Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Where to thrift in toronto.... Where to thrift in toronto....

I was asked in my comments about great places to thrift in toronto and I wanted to share my experiences with you! 

Here are some of the best and worst places that I have been too: 

Double Take - 310 Gerrard Street East Toronto  - (Parliament and Gerrard) 
Double take was DANGEROUSLY close to my last apartment and I would go there at least once a week. It rarely dissapointed though. The store sits on the border of Cabbagetown (beautiful, historic, expensive) and Regent Park (ghetto, low income housing). Always such a cast of characters shopping there. Anyway, I believe a lot of the donations came from the Cabbagetown neighborhood, and while a lot of the Regent Park neighborhood shopped there, they weren't interested in vintage dresses or name brand high heels. Double take is a bit off the beaten path but if you look through the racks, there are some serious gems. They also restock every day so the items are kept fresh. 
If your in the store often they also have a rewards program so you can earn points on your purchases and get money off next time. I shopped there for close to two years and probably got over $100 worth of free merchandise from the points program. 
BEST FOR: Womens shoes, glassware, belts, mens suits

Value Village -1319 Bloor st W, Toronto ON (Bloor and Lansdown)
This value village is not very good in my experience. First of all, its the closets Value Village to the downtown core so a LOT of people shop there. Its on the west side of the city and north west of very 'hip' neighborhoods. What I am trying to say is, every hipster in toronto shops here and your chances of finding gems are low. I also find the prices at value villages in general to be a little more then I would like to pay. This is a BIG store though so they do have a lot to offer if your looking to kill an hour or two at one place. They have a decent selection of housewares and glassware, but again, I find everything very picked through. Its also usually very busy which is something I try and avoid anywhere I shop. 

Value Village - 924 Queen St. E , Toronto ON (Queen West at Carlaw) 
This is a small value village. I have only been to this location a handful of times but I remember being impressed with the jewelry selection as well as the double decker rows of clothing (they fit A LOT in a tiny store). Again, Value Village prices are a little steep in my opinion but overall this is a decent store to check out if your in the neighborhood already. 

Goodwill Store 731 Runnymede Rd .Toronto ON (Runnymede and St. Clair) 
Since I moved last June this is the thrift store closest to my apartment. So far it has been pretty good. TONS of racks of clothing, more oversized sweaters then I can reasonably fit in my closet (I've already pushed the boundaries a little far to be honest) and always a few cray cray customers to keep the day entertaining. Goodwill offers 75% off a certain tag colour, so make to find out what colour it is when you enter the store. This particular Goodwill has a great selection of purses, glasswear, books and vinyl records. One downside is they don't individually tag items, you have to look at the price at the end of the isle to know what everything on that rack costs. Which is fine, until you bring 23 items to the change room and cant remember what any of them cost. I've been that person at the cash many times...How much does this cost? and this one? and sorry, what about this one? Overall though Goodwill's prices are fair and with the 75% off, you can get a great deal. 

I would also like to just say that if its at all possible, I try to thrift OUTSIDE of the city. When I go up to my cottage in the summer, or home on weekends, those are the places where I get the BEST deals. Smaller towns have the best thrift stores/salvation army's/goodwills and I believe this is because so many people contribute to them, and so few people actually shop in them. 

What makes a thrift store good is a surrounding neighborhood that is relatively high end, and lower then average traffic in the store OR traffic that isn't looking for the same things you are. If you can find a good balance of these three things you will have found a gold mine.  

There are also great finds in places like Kensington Market and Queen st. but I feel like these shops are very curated and you pay higher prices because of it. I'm all about the $3.99 outfit! 

Happy thrifting! and if you know any other good places in toronto I would love to know about it in the comments.


Anonymous said...

"Smaller towns have the best thrift stores/salvation army's/goodwills and I believe this is because so many people contribute to them, and so few people actually shop in them."

AMEN. Once you realize thrift stores exist outside the city with a FRACTION of the price, you can never go back! Dream Center and Fenelon Sally Anne 4 LYFE. The place is called the DREAM CENTER. what more do you need to know?

mel said...

I love thrifting, but I rarely find anything great in the Toronto stores. Again, so many people visiting them. I have had some luck at the Goodwill and Salvation Army stores that are on St Clair between Bathurst and Christie. Mostly because I live 2 blocks away and I go often.
I'm also sick of Value Village. I hate when people donate their stuff to them - they are for profit - vs the actual charity shops that are often close by.
Yard sales in the summer are my favourite thrifting :)

missladyheart said...

I often shop at the Value Village at Bloor and Landsdown in Toronto and I always find awesome stuff! I get vintage jewelry, retro toys, cheesy paperbacks, statues of mary, old ceramic animals, old christening dresses, great 45s, tacky lamps, you name it. I love that place, it's one of the best in my opinion. To see some of my loot, check out my blog at www.missladyheart.wordpress.com. Thanks of the other suggestions for thrifting in TO!

MaxSold said...

Love your blog as we follow everything antique, DIY, Vintage, Reuse/Repurpose. Our Vancouver auction has vintage, teak & other items that might be of interest. www.MaxSold.com/Vancouver

Anonymous said...

You really should take the time to proof your posts. I found 2 errors on the page and gave up reading.

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