Toronto is a funny old town. Since this was my first visit, I had some expectations but mostly, I let my observations lead my impressions. The first thing I noticed was the erratic nature of the architecture. I couldn’t figure out what the typical local characteristics are: is it Victorian, American, European, brick, wood, high, low, big, small…? It’s really all over the place, like they picked up little pieces of inspiration from all the people who came to inhabit the city. In a very cute way.
The second thing that struck me, starting with the check-in at The Gladstone Hotel, was the friendly people. The hotel elevator was manually operated and though we felt bad asking to take us up and down every day, the staff had us believe riding this elevator was the joy of their existence. They were all smiles and jokes, consistently. Todd Selby, who was hosting a party for his book launch on Tuesday night, told me: “People say ‘sorry’ a lot here; I’ve been apologized to about 500 times today!” There are no honking cars or cursing taxi drivers, just welcoming, grinning Canadians.
Mark Fast, who hails from Winnipeg in the North of Canada but based his knitwear company in London, had been invited to Toronto as part of the Luminato Arts festival. Sponsored by Lancome and inspired by the pink rose symbol, Fast designed a six-story knit installation of white ropes, called “The Ascension of Beauty” which was unveiled the night of the launch of “Fast Kisses”, a new lipstick color Fast created for Lancome. Read and see more.
I wasn’t sure at first, but after two days of shopping, I had to admit, the vintage is kind of great here! It’s not all top quality or high end designer collector’s pieces, but it’s versatile and fun! Most of the stores are located around Ossington Street, in a ten-block radius. I didn’t even get around to visit them all! My shopping posse consisted of designer Mark Fast, French Vogue Contributing Editor Julia Von Boehm, Flare magazine’s Assistant News Editor Mosha Lundstrom and her intern Lindsay Mather, Fast’s right arm, Amanda May, baby Violet and assistant Karen Munnis and models Cate Chant and Yoshi Shershero.
Twenty-year old Canadian model Cate Chant hasn’t lost her touch! About two years ago, Cate landed an exclusive contract with Prada and walked her first runway show in Milan at 18 years old. She was on her way to become a household name but decided to finish school first. Though she’s been out of the international modeling scene for a while now, she still takes an incredible picture. I think school’s out soon Cate! Cate is represented by Sutherland models.
AND THAT’S A WRAP, TORONTO!