Beloved 58-year-old barbershop moves west
Gus Evagelos has played barber and confidante to Ed Mirvish, Yul Brynner
I gave George Chuvalo a haircut before and after the Muhammad Ali fight.”
For over 58 years Gus Evagelos and his barbers have provided haircuts, shaves and massages to Torontonians from all walks of life. Evagelos arrived in Canada in 1960, an 18-year-old looking to start a new life. Unable to go to school, Evagelos decided to pick up a comb and a pair of scissors at a local barbershop. On Oct. 1, his barbershop, Gus the Other Barber, will relocate further west on Bloor Street West after the building that currently houses the shop was sold.
Throughout his tenure, Evagelos has racked up an admirable roster of celebrity clientele, from classic Hollywood luminary Yul Brynner (whose trademark chrome dome, Evagelos says, he shaved with a straight razer) to Team Canada hockey star Ryan Ellis and even five-time Canadian heavyweight champion George Chuvalo.
“I gave [George Chuvalo] a haircut before and after the Muhammad Ali fight,” said Evagelos. “He is my idol, a wonderful guy.” Chuvalo, the celebrated Canadian boxer, lost to Ali in 1966 at Maple Leaf Gardens for the world heavyweight title.
Evagelos has become a beloved neighbourhood fixture. The relationships he built over the years run deeper than a haircut.
“Of course I [always] tried to do the best job that I knew with kindness,” said Evagelos. “You have to respect the customer. You have to treat him like everybody else. This I learned from the late Ed Mirvish.”
Before Honest Ed Mirvish’s passing in 2007, Evagelos was his personal barber for 48 years, becoming close friends with him and his family. Toward the end of Mirvish’s life, Evagelos made frequent trips to his home, bringing his comb and scissors with him.
“Gus is like my brother,” said Hassan Al Abdul, a barber who has been with Evagelos for 18 years and who took over the business in 2015. “I learned a lot from him: how to be patient, how to run the business.”
The new Gus the Other Barber will move from its present location at 596 Bloor St. W. to 701 Bloor St. W., replacing another beloved institution, John’s Barbershop.
“I have helped so many people, and I feel so proud,” said Evagelos. “I thank God for this.”
Although Evagelos has retired as a full-time barber, he still comes in about twice a week, a reminder of the impact he has had in the Annex community
Gus Evagelos, a.k.a. Gus The Other Barber, at his shop at 596 Bloor St. W.