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Hot Shop: Timeless Denim

Trends come and go, but blue jeans are forever. Over the Rainbow has been dedicated to this timeless fashion statement in Toronto for 35 years. This family-owned boutique boasts Canada’s largest selection of denim—more than 500,000 pairs in 250 styles line the shelves. Premium brands from the jean scene include Free People, Rock & Republic, Naked & Famous and True Religion. Beyond the designer labels worth brandishing, try some name dropping, too. Model Iman and singer Miley Cyrus cite the Yorkville mainstay among their favourite Toronto places, while rapper Drake and actress Jessica Alba are also each known to sport a pair of blues from the shop.

You Are Here: Ave & Dav

At the crux of the Yorkville and Forest Hill areas, the busy intersection of Avenue and Davenport roads hosts a world tour of high-end restaurants and retailers. Here you’ll find electronics from Denmark, homestyle Italian cookery, international fine art, fashion and more.

Click on any map marker for more information on Where’s neighbourhood favourites.

View You Are Here: Ave & Dav in a larger map


Hot Shopping: Thê-Anh Returns

Andy Thê-Anh's new Yorkville boutique

After shutting the doors to his Toronto flagship boutique earlier this year, Andy Thê-Anh has set up shop—or rather, shops—again. Two new locations proffering the Montreal designer’s luxe line of womenswear have opened, each with new branding and with touches of canary yellow, the designer’s favourite colour. The tony Yorkville boutique and its sister store at Bayview Village carry the coveted Vietnamese-born couturier’s complete line of ready-to-wear apparel, evening gowns and accessories. Revered for the attention to detail, lavish fabrics and clean lines of his tailored apparel, Thê-Anh is a go-to choice for the everywoman looking for a fun party-ready frock or figure-flattering suit, as well as celebrities walking the red carpet—model Iman, actress Patricia Clarkson, and Laureen Harper, wife of the Canadian prime minister, are among his fans.

Hot Shopping: German Engineering

German über-brand Rimowa says “guten tag” to Canada by opening its first Canadian flagship store in chi-chi Yorkville. Since 1898, the family-owned company has been a leading manufacturer of lightweight aluminum suitcases with a distinctive groove pattern. In 2000, Rimowa debuted a polycarbonate series of luggage, revolutionizing the industry. Traditionally used for airplane panels, the shock-proof and resilient material means dents are a temporary nuisance—after taking a beating, it regains its original form. Each of the company’s carryalls is composed of 200 individual parts and can take up to 90 steps to put together. Open daily. 101 Bloor St. W., 416-922-2644.

Frugal Faves: Yuk Yuk’s and Holiday Sales

There’s so much to see and do in this city, but after a while, admission fees, restaurant bills and shopping sprees start to add up. Where Toronto’s weekly tips on discounted tickets, exclusive sales, free events and more help you get the most out of your trip without burning a hole in your pocket.

Yuk Yuks is sure to get anybody laughing (photo by ECohen)

Yuk Yuk's is sure to get anybody laughing (photo by ECohen)

Comedy on the Cheap
Giggle and guffaw at the hilarious on-stage antics at Yuk Yuk’s comedy club for only $3 every Tuesday evening. The well-known venue’s weekly amateur night features two separate performances that are sure to tickle your funny bone and bust your gut. The early show at 7:30 p.m. is highlighted by original routines by students from the Humber College School of Comedy. At 9:30 p.m., audiences laugh (and cringe) during an open-mic showcase for budding local stand-ups. The pocket-change ticket price covers both shows, while full bar service and snack foods are available for purchase throughout the night. Yuk Yuk’s amateur night runs Tuesdays year-round, starting at 7:30 p.m. $3; call 416-967-6425 to reserve.

Stylish Savings
Frugal holiday shoppers can find gifts for the whole family at the Bargains Group’s sixth annual Friends & Family Warehouse Sale. The popular clearance event is put on by Canada’s largest discount wholesaler and promises savings of up to 80 per cent on brand-name toys, men’s, women’s and kids clothing and accessories, bedding and more. On now until December 24. 890 Caledonia Rd.; click here or call 416-785-5655 for info and hours.

Save on scarves (and much more) at the Bargains Group sale

Save on scarves (and much more) at the Bargains Group sale

Donate your previously loved shoes, boots or handbags and receive $20 off any purchase of $100 or more during the Good For Your Sole promotion at Nine West. All footwear collected will be donated to local Goodwill stores to support job-training and employment services. On now to December 13 at Nine West locations throughout the Greater Toronto Area.; call 416-977-8126 for details.

