The crawl covers Kensington Market, Ossington, Parkdale and more.
The fall edition of Toronto’s biannual vintage crawl is back. On October 24, the city’s best consignment shops, sustainably-minded stores and small business owners will stay open late, offering sales, surprises and special pop-up experiences to vintage-loving customers.
The Crawl currently spans the neighbourhoods of Queen West, West Queen West, Kensington, Ossington, Parkdale, Little Portugal and Dundas West. Participating retailers include Exile, known for its collection of 1940s-’60s vintage, as well as perfectly-worn-in Levi’s jeans; Nouveau Riche Vintage, which carries everything from designer threads to vintage art; and One Heart Design, popular for its original handmade jewellery. Pop-ups are a feature of the Vintage Crawl too: charming womenswear Etsy shop Daisyhead Vintage is popping up at Victoire Boutique, Second Cousin Vintage at VSP Consignment, and more.
“Now that sustainability is more top of mind for people, I’m finding the attitude towards shopping vintage/thrifting has changed, with people seeing it as an affordable way to be a more responsible consumer,” says Odessa Paloma Parker, founder of Vintage Crawl Toronto. “Plus, there’s the ‘thrill of the find’ aspect to it. This season’s event is already getting a lot of traction on social, with people posting about it using eco-minded GIFs, which makes me so happy.”
Her own wardrobe is over 80% vintage and includes unique finds like an authentic Nudie shirt, which she discovered at the last Crawl. Having shopped vintage since high school, she has some tips on how to score true gems.
“If you’re new to shopping vintage, make sure to do some planning before the Crawl because there are lots of vendors and a lot of variety out there,” she says. “The older the pieces are, the more care or repair might be needed so make sure to look everything over carefully, in the light, and try it on. If there’s something you’re not happy about with the piece, talk to the owner and see what they can recommend in terms of mending it or getting it altered to suit your needs. Starting with something like a bag or shoes is often more palatable for new vintage shoppers (some people still don’t like the idea of wearing someone else’s clothing), but a recent surge in contemporary consignment retail means more people are shopping ‘newer’ second-hand pieces, making the transition into wearing used clothing seem less intimidating.”
The Vintage Crawl is Thursday, October 24 from 5 to 11pm. You can find a map of participating stores here. And if you’re a fan of vintage shopping all year-round, check out our roundup of the best vintage stores in Toronto.