Where to shop for your summer survival kit in Toronto

The humidex is off the charts, summer festivals are in full swing and patios are packed. Yes, summer has finally arrived in the 6. To survive the dog days of summer, we’ve handpicked some of our top spots for must have summer essentials – from sunscreen, swimsuits and sunnies, to bikes, hats and sandals. [Image credit: iStock.com/Atilla ALTUN]

Likely General

389 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, ON M6R 2N1

Brooke Manning’s contemporary lifestyle shop on the Roncey strip carries a carefully curated selection of local one-of-a-kind summer essentials. Stock up on natural skin products to soothe summer skin like The Perfect Sunscreen (100 per cent natural) and Lulu organics hair powder for those bad humid hair days. For swimsuits, the collection is on point. Our picks: the Minnow Bathers ruby red high-waisted swim bottoms and matte black full coverage top for a super flattering fit or Bathing Belle’s one-piece in a fun pineapple print.


928 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G6

Whether you need to tame your tresses, punch up an outfit or shield your eyes and skin, the perfect summer hat can be a godsend on the dog days of summer. The small but mighty summer hat collection at Philistine this year is right on point. The classic Pacific Fedora looks great with cut-offs or a flowy dress while the wide-brimmed round top Tiller will take you from Ward’s beach to beers at Bellwoods Brewery. For the gents, the edgy/classic Duvall Fedora will protect your lid from summer to fall sun patio sessions.

6 By Gee Beauty

6 Roxborough St W, Toronto, ON M5R 1T8

As soon as you step into Gee Beauty’s sister shop, you’ll feel as though you’re on a meticulously styled editorial shoot. Next time you’re in the Rosedale hood – or next door at the Gee Beauty salon for one of the best eyebrow shapings in the city – don’t miss the 6 at the Beach collection. Browse splurge-worthy swimwear from Lisa Marie Fernandez like the flounce-style one and two pieces, decadent kaftans for poolside lounging and this summer’s must-have: round sunglasses by Illesteva.

Sweet Pete's Bike Shop

1204 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6H 1N2

Does anything spell summer more than hopping on your bike and cruising the downtown waterfront or hitting the Toronto Islands for a slow ride surrounded by lush green and water views? Whether you’re in need of new wheels, a new basket, your flat fixed, or an overall tune-up, this Toronto mainstay has been outfitting locals since the late ‘90s. With three locations across the 6 and a passionate owner and staff, Sweet Pete’s is the spot to peruse both high-end and stylish, affordable commuter and road bikes for all budgets. Fair-weather cyclist? No problem; there are tons of rental options for a daytime getaway.

Te Koop

421 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2A5

As “the largest single-door retailer of Herschel Supply in the world,” te koop has been providing Queen West shoppers with fashionable and functional bags and backpacks since 2003. For summer road trips and extended long weekends, there are stylish mid-sized bags galore (check out, for instance) the Herschel Sutton Mid and Herschel Novel. For weekend warriors hitting the Toronto streets, the new Herschel Market tote is a must-have for festival and outdoor market season – perfect for carrying all the wares you pick up on the artisan market route.

Tuck Shop Trading Co.

1226 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4T 1W3

Rosedale’s cottage-decor themed outpost is full of seasonal must-haves to make a splash in. For the ladies, check out the shop’s signature GET LOST swimwear collection – flattering one pieces with a map of Canada, and the signature black one piece with GET LOST printed across the chest (interpret as you wish). For both gents and ladies, the map of Canada swim trunks are perfect for the water or paired with a comfy tee or tank. If you’re looking to up your sunglasses game, the store also carries sunnies by Fellow Earthlings, which are designed and handmade in PEI.

It’s not about how much you spend when decking out your space, it’s about those quality finds that reflect your unique style and taste. From one-of-a-kind found objects and mid-century furnishings to coasters inspired by TTC tokens or a bubble gum pink turntable, here’s our picks for the best design shops in the city for tasteful objects and necessary accessories alike. [Image credit: iStock.com/jodiejohnson]
While there’s no shortage of shopping options at Yonge and Eglinton, we’ve picked out our local faves, some of which have been flying under the radar for years. Stroll through a used clothing shop, a charming bookstore, a boutique toting a modern collection of men’s and women’s garb, an art store or a spot for new skincare items. Here’s our guide to shopping on Eglinton Avenue. [Image credit: iStock.com/Troels Graugaard]
If finding the perfect bunch of kale for your smoothie or a chicken pot pie that tastes as good as mom’s is what really fuels your foodie mojo, it’s time to step away from the big box grocery store. We’ve rounded up our top independent grocers for premium produce, take-home fare, gourmet cheeses, all-natural products and ethical meats, plus a food co-op and a 24-hour neighbourhood favourite.
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