Glossi Mag’s guide to Toronto’s best thrift stores
In the rapidly growing vintage market, fashion’s obsession with it isn’t going anywhere. It’s appeal goes beyond price and sustainability. Collecting vintage fashion is a wardrobe hack for creating an individualistic look while procuring well-made styles that have a twist of nostalgia built in.
In 2022, Statista estimated that the global market value of secondhand and resale apparel at 177 billion U.S. dollars. This is projected to almost double by 2027, reaching a value of 351 billion dollars.
With summer just around the corner, we’re zooming into the scene in Toronto. We’ve rounded up our favourite new and classic vintage shops. If you’re looking to achieve your style goals, keep your wallet intact and support a healthy planet Earth, we’ve got just the fix.
Toronto is chock-full of retail gems, but nothing quite evokes the same feeling as browsing through vintage clothing stores and finding a one-of-a-kind jacket or band tee you won’t find anyone else wearing.
Keep scrolling for a podium of the big hitters in the Toronto thrift game.
Smoking Vintage – Best Pop-up
Known for its niche vintage clothing and other chic finds, Smoking Vintage makes our list of T.O. thrifting musts. The mostly online-based thrift store is known for acquiring some of the best upscale items this side of the border, such as 80’s custom Levi’s or 1999 Prada Sport dresses. The only downside is its in-person elusivity, only coming into the city with its pop-up shop on Annette St once every season. Don’t fear, Smoking Vintage is back IRL June 3 – July 30.
Market by the Pound – Best bang for your buck
If you can’t resist the hunt for a good find, Market by the Pound is the ideal vintage store. Located in the hub of North York, this thrift store operates on a simple principle; pick it, bag it, weigh it. At $4.99 a pound, putting together a full look has never been easier (or cheaper). From your fave men’s athleisure brands to the occasional Burberry trench, Market by the Pound’s variety is as big as their clothing bins are deep. Pro tip: doors open at 10 a.m. and you want to be there ahead of schedule. Competition for the best finds is stiff, but if you’ve got the patience and a keen eye, Market by the Pound is the ultimate solution to your summer closet revamp.
Common Sort – Best sustainable practices
In almost every instance where you see someone rocking the same ‘fit, it’s because the look was bought straight from a fast fashion mannequin, your Shein’s and H&M’s of the world. While thrifting significantly reduces the likelihood of you ever finding your fashion doppelganger, no one is doing it in a more eco-conscious way than Common Sort. With three locations across the city, this Toronto gem buys, sells and trades gently used clothes specific to the season. Everything comes second hand, so no one’s closet clean out leads to more landfill, and it is triple-checked for quality and style. With designer finds like Tommy Hilfiger mules or a classic Coach bag, there’s no reason to skip out on Common Sort this summer.
Black Market – Best trending
Black Market is known for tapping into the latest style cores. With two separate neighbouring locations, Black Market Underground and Black Market Upstairs, this vintage clothing shop maintains an aesthetic catering to those exploring their fashion identity. Black Market keeps a steady rotation of staples and latest styles up for grabs. Amongst racks upon racks of graphic tees and Levis vintage t-shirts, you can also scout out rare pieces like Chanel tulle tiered skirts.
Carolina Pucciarelli is a Glossi Mag contributor.
In her final year of journalism school at Toronto Metropolitan University, Carolina loves Octavia Butler novels, Guillermo del Toro movies and a good skincare regimen.