Looks Good, Will Travel: The 18 Waits Designer’s Toronto Musts
The Ottawa-born, New York-schooled designer gives us an up-close-and-personal look at the music venues, watering holes, and shops that fit he and his cult-loved menswear line 18 Waits to a capital “T.”
The Dakota Tavern
When I first moved to Toronto from NYC, I frequented The Dakota because it reminded me of some of my favorite NYC spots. I even met my wife Julia at Dakota years ago when The Beauties were playing their weekly residence on Wednesdays there. There were maybe eight people in the bar that night, so it wasn’t hard to get her attention! We’ve since become good friends with the fellas in the band and they even played our wedding.
My obsession with vinyl is a little out of hand. It’s hard for me to walk past a record store and not get tempted with nervous excitement/anxiety. Rotate is just a few blocks from where I live, and even closer to our studio so it’s overly accessible…which is a both a blessing and a curse.
I’m a creature of habit. Even in NYC, I only had a handful of favorite spots I’d hit over and over and over again. I’m not against trying new things or places, but I definitely have my “old faithfuls” – and this is one of them. The food is terrific, the prices are incredibly fair, and the atmosphere and music are always great. It’s a good go-to for casual dining with great food and drinks.
Fawn is a women’s clothing boutique, but it’s one of my favorite stores in Toronto. Kasha, who opened it about 6 years ago, comes from a styling background and has a killer eye and aesthetic. Her merchandising and selections are always an inspiration for me and it’s my go-to spot to send out-of-town guests when they’re looking to shop.
It’s a custom furniture store, but I [also] love the knick-knacks they carry. They change them up every few months or so and they’re always really great. From old canvas laundry bins or Edison light bulb-holding fixtures, or glass terrariums. I buy a lot of gifts from this place, as they are both cool and unique.
The Paper Place
I love paper stuff. People should be writing more. Letters, notes, memories, ideas, journals, sketches, schemes, set lists, baseball stats, to-do lists, lyrics, jail breaks…anything. Writing by hand is a dying skill – which is crazy to me. The Paper Place always has a great selection of all kinds of weird, unique little stuff, and it’s all so affordable. Like, the kind of wrapping paper that people end up enjoying more than the thing you wrapped up. It’s all about the details.
Trinity Bellwoods Park
This list wouldn’t be complete without Trinity Bellwoods Park. I live across the street from the par, and our studio is about a block away. It’s such a great park and having it so close is amazing. (Especially with our little husky, Alice Cooper, who needs to go run around – and sniff things – about 40 times a day.)