Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Toronto's best retail asset is the entrepreneurial spirit driving people to open up shops that capture the zeitgeist of the world at large.

Charla Jones/The Globe and Mail

There's no doubt Toronto boasts an impressive selection of winter-friendly malls. But it's impossible to get any flavour of a city when exposed only to massive chain stores. In fact, Toronto's best retail asset is the entrepreneurial spirit driving people to open up shops that capture the zeitgeist of the world at large while distilling it down to a distinct and colourful sensibility. Beyond the posh yet predictable Bloor Street drag (Prada and Gucci and Holts, oh my!), Queen Street West between Bathurst and Beaconsfield should meet all your quirky needs. Hit up Preloved for repurposed vintage, shoe haven Chase Gardée and Magic Pony for animé. Don't let the rough and ratty exteriors along Ossington and Dundas West dissuade you from visiting Ministry of the Interior, Jonathan + Olivia, R.A.D. and Made. Meanwhile, the Rosedale stretch of Yonge Street has become an ever-expanding hotbed of cool (see Narwhal, L'Atelier and kids' stop Advice from a Caterpillar).

SHOP

Hoi Bo bags, from $260

Story continues below advertisement

Forget showy designer bags and their nefarious knock-offs. Sarra Tang, a designer who has set up both studio and shop in the historic Distillery District, coats her canvas carryalls in beeswax, creating a sturdy yet stylish signature effect. In shades of slate and black, they are infinitely wearable; that they repel water and grime makes them impossible to resist. 55 Mill St., Distillery District, Case Goods Warehouse #74; 416-888-8270; www.hoibo.com

Mischa Lampert hats, $195

New York-based Mischa Lampert may not be Canadian but her knack for hat design suggests she knows about chilly climes. Spun, dyed and knit by hand, they stand out thanks to their chunky texture, which resembles braided wool. The Yorkville boutique Augustina stocks an array of Pantone-esque colours. A fur pompom is also available. 138 Cumberland St., 416-922-4248, augustinaboutiques.com

Le Labo fragrances, $132 for 50 ml

For frequent fliers who buy perfume only duty-free, this New York line will take you on an olfactory adventure. Intoxicating formulations aside, the scents are composed and labelled by a specialist while you wait. Le Labo made its debut in Canada last week and is exclusive to 6, a beachy-chic boutique. 6 Roxborough Ave.; 416-960-8080; www.6bygeebeauty.com

EAT

Scaramouche Pasta Bar and Grill

Story continues below advertisement

A recent, albeit conservative, facelift has this Toronto institution lapping up a fresh serving of buzz. If the twinkling view of downtown isn't enough of a draw, it's dynamic duo Carl Korte (partner) and Keith Froggett (chef) who have offered an effortlessly refined dining experience for nearly three decades. Best bets: squash ravioli in truffle ragu and the famous coconut cake. 1 Benvenuto Pl.; 416-961-8011; www.scaramoucherestaurant.com.

SLEEP

Drake Hotel

Check into a cultural tableau vivant/den of inspired design/detail-driven playground, deliberately situated beyond the city's suited-up core. No matter how you define the 19 creatively conceived accommodations (request the larger suite or salon) and lively common spaces (café, lush dining room, lounge and new barbeque joint) expect total sensory stimulation by the time you check out. 1150 Queen St. W.; 416-531-5042; rooms from $189; www.thedrakehotel.ca.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies