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The Ultimate Toronto Thread

induere_to

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My wife and I are taking a little trip to Toronto this weekend. I havent been since I was 12, so I'd love recommendations on things we cant miss, restaurants, City treasures, museums/ cultural things and of course, places to shop!

Many thanks in advance!
Visit me.

I have so many questions.
 

maebach

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My wife and I are taking a little trip to Toronto this weekend. I havent been since I was 12, so I'd love recommendations on things we cant miss, restaurants, City treasures, museums/ cultural things and of course, places to shop!

Many thanks in advance!
My 2 cents:

Spier and Mackay would be a good stop to shop. You also have the usual spots like Harry Rosen, Holt Renfrew etc.

Saturday morning you can go to St. Lawrence market and distillery district. The market is best saturday mornings. Then walk west towards downtown. Then explore the financial district, Eaton's centre, Yorkville (work your way north).

ROM is a great museum. AGO is good too. I prefer ROM over the AGO as I'm not as interested in art.

Ripleys aquarium is great. If the jays are in town you can catch a game as well.

For food, depends on budget. I find pizza libretto, piano piano, enoteca sociale, amano pasta, wvrst, bar hop (if you like craft beer) and Pai/Khao san road (Thai) all really good value. If you have a larger budget you can try aloette, alo, canoe, jacobs etc.
 

induere_to

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If my perspective matters as someone with a bit of a reversed vantage point from some of the rest of you, I'd like to point out that I currently have roughly 30 competitors downtown Toronto alone. Bespoke, made-to-measure or whatever you want to call them, they all have their clientele, they all think they're the best. Garrison made a $750k jacket for Drake before the 5th game of the Conference Finals with some pointless Guinness World Record of 325 diamonds embroidered into it. King & Bay has their athletes and Davido Afnani has his top guys too. A close colleague of mine used to work at Indochino and used to have real estate giants, car dealers and entrepreneurs all buy suits off him by the dozens.

Across the street from Spier & Mackay is Don Alfonso and newly opened Carisma; sitting between the two is an English school for Chinese students and parked outside along the curb are Bentleys and Ferraris driven by guys that look like they're not a day over 20.

I used to work at Holt Renfrew, I know first-hand what it is that people spend their money on and traditional classic menswear is far from it. I'd have guys try on Armani Collezioni in sizes that were way too tight and they'd leave the store with the size down; with the commission on a $2195 suit, I'm not going to fight it. When I walked into Harry Rosen about a year ago a friend of mine working there pointed at my Allen Edmonds and told me they were getting rid of them; when I asked why, he said "we always get these Styleforum nerds coming in to try stuff on for hours to leave without buying anything so they can go home and buy them on-line for cheaper elsewhere. We just want to carry brands that will actually sell." I'm sorry but I laughed so hard I had to use my inhaler to re-gather myself.

The population of Toronto has A LOT of money. I really don't care what people spend their money on. No one is right, no one is wrong. But there are still homeless shelters gasping for funds, Covenant House is trying to stop a billion dollar sex trafficking industry and all day long I get to watch the Toronto Police Parking Enforcement hand out $240 parking tickets to cars parked behind a sign that says 'motorcycles only' bent behind a tree that no one could ever see unless they knew it was there.

What people do with their money is up to them. And Toronto is definitely not a menswear wasteland.
 

borbor

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GTA Shoe Shine
Robs Best Foot Forward
Valentino Garemi

Robs had an insane price for some of his Saphir products. It did not go well for me because I went over a few doors into Spieir and Mackay's Toronto location and walked out with three shirts. Savings gone...
thanks for the recommendation on rob; got em there.
 

WatchMeSpend

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When I walked into Harry Rosen about a year ago a friend of mine working there pointed at my Allen Edmonds and told me they were getting rid of them; when I asked why, he said "we always get these Styleforum nerds coming in to try stuff on for hours to leave without buying anything so they can go home and buy them on-line for cheaper elsewhere. We just want to carry brands that will actually sell." I'm sorry but I laughed so hard I had to use my inhaler to re-gather myself.
Well that explains a lot. HR also had weird models that I didn't like and ordered their shoes with the rubber tap sole to make them different. I don't think I have ever gone into a store to try stuff on to buy online. I've HAD to buy online because I couldn't get what I wanted. If I had someone measure me up, I'd feel obligated to buy from them to pay for their service. I've worked in retail and have seen stuff like that before.

