Inside Barber & Co., the new part-barbershop, part-bar on Ossington

Inside Barber & Co., the new part-barbershop, part-bar on Ossington

Montreal-born Martin Rivard may have spent the past 21 years snipping, shearing and shaving his way through Rotterdam, Mexico, and South America, but his Toronto project is more a gentleman’s club than a hair salon. The founder and master barber at Ossington’s Barber & Co.—the first Toronto output of the Vancouver chain (there’s five locations there)—says that more than anything, his store is a “brand that provides for the full barbering lifestyle.” Part barbershop, part hangout for the lads and part hair academy, here’s a peek at what the West End’s newest barber service has to offer.

A pair of artists had lived in the space now occupied by Barber & Co, with an apartment space at the back and their studio where the barbershop currently is:

Rivard decided to keep the stark white walls, but to make the rest of the décor modern and clean. The mirrors are made to look like a canvas sitting on the wall, to keep the art-gallery vibe alive:


Rivard found a company that makes really high-quality barber’s chairs, which he uses in Vancouver. “We loved them so much that we decided to stick with them,” he says:


The mannequin is from France. “We haven’t named her yet,” Rivard says. (Top contenders include Barbarella and Ursula). But she’s just not just for show: she’s actually a lamp that Barber & Co. uses to let potential patrons know when the bar is open after dark:

The shop serves drinks during the day—mostly scotch and bourbon, neat, plus some local beers and ciders—and transforms into a full-fledged cocktail bar at night. House cocktails, which rotate every three months, currently include the Breakfast of Champions, a bourbon, Cinzano and dry curacao marmalade concoction; and Flipping Winter, a medley of rum, gingerbread syrup, chocolate ale and egg:

Rivard found a designer in Brooklyn who specializes in hooks and had thousands of different moulds. The minute he saw the rabbit ears, he was sold:


Barber & Co. has its product line that’s made by the company’s barbers in Vancouver’s Yaletown neighbourhood:


The aprons are from a company in Vancouver called Search & Rescue Co., which makes aprons for chefs, barbers and tattoo artists: