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Best Toronto Thrifting?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I moved to Toronto two years ago and have been trying to track down the best shops for thrifting but it's a pretty big city and I rely mainly on public transport, so it can be hard to explore. Can anyone recommend some great shops or neighborhoods for thrifting in Toronto? I've found a small cluster of shops in Kensington Market but I'd love to know what else there is.

I've looked for another thread that answers this question but didn't find one, if I've missed it feel free to direct me to another thread.
post #2 of 13
Consignment wise -
There's a place on Avenue north of Lawrence, on the west side of Avenue. Mostly women's stuff but some limited men's.
There's a men's only place, really good stuff but pricey for being 2nd hand, at Eglington & Yonge (on Montgommery, east of Yonge, kinda tucked away behind the Timmy's).
There a place supposedly on Mt. Pleasant but never been so can't comment.
There's one on Jane, north of Bloor, near Annette. Never been, can't comment.

There's lots of vintage places downtown (Kensington, Queen west, King west) etc. You can't really list them all since they are lots.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much, Syl, that's a massive help to me. I had no idea there was a men's thrift store, I need to check that out.
post #4 of 13
syl wins!
post #5 of 13
There's this store north of Yonge and Eglinton at 5 Broadway Ave that's a consignment/pre-owned men's only clothing shop. I can't comment on their selection as I've never been there, but if you check it out, maybe you can let the rest of us here know. The name of the place is Off The Cuff, and they've shown up a few times when I've been searching for thrift shops as well.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you Steezy! I just looked at their website and it looks quite promising, and it's very close to the subway stop there, which is great.
post #7 of 13
Are there any good thrift shops outside of Toronto in the GTA? Oakville, Mississauga, Brampton, Etobicoke?
post #8 of 13

In terms of thrift stores, there's nowhere in Toronto (or the GTA) where you're going to find high-end stuff with any kind of frequency. If you're trying to build a business wardrobe or sell on eBay for a living, then it's not going to work.

 

If you have a few grand to spend, then the best consignment shop is the Extoggery on Avenue Road. Everything there is SF-approved, and I've bought Brioni, Cucinelli, Borrelli, Prada, etc. there. A Brioni suit in excellent condition will run you $500. And they've had Brioni sportcoats kicking around for months at $400.

 

Off the Cuff isn't what it used to be. They get in a lot of stuff from younger guys at Yonge & Eglinton who think that Etro is the height of men's fashion. The Extoggery pulls in customers from Rosedale--including one confirmed billionaire sighting.

 

Also know that you will NEVER find a pair of decent shoes in any Toronto second-hand store. And ISAIA, Kiton, and Borrelli tailored pieces don't exist in the city.

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonylamer View Post

In terms of thrift stores, there's nowhere in Toronto (or the GTA) where you're going to find high-end stuff with any kind of frequency.

If you go to thrift stores occasionally, this would be true. This will be because there are full time flippers who scour the stores on a daily basis. By the time you get there after work, all the good stuff was already bought.

Quote:
If you're trying to build a business wardrobe or sell on eBay for a living, then it's not going to work.
If you have a few grand to spend, then the best consignment shop is the Extoggery on Avenue Road. Everything there is SF-approved, and I've bought Brioni, Cucinelli, Borrelli, Prada, etc. there. A Brioni suit in excellent condition will run you $500. And they've had Brioni sportcoats kicking around for months at $400.

Agreed, and make an effort to get to know the staff. If you are a regular, and extra nice to them, they may even check in the back for you. If you don't. they'll probably just blink their eyes at you and say, 'we don't do that here.'

Quote:
Off the Cuff isn't what it used to be. They get in a lot of stuff from younger guys at Yonge & Eglinton who think that Etro is the height of men's fashion. The Extoggery pulls in customers from Rosedale--including one confirmed billionaire sighting.

He was probably selling or donating. Millionaires or billionaires don't have to shop at second hand stores.

Quote:
Also know that you will NEVER find a pair of decent shoes in any Toronto second-hand store. And ISAIA, Kiton, and Borrelli tailored pieces don't exist in the city.

Not true. They most certainly do exist. You are not looking in the right places at the right times.

I'll be generous. Here are 2 places:
Try Goodwill Sherbourne location downtown but be prepared to fight for it. The flippers there are extremely aggressive. This is why I stopped donating to that location but that store is geographically located just south of Rosedale, an upper class area.