Find big savings on designer denim at trendsetter haven and celebrity hangout Over the Rainbow. Just print off this coupon and bring it to the Yorkville boutique to receive $35 off any purchase over $100. On now until December 24. 101 Yorkville Ave.; call 416-967-7448  for details.

Looking to spruce up your boudoir for a bargain? Don’t miss the discounted decor items up for grabs at the annual Umbra factory sale. Shop for contemporary accessories for your home and pick up stylish gifts like picture frames, clocks, wall art, bath products and more. December 12 and 13, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Direct Energy Centre; call 416-299-0088 or visit here for more information.

Fashion Week, Day Four

Calling all fashionistas! Strap on your stilettos and strut your way to the city’s most stylish event, LG Fashion Week. This season’s jam-packed schedule is bursting at the (very chic) seams with designer runway shows and exclusive parties. All week long Where Toronto brings you highlights from the hottest spring 2010 collections and tips on where to shop right now for all your wardrobe must-haves.

Aime's spring 2010 collection offers a Mediterranean aesthetic.

Aime's spring 2010 collection offers a Mediterranean aesthetic.

Designers to Watch
Recent Ryerson University grad Monica Mei is making a name for herself thanks to the effortless, flirty fashions of her label, Aime. Influenced by a philosophy of “sustainable luxury,” all Aime pieces are constructed with supple, natural fabrics such as cashmere, silk, bamboo and organic cotton. Fashion Week Mainstage, 4 p.m.

After making his debut on the national fashion scene as the inaugural winner of Project Runway Canada, Evan Biddell quickly staked his claim as one of Canada’s most promising young designers. The Saskatchewan-born couturier’s clean lines and loud colour palate define a street-savvy style. Mainstage, 6 p.m.

Flirty frocks are on display courtesy of NADA.

Form-flattering frocks are on display courtesy of NADA.

Nada Shepherd plays with classic tailoring and yet always manages to inject an exuberant edge into the clothing offered by her eponymous label, NADA. Combining sensual fabrics, flattering silhouettes and exquisite detailing, Shepherd’s designs have been described as “exciting and imaginative” by Jeanne Beker, the ubiquitous host of Fashion Television. Mainstage, 8 p.m.

Shop the Shows
To outfit yourself in pretty pieces from Aime, take some time to discover French Accents (111 Yorkville Ave., 416-964-1171). A veritable treasure trove of feminine fashion, this boutique carries luxe Parisienne labels as well as a number of Canadian designers.

A trip to Queen West’s Pho Pa will help get you noticed—especially if you emerge with an armful of Evan Biddell’s hip togs.  The funky shop carries a diverse selection of trendsetting labels from local designers.

You can also try out unique looks from NADA at Maxi Boutique. The Danforth retailer traffics in chic denim, knits and dresses from more than 70 international and Canadian designers.

Hot Ticket
This afternoon in the Fashion Week VIP lounge, VIA Rail Canada announces the winner of its uniform-design contest. Launched at last year’s Toronto Fashion Week, the Fashion Design Council of Canada and VIA Rail invited Canadian designers to showcase their talent and create a new uniform concept for the company’s front-line employees. All three finalists will be on hand, and their design images on display. The winning concept will serve as inspiration for the company’s new uniforms, expected to launch in 2012. VIP Lounge, 3:30 p.m.

Dedicated chroniclers of the fashion world will be out in full force to see the latest depiction of that rarified sphere at a screening of R.J. Cutler’s documentary, The September Issue, which follows notorious Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour as she prepares the fashion bible’s fall 2007 issue. Mainstage, $15, 9 p.m.

TIP! Visit Toronto Life’s Style Blog and FASHION magazine for more on Fashion Week.

September Editor’s Picks: Shopping

Brooks Brothers brings its timeless fashion sense north of the border.

Brooks Brothers brings timeless fashions north of the border.

1. The men of Bay Street can suit up in style at Brooks Brothers, newly opened in the Financial District’s Royal Bank Plaza. Over its 191 years, the American clothier has been credited with introducing the ready-to-wear suit to the masses, selling the first seersucker suits in the U.S., and inventing the button-collared dress shirt. It’s no surprise that this gentleman’s brand is a favourite both of presidents—Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama donned Brooks Brothers attire at their inauguration ceremonies—and celebrities like Ben Affleck and Stephen Colbert. Sartorially inclined ladies can also sport the classic Brooks Brothers look: an extensive women’s collection as well as attire for boys is available here, too.

The Yorkville location of Anthropologie.

The Yorkville location of Anthropologie.