I feel however that there is an element here on SF wherby if one walks into a store and doesn't buy the top shelf shoe at full price, that person is categorized as poor and chastised.
 

abantigen

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If my perspective matters as someone with a bit of a reversed vantage point from some of the rest of you, I'd like to point out that I currently have roughly 30 competitors downtown Toronto alone. Bespoke, made-to-measure or whatever you want to call them, they all have their clientele, they all think they're the best. Garrison made a $750k jacket for Drake before the 5th game of the Conference Finals with some pointless Guinness World Record of 325 diamonds embroidered into it. King & Bay has their athletes and Davido Afnani has his top guys too. A close colleague of mine used to work at Indochino and used to have real estate giants, car dealers and entrepreneurs all buy suits off him by the dozens.

Across the street from Spier & Mackay is Don Alfonso and newly opened Carisma; sitting between the two is an English school for Chinese students and parked outside along the curb are Bentleys and Ferraris driven by guys that look like they're not a day over 20.

I used to work at Holt Renfrew, I know first-hand what it is that people spend their money on and traditional classic menswear is far from it. I'd have guys try on Armani Collezioni in sizes that were way too tight and they'd leave the store with the size down; with the commission on a $2195 suit, I'm not going to fight it. When I walked into Harry Rosen about a year ago a friend of mine working there pointed at my Allen Edmonds and told me they were getting rid of them; when I asked why, he said "we always get these Styleforum nerds coming in to try stuff on for hours to leave without buying anything so they can go home and buy them on-line for cheaper elsewhere. We just want to carry brands that will actually sell." I'm sorry but I laughed so hard I had to use my inhaler to re-gather myself.

The population of Toronto has A LOT of money. I really don't care what people spend their money on. No one is right, no one is wrong. But there are still homeless shelters gasping for funds, Covenant House is trying to stop a billion dollar sex trafficking industry and all day long I get to watch the Toronto Police Parking Enforcement hand out $240 parking tickets to cars parked behind a sign that says 'motorcycles only' bent behind a tree that no one could ever see unless they knew it was there.

What people do with their money is up to them. And Toronto is definitely not a menswear wasteland.
This was really insightful. It's so easy to forget that a menswear scene outside of the Styleforum world exists because we rarely see well dressed people in our regular lives. So we assume all the people who care about clothes and have good taste must be on this site. When people in this thread lament that Toronto is a menswear wasteland, I think what they are saying is that we don't have easy access to relatively affordable brands that are generally approved by people on this forum. Meanwhile as induere_to pointed out, shops that are catering to the status driven clientele are thriving in Toronto because that's where the money is.

For instance, the Spier & Mackay thread is one of the most active threads on this site whereas Garrison barley has a presence. But Garrison has more social media followers and is endorsing Drake and the biggest sports stars in Toronto. If you are successful professional (or just born rich) and want to signal how much of a baller you are without spending hours learning about nitty gritty details of clothes on the internet, you would probably be drawn to the kind of lifestyle marketing Garrison employs.

To echo induere_to's point, this isn't to say status driven or "dress for the job you want" type of people are inferior to us Styleforum nerds. At the end of the day, we are all drawn to clothes because we think it signals something about ourselves to the world. The difference is how much of that is aimed at impressing people in the real world vs dudes on the internet.
 

KWang94

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I used to work at Holt Renfrew, I know first-hand what it is that people spend their money on and traditional classic menswear is far from it. I'd have guys try on Armani Collezioni in sizes that were way too tight and they'd leave the store with the size down; with the commission on a $2195 suit, I'm not going to fight it. When I walked into Harry Rosen about a year ago a friend of mine working there pointed at my Allen Edmonds and told me they were getting rid of them; when I asked why, he said "we always get these Styleforum nerds coming in to try stuff on for hours to leave without buying anything so they can go home and buy them on-line for cheaper elsewhere. We just want to carry brands that will actually sell." I'm sorry but I laughed so hard I had to use my inhaler to re-gather myself.
I dunno why I found this shit so funny lmao
 

gmehra

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Well that explains a lot. HR also had weird models that I didn't like and ordered their shoes with the rubber tap sole to make them different. I don't think I have ever gone into a store to try stuff on to buy online. I've HAD to buy online because I couldn't get what I wanted. If I had someone measure me up, I'd feel obligated to buy from them to pay for their service. I've worked in retail and have seen stuff like that before.