Also, there used to be the Emblem Road distribution Centre for Goodwill. I don't know if it still exists or not but that one location was the motherlode. From that one location they distribute to the entire citys other locations. They also sell by weight. Example- a bag of shoes for $20 and if you can spot a good pair or two in a bag, you would just leave the rest. If this location still exists then be advised that the regulars are very agressive and rude so be prepared to stand your ground. If you haven't the stamina then stick with Extoggery or Ebay.

If there are any regular Toronto thrifters on SF, don't expect them to tell you their 'secret' hunting grounds on a public forum such as this one.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
I really appreciate all the advice and insight, thank you so much.

Good question clarksdb, I'm actually in Etobicoke. A new thrift store recently opened on the Lakeshore near 33rd on the south side which has a lot of menswear stock, though it seems especially good for sweaters. I was disapointed in the shirts and pants and they have nothing for shoes or most accessories. But it's worth checking out. There's another place near 6th on the north side called TNT ( I think) which is mostly an army surplus store but has some interesting shirts from the 50s, 60s and 70s which is stock they've had for decades. I don't shop there often because the staff is incredibly unpleasant.

Thanks Tonylamer, that's disappointing about the shoes. I've been trying hard to win shoes on eBay and failing miserably. My shoe collection is weak.

I'm looking for casual wear as well as higher end stuff, I'm one of those people I spired by SF to recreate my wardrobe and I'm starting from scratch. So, I still need items like Oxford shirts and good trousers. I work in publishing, which is largely casual these days so I don't often get to wear a really fine suit.

I work at home Man Of Lint, which allows me to Neal out early (at least after I've dropped my son off at school) so hopefully that's an advantage.

And I'm looking for a start thrifting in the GTA, so all of these suggestions are very welcome.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonylamer View Post

In terms of thrift stores, there's nowhere in Toronto (or the GTA) where you're going to find high-end stuff with any kind of frequency. If you're trying to build a business wardrobe or sell on eBay for a living, then it's not going to work.

If you have a few grand to spend, then the best consignment shop is the Extoggery on Avenue Road. Everything there is SF-approved, and I've bought Brioni, Cucinelli, Borrelli, Prada, etc. there. A Brioni suit in excellent condition will run you $500. And they've had Brioni sportcoats kicking around for months at $400.

Off the Cuff isn't what it used to be. They get in a lot of stuff from younger guys at Yonge & Eglinton who think that Etro is the height of men's fashion. The Extoggery pulls in customers from Rosedale--including one confirmed billionaire sighting.

Also know that you will NEVER find a pair of decent shoes in any Toronto second-hand store. And ISAIA, Kiton, and Borrelli tailored pieces don't exist in the city.

I agree with most of this. I'm surprised you had that much success with Extoggery given the men's section is a hanger or 2 (at least when last I visited yrs ago).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Orchard View Post

I really appreciate all the advice and insight, thank you so much.
[...]
And I'm looking for a start thrifting in the GTA, so all of these suggestions are very welcome.

As you can tell, I've visited most of the places in the city and as previously mentioned, it's just not worth visiting frequently. Some of the better options would be the warehouse stores (e.g. Harry Rosen in Mississauga), Lipson in Etobicoke, Holts in Vaughn etc.

Regardless, upscale fashion in Toronto cannot, whatsoever, compete with the US. If you travel even once a year to the States, it's probably not worth buying locally. And I realize this may run afoul of people who want to support local merchants etc. but, imho, the exorbitant markups cannot be justified.
post #12 of 13

Quote:

Originally Posted by Man Of Lint View Post

Not true. They most certainly do exist. You are not looking in the right places at the right times.
I'll be generous. Here are 2 places:
Try Goodwill Sherbourne location downtown but be prepared to fight for it. The flippers there are extremely aggressive. This is why I stopped donating to that location but that store is geographically located just south of Rosedale, an upper class area.
 

 

 

 

 

That's interesting. I've found some nice things at that location, but, like you said, the flippers there are awful. For others reading this thread, the racks are mobbed by a particular type of "scary-drifter" flipper as soon as they leave the back room. I've seen them literally charge a cart full of flatware. I've always thought that it might be possible to camp out in the store and find something amazing, but it's so filthy and degrading that I'd rather just use the B&S.

 

I've seen a ton of dated Armani, Zegna, and Samuelsohn there, but Italian stuff? I'd love to hear any stories.

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
So, now I'm wondering if Torontonions (sp? Torontonians?) would be better off sifting through the B&S, EBay and making yearly trips to the States.

I'm from Halifax, and if you think Toronto is bad for menswear.....
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