2. Tony Yorkville is home to some of the top names in fashion, but the north-of-the-border debut of Anthropologie still has tongues wagging and credit cards at the ready. This spring, the beloved American company set up its first Canadian location at the Shops at Don Mills, a scenic outdoor retail centre northeast of downtown. Devoted fans, however, clamored for a more centrally located venue, and with the opening of a stylish, two-storey space along Yorkville Avenue, the city’s fashionistas can access more easily this decidedly feminine boutique’s floral frocks, vintage-print bohemian tunics and ruffled jackets. An offshoot of Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie is also noted for its eclectic selection of home accessories ranging from graphic bedding and linen to folksy tableware that adds a touch of country to urban living.

Contemporary menswear form William Rast can be found at Harry Rosen.

Modern menswear from William Rast.

3. The days of celebrities merely endorsing a product are a thing of the past. Today’s A-listers are also the visionary designers of items that bear their names, making it easier for fans everywhere to cultivate true star style. Filmmaker Sofia Coppola, for one, has teamed with French company Louis Vuitton to create a line of totes, clutches and sandals, while singer Justin Timberlake and his BFF Trace Ayala’s clothing company, William Rast, is named after their grandfathers and carries contemporary apparel for both men and women including signature denim pieces, leather jackets and button-up shirts, available from Harry Rosen.

August Editor’s Picks: Shopping

Eleven Boutique1. A chic new boutique has found a home in Yorkville—and in the hearts and closets of fashion-world elites. Located in a Victorian-style row house, the veritable empress’s emporium known as Eleven features irresistible finds by top Canadian designers, including effortlessly elegant pantsuits by Linda Lundström, classic garments with a modern spin by Joeffer Caoc and bold, artistic gowns by Thien Le. Divided over two storeys for easy browsing, the shop displays prêt-a-porter pieces—many within the affordable $200 to $400 range—plus jewellery and accessories on the ground level, while couture queens will want to run up the stairs two by two for more pricey yet priceless gowns showcased above.  —Lindsay Hope


Luminato Preview—The Axemen Cometh

One of Luminato’s themes this year is a celebration of the guitar, arguably the most versatile of musical instruments. Check out these mostly free concerts featuring international fretboard phenoms.

Canadian guitar hero Randy Bachman (photo by Mark Maryanovich).

Canadian guitar hero Randy Bachman (photo by Mark Maryanovich).

JUNE 5 Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin and Shawn Colvin—a trio of country and folk music’s most lauded singers—are accompanied by strummer Buddy Miller to kick off the festival with their concert, Three Girls and Their Buddy. Massey Hall, 8 p.m., $59.50 to $79.50.

JUNE 5 Luminato’s First Night offers a major gratis performance, too, with Canadian guitar hero Randy Bachman of Guess Who and BTO fame. Yonge-Dundas Square (at Yonge and Dundas streets), 7 p.m., free.

JUNE 6 Eclectic blues legend Taj Mahal performs as part of The Traveling Blues, a day-long showcase of that genre’s international iterations. Metro Square (225 King St. W.), 1 p.m., free.

JUNE 7 Known for his work as producer on such albums as U2’s The Joshua Tree, Daniel Lanois is also an acclaimed pedal-steel player. He appears in The World of Slide Guitar, which also features the Derek Trucks Band and others. Yonge-Dundas Square, 11 a.m., free.

JUNE 12 Fusing rock ‘n’ roll with traditional Balkan music has made Goran Bregovic a European sensation. See (and hear) why during the festival’s closing weekend. Yonge-Dundas Square, 8 p.m., free.

JUNE 13 The cozy confines of Yorkville offer ideal environs for taking in the hottest sounds of South America, as part of the Brazilian Guitar Marathon. Village of Yorkville Park (at Cumberland and Bellair streets), 1 p.m., free.

New Flagship Teatro Verde Store Opens

Teatro Verde YorkvilleBeing the shopping editor at Where Toronto, I attend a lot of new store openings, but I am particularly excited about the opening of Teatro Verde’s new flagship location at 100 Yorkville Avenue. (I also wrote about the opening in my May Hot Shops, that’s how excited I am that I’ve devoted time twice to this!) The store officially opens its doors to the public tomorrow, but yesterday there was a sneak peek for the media, which turned out to be a bit of a tease—so many beautiful things but no shopping allowed at this occasion as finishing touches were still being put on the store. So I did a lot of drooling and coveting instead, making a list of all the things I must—and will—come back for in a few days. Tops on my list: Fresh’s patchouli soap, pretty pastel notecards from Elum and Mumma & Bubba organic products for my friends with new wee ones.