I feel however that there is an element here on SF wherby if one walks into a store and doesn't buy the top shelf shoe at full price, that person is categorized as poor and chastised.
what if the store you are going to has the brand but not the makeup you want. for example you go into harry rosen they have approx 15 makeups of allen edmonds. you can go in there, get sized then go online to see hundreds of makeups. thats the issue other than price, stores just cant beat selection of going online
 

chiggyv

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I dunno why I found this shit so funny lmao
Probably because it's true. I mean I'm definitely guilty of it but always tried to be respectful of a Sales Associates time. I go when it's not busy and usually am upfront that I'm checking out sizing, leather, etc.

For me Harry's AE prices never really reflected the fact that the shoes were constantly on sale across the border.
 

WatchMeSpend

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what if the store you are going to has the brand but not the makeup you want. for example you go into harry rosen they have approx 15 makeups of allen edmonds. you can go in there, get sized then go online to see hundreds of makeups. thats the issue other than price, stores just cant beat selection of going online
If I have to drive somewhat far and I already had 5 pairs and I know my size, I would just order online.
Harry Rosen purposely ordered different shoes by adding features and calling them “Canadian” names.

I don’t live nearby a HR, so when I go there, I need to see what I want . They had odd pebble grain derbys that I really didn’t like and some others that were different in a non pleasing way. I did go in with the intention of ordering at the closest one and for some reason was ignored maybe because I asked for a specific sales person that I guess wasn’t there at that moment. They had given me their card when I bought some AE shoe cream a month before.

I left and two weeks later, I returned and the prices went up, so I gave up. AE had some sales in the USA and because of the no duty, free shipping and lower prices on the stuff that I wanted, I ordered multiple pairs and did so on the next sale. Worked out even with the exchange.
 

bdavro23

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My 2 cents:

Spier and Mackay would be a good stop to shop. You also have the usual spots like Harry Rosen, Holt Renfrew etc.

Saturday morning you can go to St. Lawrence market and distillery district. The market is best saturday mornings. Then walk west towards downtown. Then explore the financial district, Eaton's centre, Yorkville (work your way north).

ROM is a great museum. AGO is good too. I prefer ROM over the AGO as I'm not as interested in art.

Ripleys aquarium is great. If the jays are in town you can catch a game as well.

For food, depends on budget. I find pizza libretto, piano piano, enoteca sociale, amano pasta, wvrst, bar hop (if you like craft beer) and Pai/Khao san road (Thai) all really good value. If you have a larger budget you can try aloette, alo, canoe, jacobs etc.
Thank you for this ^. St. Lawrence market was on our list for Saturday, so the confirmation is helpful. We are staying not too far from Yorkville, so I have scoped out a few little places to check out.

I have to be honest, Toronto is far, far bigger than I expected. I guess I didnt really know what to expect, but it feels much larger than Chicago.
 

WatchMeSpend

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Thank you for this ^. St. Lawrence market was on our list for Saturday, so the confirmation is helpful. We are staying not too far from Yorkville, so I have scoped out a few little places to check out.

I have to be honest, Toronto is far, far bigger than I expected. I guess I didnt really know what to expect, but it feels much larger than Chicago.
Well the traffic sucks just as bad. You'll feel right at home if you drive in it. No Lou Malnatis or Giordanos..:(
 

benbento

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Going to rephrase a question I posted last week. I'm attending a formal event in less than a week and have no shoes. With no time to shop online, I ask you this:

If you had to buy a pair of cap toe oxfords (preferably welted) from a bricks & mortar shop in Toronto on a budget of $300 - $500 this week, where would you go? What brands would look for?

Brooks Brothers? Harry Rosen? Gravity Pope? Woolridge (thinking it's probably too expensive)? I rarely suit up, so not looking to spend a fortune. At the same time, don't want to buy something crappy. Help!
 

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