Where to shop for sleek back-to-school bags in Toronto

Going back to school can be tough, especially when you still haven’t found the right books-worthy backpack or tote. For those looking for functionality without sacrificing style, here are some boutiques in Toronto that carry sleek bags – from designer handbags to leather backpacks to bags with the fur – that can take you from school to work to play all in one day. [Photo courtesy of Eleven Thirty]

Eleven Thirty Shop

1130 College St, Toronto, ON M6H 1B6

Support local designers by opting for one of Eleven Thirty’s handcrafted handbags. They have three styles to choose from: shoulder, bucket and backpacks. For school purposes, go for the larger shoulder bags and backpacks. For something different, they have bags covered in cowhide or shearling (adding a serious dose of a Clueless aesthetic). The rest are made of 100 per cent Italian genuine leather and come in a variety of colours from basic black and brown to colourful options like yellow and green.


753 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G1

If you’re looking for a handbag you can take from class to a dinner date without looking like you just came from school, then Zane is the place to shop. This accessories boutique on Toronto’s Queen Street West carries a variety of designer handbags that make for some sleek back-to-school arm candy. The Azurite by gender-neutral Principle Goods is a smart and fashionable choice – the tote bag is roomy enough for a laptop and comes in a variety of colours, including trendy blush pink.


315 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2A4

For sleek minimalist leather bags, Rudsak is your best bet. They have both men’s and women’s designs. Ladies, flirt with some fringe with the Penza backpack, or go for the Robyn, a dark brown tote with a detachable interior compartment and adjustable shoulder strap. Fellas, you’ll look extra dapper with the classic detailed Lambert briefcase that, with its cross-body strap, turns into a messenger bag – plus, it also makes for the perfect corporate bag.


1-38 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5R 2G2

If you’re looking for a leather school bag that’s not the basic black or brown, give M0851 a visit. While you’ll still be able to find those minimalist colours, this Yorkville store also carries backpacks and messenger bags in not-so-typical colours like teal blue and magenta pink. Here, you’ll also find leather tablet pouch protectors and pencil cases. To keep your leather accessories looking brand new for years, M0851 also carries a leather cleaner and protector formula for purchase.

WANT Apothecary

1070 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4W 2L4

WANT Apothecary has its own line of accessories called WANT Les Essentiels, which is designed based on the concept of city travel. Each bag contains compartments for smartphones, tablets or laptops. Their designs are modern and timeless, making them fashionable and durable for years. Go for the petite Piper backpack or the sophisticated Kastrup backpack. They also have corporate briefcases and spacious totes for both genders.

Hoi Bo

Hoi Bo is a clothing and accessories boutique and design studio in the Distillery District. Everything is handmade in-house, including bags that are made of materials like waxed cotton and paper. The most popular and functional design is their Box Shopper bag, with a dual-design that can be worn over the shoulder or as a backpack. Their totes also make good use as school bags. While you’re there, you can also shop for basic clothing made of materials like linen, bamboo and cotton. Style them with Hoi Bo’s minimalist accent jewellery and hit your school’s hallways in fashionable comfort.

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