Inside Shinola, the Detroit-based brand’s first Toronto location

Inside Shinola, the Detroit-based brand’s first Toronto location


Detroit brand Shinola has a clear golden-age ethos, reflected in its line of leather goods, bespoke watches and handmade bicycles. The seven-year-old brand just opened its first Canadian outpost in the Queen and Ossington storefront formerly occupied by Stussy and Sam James Coffee Bar. With a complimentary in-store monogramming station for all leather and paper products and a separate area where shoppers can personalize watches by mixing and matching almost 500 variations of faces and straps, the place has cornered the market on chic, custom goods. Come fall, customers can also look forward to aesthetically pleasing electronics like turntables and speakers.

The women’s department in the Toronto store is the biggest of Shinola’s 16 standalone locations. It’s housed in the back nook that used to belong to Sam James:


The months-long renovation involved pouring concrete floors, opening up the back wall and installing custom white oak millwork and industrial light fixtures:


The store’s chic leather accessories are displayed alongside repurposed vintage furniture:


Like its other locations, the Toronto space pays homage to Shinola’s factory workers by featuring their portraits on the wall:


Shinola’s bicycles, which are handmade in Detroit from mostly U.S.-made parts, come in three styles for men and women. This is the men’s Bixby ($2,445). It’s named after Willard Bixby, one of the co-founders of the 1920s shoe polish brand from which Shinola takes its name:


Shoppers can also find a few high-end sporting accessories, like this leather baseball ($50) and glove ($515) made in collaboration with Nokona:


Lawn game enthusiasts will love this bocce ball set that’s crafted from hardened thermoset resin ($300):


The women’s gold-plated stainless steel “Runwell” watch is encased in double-curve sapphire crystal ($660):


Swapping out a watch strap is relatively affordable. These delicate leather straps go for $95:


Here’s the Willard Watch Bar:


Stainless steel cases can be coated in PVD gold or rose gold:


Watch straps come in a variety of materials, from luxurious alligator to functional nylon:


For the Muskoka-bound weekend warrior, this duffle ($1,245) is crafted from American leather and lined with cotton. Almost all of Shinola’s leather comes from the Chicago-based Horween Leather Company, one of the last American companies that completely transforms raw hides into finished leather:


A mini royal blue duffle is a practical everyday bag ($995):


Such high-quality leather requires a lots of TLC. Shinola sells a complete leather care kit—which includes a polish brush, dauber, cloth and brown and black shoe polish—for $120:


Here’s the monogramming machine. The free service is available for all paper and leather goods:


Paper journals ($14 for a medium-sized one) are made with sustainably sourced paper from American forests:


If you look up, you’ll notice the eight Shinola bikes dangling from the ceiling. They were installed by the store’s in-house design team:


Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m.—8 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 1000 Queen St. W., 416-531-6600,

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