Thrift shopping is one of life’s great joys if you have a keen eye, know what you like and how to throw things together and make them work, instead of relying on the sometimes outplayed high street stores to tell you what to wear. If this sounds like you, then my dear friend, this is you’re lucky day…(if you live in Toronto!)
Value Village – www.valuevillage.com/
There is unfortunately no equivalent to Primark in Canada. Yes there is Winners but if Winners was a relative of Primark, it would be its snobby richer sister, who married into a wealthy family and is now too good to go to family gatherings. Value Village is the closest Primark experience I have had in Toronto. The prices are cheap, there’s just enough clothes scattered on the floor along with the odd employee who just doesn’t give a crap about customer service, that really makes me feel at home. FYI I bought the $9.99 bag, and red velvet shirt in the video below.
The Kind Exchange – kindexchange.ca/locations/
The Kind Exchange is a step up from thrift shopping as we currently know it. In fact the first time I shopped there, it took me a while to even realize the clothes were second hand. The layout, the customer service and the lack of coat hangers on the floor left me baffled. Similar to the other thrift shops, you can pick up some bargain pieces but more uniquely, you can actually sell your unwanted clothes there! This takes the edge off the guilt that sometimes accompanies an impromptu shopping spree, as you can make a bit of cash on the side or opt for store credit. There are various locations dotted around Toronto and they also have a charity section in which a percentage of the profits goes to the Canadian Cancer Society. Now that’s feel good shopping.
Shoney’s Clothing – 222 Augusta Av, Toronto, Phone:+1 416-979-0700
Shoney clothing has been in Kensington Market for as long as any living person in Toronto can remember (maybe). The owner of the store, will always have a story to tell you about Kensington Market’s hey day and was without doubt a lothario in his early years. The prices aren’t out of this world, so if you want down and dirty cheap, it may not be for you but there are some amazing one offs . Real vintage stuff and without doubt, if you dig deep enough, you will find some treasure that even Captain Jack Sparrow would be jealous of!
Black Market – blackmarkettoronto.com/
Cheap as chips is the only way I could describe this place. Down some dark and dank steps on Queen Street West lies the Black Market basement, where wait for it….EVERYTHING is $10. No lie! Don’t go there looking for jeans but for everything else it’s a sure fire hit. It’s nigh impossible to come out empty handed. Did I mention everything is $10! That’s £5.55 to be exact.
Good Will – goodwill.on.ca/
The Good Will is good indeed, or so I’ve been told. I have been working my way up to going to one for a while and have heard tales of such grandeur that I don’t think I will ever be fully prepared. Apparently there are Good Wills in Toronto in which you don’t pay per item but instead pay for the weight! Imagine. Think of the jewelry, the crop tops, the summer dresses. I get queasy even thinking about it. When I do get myself to one, you guys will be the first to know.
Hope this has been of some use. Let conveyor belt fashion vanish with 2013 and may 2014 be about developing YOU’RE style. don’t be scared, thrift shops don’t bite.
Check out the video I made about shopping in Toronto –