After a long year of lockdowns, social distancing and financial hardship, the term “support local” has taken on new meaning. While the pandemic has impacted everyone somehow, the retail world is one industry that has been hit particularly hard, with many shops and businesses either hanging on by a thread or being forced to close their doors for good. Indie boutiques in Toronto are no exception.
While it’s always been a good idea to support independent retailers and help to keep small businesses alive, it’s especially important now that shop owners are beginning to enter the rebuild and recover phase and welcome their clientele back after a long winter.
Toronto recently announced that non-essential retailers would be allowed to reopen their doors at a capacity of 25 per cent. With spring around the corner, there’s no better time to head out on a shopping spree to indie boutiques in Toronto, so you can finally swap out those leggings for something fresh, new and unique.
Don’t be like the rest of them, darling — skip the fast fashion outlets and support one of these chic independent boutiques in the city instead.
We checked out these top 10 indie boutiques in Toronto
Featuring minimalist, contemporary brands and designers like Black Crane, this Queen West indie boutique has been in business for almost 15 years. With its penchant for timeless, wearable and high-quality pieces, it’s not hard to see why Fawn has been able to secure a spot in the hearts, minds and wardrobes of Torontonians for so long.
For over 10 years, Adrift has been carrying an ultra-cool collection of skate lifestyle apparel, including shoes, jeans, hats and boards. Located on Spadina Avenue, the black-owned shop offers a diverse selection of brands, including Levi’s, Converse, Adidas and more.
Nestled behind an unassuming storefront on Ossington Avenue, LoversLand is more than just a boutique — it’s an entire movement of inspirational, whimsical and eclectic style. While it’s primarily a bridal boutique, LoversLand also sells women’s apparel for all occasions, sleepwear, jewelry and more. Stepping into the shop is truly an experience for all five senses and one that’s definitely worth the trip.
4. Chance & Fate
With a thoughtfully curated collection of up-and-coming designers and elegant neutrals, Chance & Fate is ideal for the modern woman looking to own her style and up her confidence game. Taking a special interest in international brands that may otherwise be tough to find in the city, there’s a good chance you’ll find something completely unique here.
Created and operated by a mother-brother-daughter trio, Thursdays is a full-fledged family affair. Located near Yonge and Summerhill, the boutique receives new inventory every Thursday (hence the name) and carries an impressive array of luxurious cashmere, comfortable basics and on-trend accessories.
6. Get Fresh Company
Offering an array of hoodies, loungewear, and unique outerwear pieces like the Roadman Puffer Jacket, this Black-owned lifestyle and clothing boutique on Queen West epitomizes cool comfort. The brand has recently collaborated with some big names, including the Toronto Raptors and Puma, on their first-ever sneaker, so you can rest assured the product is of the highest calibre at Get Fresh Company.
7. The Narwhal Boutique
Offering an eclectic blend of bohemian dresses, colourful statement pieces and eye-catching accessories, the Narwhal is the spot to hit if you’re looking to splurge on a one-of-a-kind item you’ll admire for years to come. The Narwhal carries a boatload (pun intended!) of big-name designers from Isabel Marant to Max Mara. With all that rich colour, pattern and texture, taking a walk through the store is like visiting a mini art gallery or an artist’s showroom.
8. Poor Little Rich Girl
With a quirky blend of funky tie-dye pieces, effortless basics and ultra-cool wardrobe must-haves like Levi’s jeans, Poor Little Rich Girl has been a beloved midtown staple since 2009. The store also carries a collection of original copy band tees, tanks and sweatshirts, so if you’re a fan of music legends like the Rolling Stones, Nirvana or Duran Duran, you’ll want to make a trip to this shop.
9. 6 by Gee Beauty
Located next to its namesake, beauty and skincare mecca Gee Beauty, 6 by Gee Beauty is a small-but-mighty shop carrying everything from divine scented candles to glamorous dresses for a night out on the town. Keep an eye out for unique gems from brands like Faithfull the Brand and P.E. Nation. Plus, if you’re looking for the perfect gift, don’t miss their customizable Le Labo perfume bottles, which you can inscribe with any name or message of your choosing.
10. Posh Clothing Boutique
Since 1989, Posh has been a landmark destination of Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood. Equal parts flirty and feminine, the shop offers a diverse range of colourful brands from around the world. More importantly, Posh’s owner is conscious of working with clothing brands that pay fair wages and use sustainable materials, so you can feel good about splurging a little here.