Introducing: Tosho Knife Arts, the new Mirvish village mecca for fans of Japanese blades

Introducing: Tosho Knife Arts, the new Mirvish village mecca for fans of Japanese blades

Tosho specializes in hand sharpening and restoration of Japanese blades. (Image: Gizelle Lau)

Sitting down with knife enthusiasts Olivia Go and Ivan Fonseca, we couldn’t help but flash back to Kill Bill: Vol. 1, when Uma Thurman’s character visits Okinawa to procure the ultimate in Japanese steel, a Hattori Hanzō sword. These two knife nerds share that same reverence for finely-crafted blades and the art of knife making and sharpening, so it’s no wonder they’re now the co-owners of the new Tosho Knife Arts in Mirvish Village.

Go and Fonseca have been forging reputations as the city’s go-to knife duo for the past few years. Both have culinary backgrounds, and Go’s time in New York City (with a stint at Per Se) included regular visits to Korin, a mecca for Japanese knives. Her knife skills classes at Good Egg in Kensington Market are booked up weeks in advance (thanks largely to mentions by Rachel McAdams). Fonseca, a cook at Messis for over a decade, has—as Fonseca Sharpening—become one of the only people in the city to offer traditional hand sharpening, using both natural and synthetic stones (also available at Knife).

At Tosho Knife Arts, the pair sell and showcase the best in hand-forged knives (mainly Japanese, for now), as well as tools and accessories. They also offer highly specialized services including knife sharpening and restoration by hand, custom-designed knives (made in conjunction with Japanese knife forgers) and custom saya covers. Their regular clients include kitchen staff from C5, Origin, Parts and Labour, Nota Bene, Canoe, the Black Hoof and Enoteca Sociale and good friend Dustin Gallagher from Grace (yes, of Top Chef Canada fame).

The shop sits just below street level in a former book publishing office across from Honest Ed’s on Markham Street. Simple wooden shelves display some incredible knives—some etched with the outline of Mount Fuji or Japanese cherry blossoms. The selection includes imported knives by Takeda Hamono, Konosuke Sakai, Kaneshige Cutlery Co. and Rockstead, ranging form large cleavers to smaller blades and tactical knives. Right now prices start at $115 and go up to $3,500. That $3,500 option? A water-quenched Honyaki knife with a natural lacquered handle (an eight-month process) and a saya cover. It sits on a pedestal, naturally.

Start the slideshow »

Tosho Knife Arts, 602 Markham St., 647-722-6329,