Many iconic locations have emerged, then shut down or decreased in volume and cutting edge pull, as the decades have worn away at once hip locations. It’s true of the Haight Ashbury area in San Francisco, and it’s true of Toronto’s garment district. They’re both less major attractions and centers of innovation than they once were, but that in no way means that they’ve lost all of their clout. That’s particularly true of Toronto, whose textile industry has been largely shifted to the overseas region due to pricing pressures. But at the same time that the actual fabric manufacture has been removed, a strong sense of fashion and design has remained in its place.
Toronto’s intersection of Spadina Avenue and Queen Street may no longer conjure visions of much more than nostalgia where textiles are concerned. However, the Textile Museum ensures that no one ever forgets that there is a rich 2,000 year history connected to this district and the fashions, which have poured forth over the centuries. The museum’s existence – coupled with those strong creative roots – might explain why there’s such an overwhelming sense of DIY fashion that’s easily seen on the sidewalks each day. And the hidden truth comes forth as well… some high quality textiles are still made locally.
One visit and you’ll know that Toronto deserves to be on the list of undiscovered mini fashion capitals. A quick spin through the Dark Horse Espresso Bar will show you who has been working on what new items, before you head to Get Spun Studio to work on maintaining your form. After all, no fashion is complete without well-shaped bodies to model the designs, right? Afterwards, take it all in or chat up the local fashionistas at Wide Open, which is an ironically narrow pub. Visit Canada 411 to keep abreast of the latest hipster gathering spots.