Toronto’s best barbershops right now
1114 Dundas St. W., 416-399-3499
Harley-riding Chris Hammell was one of the first stylists at Crows Nest (see below) before relationships soured and he severed ties with the business in 2013. He spent the next two years building up a west-end clientele in various makeshift quarters before settling into his own wood-paneled space. It’s a bare-bones experience, in the best possible way: low prices, unpretentious service and some of the cleanest cuts in the city.
2 Kensington Ave., 647-346-4333
The old-timey barbershop in Kensington Market is an ideal place to channel your inner James Dean (or George Clooney, or Ryan Gosling). Patrons listen to Ray Charles, Bryan Adams and Sean Paul blaring from the speakers (and occasionally the barbers croon along). The prices ($25 for a cut, $35 for a shave, $55 for both) are old school; the top-quality products on the shelves from Baxter of California and Layrite are anything but.
Axe and Hatchet
101 Yorkville Ave., 416-901-3634
Dante Perrone’s man cave is an elevated version of the classic barbershop—there’s a striped pole swirling out front, but the interior is far sleeker than most of the competition. The services, however, are standard: like his father and grandfather before him, Perrone offers traditional trims, fades and high-and-tights—albeit for a very contemporary, very Yorkville $50 a cut.
Original Grooming Experts
477 Richmond St. W., 647-352-5649
The grand master of OGX is Jason Culala, a sports-loving hairstylist who wants his shop to be somewhere at the midpoint between barbershop and spa. Every appointment starts with a hot towel to the face. Culala will throw in a free paraffin wax dip to warm and moisturize your fingers. Straight-razor shaves and beard and mustache trims are the specialties, as are fades shorn with laser-edged precision.
Rod, Gun and Barber
2877 Dundas St.W., 647-350-6446
Despite the candy-cane pole and leather barber chairs, Rod’s is less a place to get a haircut than a place to hang out. Owner Jeff James modelled the shop on an old-fashioned gun club, throwing his collection of girly pin-ups and taxidermy on the walls and positioning the swivelling seats next to a stocked bar. A haircut, a Montecristo cigar and a glass of single malt are $60 ($90 with a straight-razor shave).