Shopping In Toronto
Condé Nast Traveller India|February - March 2019
Shopping In Toronto

This multicultural city is eclectic with a fondness for retro—especially in Riverside, once a zone of strip clubs that’s the new hipster ground zero.

Karen Burshtein
BRIKA What was started as a small-scale crafts website by friends Kena Paranjape and Jen Lee Koss has become Toronto’s brick-and-mortar answer to Etsy. Everything is handmade, but the homeware, fashion and jewellery selection are more elevated than the knitted tea cosies and braided leather necklaces found at craft fairs of old. And while the makers’ products change all the time, patterned linen-and-cotton napkins from Sweetgum Textiles and Joyo’s cherrywood cuff bracelets are reliable finds. Blue maple-leaf stickers signify an item is Canadian-made. (brika.com)

NASSER VIES SHOES

Getting Nasser Vies to talk about himself is like pulling teeth. But here’s what we know: this Iranian-born gentleman is one of the last remaining artisanal cobblers in the city, and he once made tango shoes for Robert Duvall. Packed into his tiny workroom, which is tucked down a side street, are rolls upon rolls of well-tanned calf leather, books on the Peloponnesian War and young apprentices who stand around like silent disciples absorbing his long-honed skills. Vies creates his elegant footwear out of canvas, leather, snakeskin and suede. He also offers shoemaking courses so that a new generation of cobblers can take the baton. (nasserviesshoes.wordpress.com)

IRISH DESIGN HOUSE

Knitwear maker Sinéad Clarke came to Toronto from Cavan, Ireland, in 2013. She spent the first year selling her designs at pop-ups before opening this chic shop. The interiors feature antique trunks and wardrobes containing the coolest Irish wares: textiles, soap, jumpers and more. The offerings are curated from her favourite brands and her own clothing line, Fada, which she whips up in her back-of-store studio. The vintage-inspired shirt dress with a retro shoe print is especially popular. The common thread through her stock is that everything is handcrafted and rooted in her home country. (theirishdesignhouse.com)

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February - March 2019