For years I’ve had this reoccurring dream in which I’m climbing fire escapes on a warm day in Soho.
Everywhere I turn, and every door I look through has everything I love: once loved before white ruffled petticoat skirts, lightweight plaid shirts, jeans and grandfather cardigans made of cashmere.
There are two places like this dream in real life (that I know of): Covert Street in Cobourg, ON where you’ll find Beyond the Blue Box and a handful of sweet charity shops on a strip hidden north of King Street. There’s also this place in Toronto, west of the Beaches east of the DVP on Queen, called Riverside (Leslieville’s little brother?). After one week in this neighbourhood, I thought I had found everything vintage clothing related, incuding Common Sort and Value Village. That was until I tripped upon Vintage Vibes at the Riverside sidewalk sale last year. Dejavu? I had walked right into my dream. The owner and curator is sitting on a couch near the back, and she greets me like we’re best friends when I walk through door.
My first transaction with Debbie Parks was a summer dress trade. Then I bought a pair of leather boots for $20. Then I kept going back to say hi and look at her beautiful things. If Debbie likes what she sees on you, she’ll ask if she can take your picture for her Instagram account.
My latest purchase from Vintage Vibes was this 1920s inspired flapper headband for $5. It makes the perfect addition to my t-shirt and ripped jeans (dog park) uniform and assists on days when my hair is just not happening.
Vintage Vibes is located at 717 Queen Street East, Toronto.