I often get asked about the best secondhand shopping spots in Toronto. Sadly, I don’t call Toronto my home but I visit often and have definitely popped into some of their incredible vintage, consignment and thrift stores. I usually go with my friend (and photographer!) Kat, who is probably one of the best secondhand shoppers I know. She’s a Toronto native, and her closet is almost exclusively made up of secondhand finds. I thought she would be the best person to steer you in the right direction when it comes to the best places to shop secondhand in Toronto. So here is her expertise, hot off the press for you!
Second Time Around
It is no secret that I love vintage & second-hand treasures. There is a kind of rush that takes over my body as soon as I step inside a thrift or second-hand store. All the treasures lined up ready to be explored and picked up and given a new home! What’s not to love?! So when Ms. Beltempo asked me to compile a list of my top favourite second-hand shops in Toronto, I may have done a little squeal! “What?! You mean share my fave little treasure troves from my hometown?! Heck Yeah!!!”
And so here you have it…
... a little compilation of some of the coolest places to shop thrift, secondhand, or consignment in the Dot!
Okay, yes, I am starting with the most obvious choice. But honestly, there is no better place to start than one of the biggest thrift stores in the city! For those of you not in the know – GO NOW!!! No seriously, stop reading and just go! Value Village in Toronto is amazing. Everything from clothes, to home goods, and a wonderful selection of books – it’s the perfect one-stop-shop for any second-hand fanatic. There are three specific locations I highly recommend and in no particular order these are:
Value Village Lansdowne
This particular location, in the west end of the city, is located right in between some very trendy and great neighbourhoods (Parkdale, Brocktown, Roncesvalles, & Bloor West) so you know you’ll be privy to some great treasures here! Everything from custom-made finds to some great name-brands, this location is always chalk-full of finds. Full disclosure: I have never left this store empty-handed!
Value Village Islington
A little bit more refined than its older Lansdowne sister, this location is great for anyone looking for trendy brands such as Lullulemon or Aritzia! A relatively new location, it’s almost never busy and always stocked-full of amazing treasures! Make sure to check out the jacket section – it’s amazing. I have now picked up two cashmere blend Wilfred Free coats from this little gem! (Also, the books here are amazing!!)
Value Village Leslieville
Do not let the small size fool you – this location is always brimming with amazing finds! It can get a little crowded, so I recommend going first thing in the morning or on a weekday, when you are not battling hordes of other eager thrifters. Great for more obscure brands and local designer finds, which is no surprise given the neighbourhood! Also has an amazing book section, despite its small and unassuming size!
Calling all Hispters and really anyone else super fashionable! This local shop is incredible! Everything from trendy to vintage to luxury brands, this little gem in the city has something for everyone! With two locations, Parkdale & Riverside, it’s a safe bet that you won’t leave empty-handed. Common Sort is consignment-based, which is great because you know you’re getting goods from some of Toronto’s most fashionable population. The shop also features jewelry items from local designers and has a great mix of everything from shoes to clothes to accessories! (The shoes are always a fave of mine!) Also, the staff is always super friendly and helpful (a big plus in my books!)
This beautifully curated luxury brand consignment store is a must-stop for anyone on the hunt for a timeless purse, accessory, dress, etc. Julie Yoo, the owner has a great eye for contemporary timeless pieces and labels such as Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton and the list goes on. It’s literally like walking into a fashionista’s’ version of a candy store! While more on the pricier-side due to the quality of the inventory, this little gem in the west-end of the city is a wonderful source of all things luxury! Plus, it’s such a beautiful space!
This beautifully curated shop offers any vintage-collector and fashionista a wide selection of both timeless but also hard-to-find pieces at accessible prices. If you can’t find something you’re looking for, chances are VSP will have it! VSP is a family-run affair whose focus on sustainability within the fashion industry is obvious as soon as you walk in the door! With locations in both Toronto and Calgary, it offers all of its treasures in-store as well as on-line. Although, if you can, I do highly recommend going in person for the lovely in-store experience. VSP also offers one-on-one styling services, a great resource for anyone looking for a fashion-guide!
One of the first consignment stores I stumbled upon when we moved to the west end of Toronto, FY will always hold a special place in my heart! With brands ranging from Zara to Chanel, this little gem in the west end of the city has something for everyone! While I always zero in on the shoes and bags (fabulous selection), make sure you also check out their extensive jewelry and accessory inventory! The staff is always helpful and kind and super friendly (I think that’s a huge reason why I always make sure to pop in when I am in the neighbourhood!) If you can’t make it in person, never fear, a lot of FY’s goodies are also available online!
This is by no means an exhaustive list of amazing second-hand stores in Toronto, but it is a start! I am also including some more gems below – not all are right in the city, some require venturing out of the centre and into the GTA, but I promise they are worth the journey! Happy shopping!