T.O.’s top shops for folks on the move
This month, four of the city’s best activewear sources for your spring training (and yoga) needs
LOLË ATELIER (01 & 02)
It may be difficult to imagine an activewear store fitting into the chic and upscale Bayview Village. But Canadian company Lolë Atelier’s reputation, high-quality goods and interactive community make it a nobrainer for the higher-end clientele that enjoy an active lifestyle.
The shop’s stock is a combination of lifestyle clothing and activewear, with its lifestyle pieces gaining their popularity for being well designed and looking, well, not like activewear.
“During the summer months, more than a few lifestyle pieces come out for us,” says manager Laurel Palmer. “Beyond activewear, we also offer up shirts and tops that can go from office straight to the gym or even just comfortable pieces you can wear when you’re out with friends.”
One of the more popular pieces for the summer is the Patricia top ($60), a great summer tunic with a conservative front but low scoop back for a feminine touch.
In line with the philosophy of all Lolë Ateliers, the clothes are manufactured with eco-friendly materials such as organic cotton and eucalyptus blends. Lolë Atelier, 2901 Bayview Ave., 647-341-2205
TITIKA (SHOPS AT DON MILLS)
Open since 2011, Titika’s location at the Shops at Don Mills is both intimate and visually striking. Founded in 2007, Titika has quickly capitalized on its success and popularity in the activewear community and now totals eight shops in Ontario, with two in Toronto. Since 2011, Titika’s location at the Shops at Don Mills has been a hotbed of activity, due in part to its visually striking wares and engagement with the outdoor mall to hold free classes in publicly shared outdoor space. Owner and designer Eileen Zhang has invested a large amount of time researching the right materials that not only fit the aesthetic of the brand, but also surpass its functionality. As an example, one of the materials used called supplex is a quick drying material that feels like cotton, but has 14 per cent stretch from spandex.
Titika, 7 Karl Fraser Rd., 416-510-8898
ONE TOOTH YOGA
(04) One Tooth Yoga is without a doubt one of our country’s best activewear success stories. The label’s Vancouver roots were originally in manufacturing clothes for other sportswear labels over 12 years ago. But over time, the popularity of its own line led to the launch of an independent activewear label, franchising One Tooth to over 21 stores across Canada (including one south of the border). “Our main draw card is that we’re Canadian made,” says manager Melinda Thomas. “We own our own manufacturing process, so we control the quality, design and how our stores are employed. Beyond the quality, you’re directly supporting Canadian goods.”
One Tooth, 2237 Bloor St. W., 647-352-2237
IVIVVA ATHLETICA (05)
Although lululemon is already the most popular activewear label in Canada, the brand wasn’t content in resting on its laurels. Responding to requests from younger clients for product that supported their athletic pursuits, lululemon created Ivivva in 2009. There are currently nine stores and two boutiques in Canada, and the Yorkdale location has been serving Torontonians since July 2013. The Yorkdale space is more colourful and bright than other lululemon locations, appealing to the sensibilities, energy and excitement of its younger audience.
Ivivva Athletica, 3401 Dufferin St., 416-783-1371
Canada’s first free-standing Jimmy Choo store is set to open at Yorkdale mall next to Tiffany’s & Co. And in similar retail news, luxury footwear and leather brand
Vince Camuto is also planning to open their first freestanding Canadian store in Yorkdale this summer.
Lolë Atelier Bayview Village’s manager Laurel Palmer