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Buying shoes in Montreal (and to a greater extent, Canada)

post #1 of 119
Thread Starter 
I know this has been discussed and I've done some prior research in the SF archives before starting a new thread on the subject, but how the HELL are we Canadians supposed to get our hands on decent footwear at a reasonable price? The selection of quality british dress shoes in Montreal is terrible and even the more middle of the road offerings (Allen Edmonds, Loake) are hard to find and expensive when found. I've considered Ebay but I'm afraid of the brokerage fees and duties. I've also considered buying through the Allen Edmonds warehouse but am reticent for the same reasons.

So anyone with knowledge of the Montreal (and Toronto+Ottawa for that matter) sartorial scene, is there something I"m missing? Are we just that poorly served in the Great White North? Am I going to have to purchase a pair of AE loafers for $350? Should I just forget good shoes and start rocking Sorel boots all the time?
post #2 of 119
There is no where in Canada to buy any high end clothing at a reasonable price. Occasionally I will pick up some things on sale at the end of the season at Harry Rosen, but basically the best place for Canadians to buy is the SF B&S. Most sellers ship as gifts so you don't get killed on customs. It takes a long time, but if you are patient you can build a nice wardrobe on there.
post #3 of 119
I rarely have trouble with USPS/Canada Post. I think one item in the last 20 has come with additional duties?
post #4 of 119
We may as well start a list of what we have for shoes. It may also help newcomers. In Toronto... Brooks Brothers Re-branded fine shoes Made in England (Peal, Alfred Sargent, Crockett and Jones)(and Alden US) Royal Bank Plaza 200 Bay St Ste UR1, Lower Level Toronto, ON M5J 2J1 Neighbourhood: Financial District (416) 368-0162 David's Shoes Bay & Bloor Locations & Phone numbers: Dack's (Now closed) Inventory currently being liquidated Includes re-branded Cheaney & Church's ..but who knows what's left in what sizes? Anyone been here lately? Harry Rosen At least they carry Canali shoes (small selection but better than nothing?) Holt Renfrew They do carry John Lobb but they never go on sale, ever. This is a good Canadian resource for deals RedFlagDeals This site, along with Styleforum has plenty of members that will give us a heads-up on when the sales are coming. On the whole, as you know, Canadian retailers have shameless mark-ups and even on sale, the prices only barely become reasonable, but at least reasonable. Canada sale prices = American retail prices Harry Rosen's Outlet Store - Mississauga, Ontario, Canada Heartland Town Centre 5985 Rodeo Drive Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, (905) 890-3100 There are several boutiques in the Yorkville-Hazelton Lanes area (just North of Bloor at Bay) that will carry some Italian brands like Gucci, etc but who knows if or when they ever have sales?
post #5 of 119
The above posters are correct. The only time I find it worthwhile to purchase something at an actual Canadian store is the winter/Boxing Day sale at Harry Rosen's. Last year I purchased $450 AEs for $300, which is not really a 'deal' but at that price it is no longer a rip off.

I would seriously look into purchasing shoes from the U.K. The pound sterling has been taking a dive lately and the Canadian dollar has been doing relatively well. This translates to steep discounts, and we already don't have to pay VAT. There are many brand comparable to AEs that could be purchased for around CDN $200 (shipping included). Take a look at Herring shoes or pediwear, and remember U.K. sizes are one size lower than the equivalent U.S. size.
post #6 of 119
if you're resourceful and patient, there are any deals to be had. I'm happy to proxy items form the US for a fee..................holla via PM.
post #7 of 119
Save for what Man of Lint has posted, it pretty much sucks in Canada in terms of buying decent shoes. Your only hope is either the buy and sell forum or order off the internet and hope like hell the seller wasn't a tool and used UPS to ship. I rather deal with Canada Post any day of the week than UPS. As for the remaining Dacks inventory, it's down to the dregs at their retail outlet in downtown Oakville. I did score a pair of black Cheney made Long Wings which I'm really happy with a few months ago. It all depends on your shoe size.
post #8 of 119
The other challenge is even with NAFTA, I think there is still duty on footwear of about 20% even on AE, Alden and Quoddy to protect the remnents of the Canadian footwear industry which essentially is safety footwear, cowboy boots and winterboots.
post #9 of 119
I pretty much give up buying any fine shoes from local stores in Canada. Rather, I buy them online from UK online stores. Takes about 7-14 days.
post #10 of 119
Fellow Canuck here and everyone is right. (actually Canada sucks in many other areas as well)

Always always try to use any countries government run post service and avoid UPS like the plague. UPS will absolutely make sure you pay the most taxes and duties as well as thier ridiculous brokerage service. UPS = U Pay Us BIGTIME.

I have always had good luck with stuff coming from UK in terms of shipping and no duty. It really helps if the shipper is willing to help you out and lowball the value of the item greatly.

I found out yesterday that Harry Rosen in Montreal carries tom ford shoes now. The were asking $1695 for the limited selection which amazingly appeared to be blake stitched!

The difficult thing as well is that if you do order shoes from UK you have no way of trying to see if the last shape is for you.

This is part of the reason I started to make my own lasts. I commissioned my first pair of shoes with them from Cliff Roberts and will get the trial pair in a month or so. Who knows, if this does work out maybe I can start a last making service for Montreal members.
post #11 of 119
Bodileys is my sole source for shoes. Free shipping on C&Js and no customs issues. Sarah Dudley is a blessing and I highly recommend her.
post #12 of 119
If you are in Montreal, I would check out Clusier ( I remember seeing some nice Grenson there last time when I visited.
post #13 of 119
Great list, Man of Lint... maybe add Harry Young Shoes to the list? I have only been there once, but I've seen AE's in the window...

Harry Young

67 Front Street East at Church
Phone: 416-363-2015

1421 Yonge Street
(just south of St.Clair)
Phone: 416-924-4431
post #14 of 119
L'Uomo in Montreal carries both Edward Green and John Lobb.
post #15 of 119
Agree with all the above.

I've ordered shoes from Pediwear and directly from AE - never any issues, and what I do pay in shipping and customs fees (the latter only with AE) more than compensates for whatever markup I'd be paying if I bought in town.

For example, I just picked up two pairs of discontinued AE models (Broadstreet and Westport - not seconds, sorry Vox) for $200, and I've only paid $26 in brokerage and $20 shipping. Worth it, IMO.

I've also bought from Sausages (Elite Forum) and retailtherapy4all on EBay - excellent sellers.

Finally, I've scored great deals on B&S here.
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