Guys, we are *pumped* to announce our very first Canadian location (and international one at that)—in Toronto! We swung open our doors this past weekend and we’re having a great time already.
We launched our Canadian website in 2012, but until now, we didn’t have a retail presence here. We’ve always wanted to get to know our Canadian customers face-to-face, but wanted to do it right and wait until we had found the perfect spot to set up shop. (Spoiler: We found it—right on Queen Street West!) The CN tower plus the distillery district and the Toronto Islands are just some of the reasons we were drawn to the 6ix. And we feel lucky to be in such great company in the neighborhood; the area is vibrating with energy, thanks to tucked-away galleries, incredible eateries, and incredible retailers.
To celebrate our opening in Toronto, we’ve got an exclusive set of frames for our Canadian customers only in store and online: Durand in Moss and Chamberlain in Jet Black. They’re two of our favorites and available for a limited time in these hues, both as sunglasses and optical.
We’re also honored and thrilled to debut a new project from prolific Toronto-based artist, Micah Lexier, recipient of the 2015 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts (well deserved!), in our Queen Street West store. Just for us, he has created a series of three newsprint books called Free 4 the Taking, made in collaboration with fellow Canadian artists Maggie Groat, Mark Laliberte, and artist collective VSVSVS. The books are on display throughout, and they are, of course, free for the taking.
In our stores, we always offer a handpicked selection of books, available for purchase. We’ve chosen some of our favorite reads to include at this location along with books that are inspired by Toronto or originate with Canadian authors. (Margaret Atwood, Sheila Heti, Michael Dumontier, Neil Farber, and others!) Also in the mix is a custom-designed edition of Dostoevsky’s “The Idiot” (exclusive to Queen St. W.), newly illustrated by Toronto-born artist and author and friend of the brand, Leanne Shapton, as part of the Recovering the Classics program.
Leanne Shapton’s take on Dostoevsky’s “The Idiot”
And in that same literary appreciation, New York City artist Joana Avillez has illustrated a set of bookish notecards (right down below!) dedicated to the art of reading, available for purchase as a stationery set. We also have a set of blue gradient playing cards, made exclusively for us by our good friends at Fredericks and Mae, also available for purchase. (Also right down below!)
Customers can also grab a custom-illustrated and totally free map depicting the best places to sit and read a book in the neighborhood, illustrated by artist—and long-time friend—Jason Polan, a collaborator on many of our U.S projects. We’re so jazzed to share his light-hearted, off-the-wall work with our Queen St. W. customers.
Another artistic moment: Behind the Reference Desk is a custom-to-us mural by friend and celebrated artist, Maira Kalman. She’s a New Yorker contributor and has written/drawn a number of books (her illustrated version of Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style” is a particular favorite of many). We love her sense of humor and bold use of color, and have been fortunate enough to feature her work in several of our other retail stores in the U.S. We’re over the moon to have her work in our first Canadian location.
Come see us if you’re around! We’re excited to meet you.
Warby Parker Queen St. W.
684 Queen St. W.
Toronto, Ontario M6J 1E5
Daily, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.