Bob & Paige Salon
By Marianne Wisenthal

An Innovative Hair Salon in the City’s East End

When master stylists Frank Calandrino and Violet Volovik opened their hair salon on the Danforth in 2008, they wanted a place that had the aesthetic of a large salon with the cozy feel of a mom-and-pop joint. The result? bob + paige, an airy 12-chair space where everyone from hip parents to trendsetting singles get haircuts that are both fashion-forward and practical. “I came from a very corporate salon and Violet had worked in more boutique-style places,” says Frank. “We couldn’t find a place that was both casual and cool so we decided to open one.”

Hair is most definitely king at this east-end salon. The well-travelled staff train regularly and pride themselves on being ahead of the curve on everything from under layer cuts, Victoria Secret blowouts and traditional foil highlights to ombré and Balayage techniques. “I’ve always enjoyed art and fashion,” says Frank, “and hair really is art mixed with science and architecture.”

We couldn’t find a place that was both casual and cool so we decided to open one. - Frank Calandrino, co-owner
bob + paige salon, Toronto, haircut, Danforth
The space has whitewashed brick walls, distressed hardwood and gleaming Corian counters.

A Comfortable Cut Above

For the owners of bob + paige, the quality of the cut is as important as the customer experience. “It has to be a positive environment,” says Frank. “Our clients don’t wait around. You come in, have your hair washed with a scalp massage, then you get a great hair cut. And we have all the latest magazines. There are no old issues hanging around.”

The team tested 50 chairs and 30 hair-washing sinks until they found ones that were most comfortable. Coffee is also a serious business. They don’t use pucks, high-quality beans are freshly ground, and cappuccinos are made with real milk. There’s also no fluff. “There’s no art on the walls and we have no interest in facials and manicures. It’s all about the hair.”

bob + paige salon, Toronto, haircut, Danforth
The salon offers a carefully curated selection of reasonably priced hair products by Schwarzkopf, Goldwell and Kevin Murphy. Photo: Marianne Wisenthal

Hair That's Ahead of the Curve

So who are Bob and Paige? Everyone and no one, it turns out. The owners decided on fictional names that happen to be haircuts. “When we first opened, we used to get calls asking for appointments with Bob or Paige,” laughs Frank. The goal was to choose a salon name that created a team feeling. “It's not about me and Violet. It's only about the hair.”

Everyone at the salon starts as a junior, trains in-house and benefits from the expertise of the most senior stylists. Violet, whom NOW magazine once called “The Houdini of Hair,” works regularly with Goldwell, learning new techniques and passing it along to the rest of the team. “We’re really on top of what’s new, but we also know how to personalize that look so it’s suitable for the client,” says Frank. They also offer a carefully curated selection of reasonably priced hair products from well-established companies, including Schwarzkopf, Goldwell and Kevin Murphy.

There’s no age limit when it comes to fashion and looking good. bob + paige salon has found a way to cut everyone’s hair and do it well. “It’s no big secret. We're innovative,” says Frank. “It's one thing to know what the trend is but you have to be able to master it. We try to be ahead of the curve and do it a little differently.”

bob + paige salon, Toronto, haircut, Danforth
bob + paige is located on the Danforth in the city's hip east end.
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