Could Summerhill be the new boutique district of Toronto?

When thinking of the fashion capitals of the world, New York City, London and Milan come to mind. While not necessarily topping the list at first thought, Toronto’s vibrant city has a budding fashion scene all on its own, reflective of the diverse residents, fantastic boutiques and unique neighbourhoods that make the city such an exciting place to live.

Those neighbourhoods include midtown’s Summerhill. The area is known for stunning Victorian-era homes, peaceful tree-lined streets and an eclectic – and growing – collection of fashion boutiques hocking the latest in runway trend and seasonal looks.

All within two blocks of each other, Summerhill’s Yonge Street might just be Toronto’s next iconic shopping street with its wealth of boutiques. It’s joining the likes of London’s Bond Street, New York City’s Fifth Avenue or Singapore’s Orchard Road but skipping the designer labels for a more quaint, often family-owned, spin that’s distinctly Canadian.


1130 Yonge St.

Guided by their motto “Thursdays and Every Other Day,” mother-daughter duo Rita Benzacar and Gillian Piltz are the powerhouses behind this local Summerhill shop which brings in new inventory weekly to keep customer’s wardrobes fresh and on trend. The shop even has its own house labels, The Cashmere Collection and the Riri Collection, which offer tailored, chic clothing and accessories that can take your from office to home and back out again effortlessly.

The Narwhal 

1128 Yonge St.

A Summerhill mainstay since 2010, The Narwhal is a women’s boutique in Toronto, Canada specializing in women’s ready-to-wear and accessories. They house a variety of well-loved designer brands including Agolde – known for their up-sized criss-cross jeans – and L.A.-based dress designer Natalie Martin, known for her bohemian-inspired looks.


1054 Yonge St.

Clementine’s is a leading luxury concept shop, offering curated fashion, lifestyle, home and art, curated by luxury industry veteran and owner, Christina McDowell. As creative director, Christina works alongside her daughter Kelly McDowell, the shop’s retail director. This mother-daughter duo’s passion is evident the moment you walk into the shop. Their mission is to provide shoppers a high-end yet welcoming in-store and online experience for all your luxury item needs, from artisanal letter-press greeting cards to Uma Wang shoes to beautiful home décor pieces.

James Perse (Rosedale House)

1070 Yonge St.

James Perse is an L.A.-based upscale yet casual fashion and accessories brand for men and women from the namesake designer. The brand opened a location in Toronto in 2021 during a time when the neighbourhood’s retail offerings were expanding. Shoppers can grab anything from footwear to jackets to home goods in a variety of cool, minimalist styles.


1224A Yonge St.

With a motto of being “designed with love for women who lead busy lives,” Lemonwood offers a gorgeous collection of timeless cashmere clothing and accessories.

Whether you’re looking for an easy-breezy and beautiful tunic for your next beach vacation or want a cozy, simple throw blanket for your living room, Lemonwood has tons of styles and high quality goods to suit you.

Ellie Mae

1096 Yonge St.

Ellie Mae is a luxury lifestyle brand that offers a curated selection of fashion-forward clothes and even a (pretty pricey) vintage collection. With a thoughtful eye on global design, and a reverence for the quality and detailing of vintage fabrics, the shop sells everything from jackets and coats to dresses and accessories.

Ellie Mae focuses on exceptional materials and signature details, made in small batches at its Toronto studio.

Wolf & Moon

103-1128 Yonge St.

Wolf & Moon is a curated lifestyle boutique featuring a hand-selected range of goods, including apothecary, ceramics, apparel, home goods, swimwear, fine jewellery and more. Whether you’re looking for too-pretty-to-use artisanal candles by namesake brands or statement jewelry from designer Jacquie Aiche, Wolf & Moon is the perfect store for finding unique gifts and treasures.


1116 Yonge St.

Smythe is a contemporary fashion brand which earned a cult following for its perfectly-fitted blazers. The Canadian ready-to-wear brand was founded by Andrea Lenczner and Christie Smythe in 2004 and sells in major retailers including Holt Renfrew, Revolve, Nordstrom and Shopbop as well as on their own e-commerce site. The Summerhill brick-and-mortar is the brand’s first physical location where in-store, shoppers can snag pieces from their newly launched line Smythehouse, which offers a collection of season-agnostic fabrics and colours or test out the brand’s perfume in person.

The Latest Scoop

1110 Yonge St.

The Latest Scoop is a lifestyle concept store offering a curated selection of pretty things for you and your home including fashion, home décor, accessories, furniture, stationery, giftware and much more.

Canadian-based and born in 2004 as a series of pop-up shops, The Latest Scoop has quickly evolved into eight permanent locations in some of our favourite neighbourhoods in Vancouver, Victoria and Toronto – including the newly-opened Summerhill location.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO