, Jonathan + Olivia. J+O is expanding to carry a range of lines from the high street retailer including Topshop Unique, Boutique and even select pairs of shoes. As for La Moss’ latest collection, look for it in-store this fall.
No word yet on pricing but if the supply is limited, get your elbows ready—we predict a riot at the racks.
Topshop in store at Jonathan + Olivia from June 19, 2010, 49 Ossington Ave., Toronto, 416-849-5956, http://jonathanandolivia.com
May 20th, 2010
It used to be frowned upon as a symbol of bad luck, but today good knives are one of the most coveted wedding gifts for couples who love to cook.
At Knife, you’ll find a stunning selection of Japanese knives (most are handmade) plus water stones to keep them breathtakingly sharp. Owner Eugene (a one-time chef) is on hand to talk you through the various types, and will also sharpen blades, if you bring them in.
Never a dull moment!
Knife, 658 Queen St. W., Toronto, 647-996-8609, www.knifetoronto.com
May 14th, 2010
After a long and faithful friendship, beginning in high school and spanning, well, until last week, it’s time to say "bye bye, burrito."
Now that we’ve discovered the griddled tastiness that is an arepa, we want nothing to do with you again.
Arepa Café serves up delicious cornmeal pockets stuffed with chunky chicken, avocado, red onions, coriander and cheddar cheese ($8). Pair it with a beet-parsley salad ($4) or a fresh watercress salad with plump tomatoes and pickled onions ($3.75).
The space is hip and airy with punches of bright colour. Service is swift and amiable.
I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Arepa Cafe, 490 Queen St. W., Toronto, 416-362-4111, http://arepacafe.blogspot.com/
May 11th, 2010
Like so many little girls, we dreamed of following in Margot Fonteyn’s footsteps. But these days we’ve ditched our pink satin pointes for ballerinas in every colour.
Chocolate Shoes in the Burroughes Building carries ballet flats ($45) in black patent, violet suede and tangerine lace, to name a few. You can even add a pompom, bow or corsage ($6) if you like.
So, if you see someone pirouetting down Queen Street, do stop and say hello.
Chocolate Shoes, 2nd Floor, 639 Queen St., Toronto, 647-558-3947, http://chocolateshoes-toronto.blogspot.com/
March 16th, 2010
Candles aren’t the most original hostess gift, but the right scent should guarantee a return invitation.
New York-based candle company Joya creates coveted fragrances encased in striking porcelain vessels ($64). Our picks are Himalayan Goji Berry and Quince and Heliotrope Petals—the perfect home décor gift with a burn time of 75 hours.
Chat wittily and offer to help with dishes and you're in for good.
At Love of Mine, 781 Queen St. W., Toronto, 416-368-4999, www.loveofmineboutique.com
February 19th, 2010
The city has coffee bars and tea lounges aplenty, but where to go for an energy boosting shot of yerba mate?
Look no further than El Almacen, Toronto’s first yerba mate café. Made from the leaves of a tree that’s in the same family as holly, Argentina’s national drink tastes a bit like green tea and is loaded with anti-oxidants.
At Almacen, your mate is served in a traditional cured gourd with a bombilla (a filter-tipped metal straw) to sip it from.
Mate can be drunk at any time of the day, but the most important part of the tradition is that it’s drunk en masse.
Get your Gaucho and head on over.
El Almacen, 1078 Queen St. W., Toronto, 416-516-2898.
February 2nd, 2010
What’s a stitch 'n bitch without a little yarn envy?
Turn up to your next shindig with bundles of Americo Original's beautiful yarns and you’ll certainly give the girls something to bitch about.
A Queen Street gem, the shop carries unique, handspun yarns (alpaca, wool, cotton) in piles of colours. You can also find custom knitwear patterns and accessories as well as customized leather couches, handbags, and boots all crafted with the finest Argentine leather.
Just make sure someone doesn’t swap their acrylic tat for your good stuff, or needles will fly.
Americo Original, 456 Queen St. W., Toronto, 416-777-9747, www.americo.ca
January 26th, 2010
Although seriously shortsighted, Dorothy Parker never wore her horn-rimmed glasses in public. “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses,” she observed.
How times have changed. Lure over the lads in a pair of über-cool Moscot specs. Hyman Moscot began selling ready-made spectacles from a pushcart in New York in the early 1900s and four generations later Moscot remains the go-to for the chicest geeks around.
Pick from two collections – Moscot Originals, based on the company’s vintage designs ('30s to '70s) and Moscot Spirit, which fuses retro styling with modern design.
The website is very cool and even has a 'try on’ option where you choose a face that most matches yours, select a pair of frames, and voilà! Fancy Four Eyes.
At Spectacle, 752 Queen St. W., Toronto, 416-603-0123, www.spectacle-eyewear.com
January 25th, 2010
Macarons might be the new cupcakes in the land of confection, but when it comes to skin care, we’re still faithful to the delicious cupcake soaps ($6) at Tval.
Made with a blend of vegetable oils and cocoa butter, the soaps are gentle on the skin and come in a variety of flavours like blueberry, chocolate-almond and banana cherry pie.
Bring a bunch to your next girlie gathering – just make sure no one takes a bite.
Tval, 1-799 Queen St. W., Toronto, 416-815-7627, www.tvalskincare.com
October 26th, 2009
The craft-loving shopper has no shortage of options in Toronto, and joining the city’s handmade community is a new boutique boasting bags, belts and baubles from colourful Peru.
Sure, we’d rather be snapping up handicrafts in Cuzco, but for now, Queen West will happily do.
Lady Mosquito, 1020 Queen St. W., Toronto, 647-637-9335, www.ladymosquito.ca