Finding “Love & Labels” in Toronto

Just like Carrie Bradshaw moved to NYC in search of love and labels, women are also moving to Toronto to experience a similar but Canadian city girl lifestyle. As the biggest city in Canada with over 5.5 million residents, it is common for people to compare Toronto with New York City. Our own version of the big apple is definitely growing, and the excitement and youthful energy continues to attract many different people. However, there is stress that comes with living in a large and lively city.

Let’s start with love: People are constantly on the go, moving from one place to the next… From the minute they get their morning coffee to when they leave their last meeting at end of day. Cities are breeding grounds for busy people who are focused on their careers, and Toronto definitely promotes this way of living, from express snack shops to high speed public transportation. The only time anyone has a minute to themselves is when they are waiting for something, or someone… and even then they will be checking their Smartphones for the next appointment or worrying about deadlines. There is certainly no shortage of singles in Toronto, so how can you meet like-minded ones?

As winter rolls around try saying no to hibernation and try to embrace the cold! If you want a winter wonderland inspired kiss on the snowy streets of this city, enduring the weather will be worth the storybook moment. There is always skiing, snowboarding, or a romantic midnight skate in Nathan Phillips Square. For those less inclined to the frosty feeling, a warm cup of coffee is to be found at one the many cafes in downtown. Or, as a classic date icebreaker, have an old-fashioned game at The Ballroom – a bowling alley, restaurant and bar in one, to give you a fun and playful chance of meeting someone special.

Carrie is a true fashionista, and let’s face it, you aspire to be one. Although we later learned that in real life, one cannot simply afford a bachelor apartment in NYC and a new piece of Prada every month while writing a newspaper column… we still want to make it look like we have expensive taste. For stylish women living in a big city with a small town budget, it can be discouraging if you don’t look your best. Like breeds like… if you love yourself, you will attract the right kind of person for you. Thankfully, Toronto is home to many unique thrift stores. The common misconception of “thrifting” is that it’s old and dirty… but trust me, there are more options outside of Value Village. Pretty Freedom is one of the many adorable boutique thrift shops located downtown. It’s clean, classy, and the just the right amount of vintage, and has carried brands like Ralph Lauren and Banana Republic. The trick with any of these stores is to look… if you look deep enough, you’ll be surprised what you find. Take your girls with you, make it fun! Playing dress up at any age is acceptable.

Another fantastic perk of this city is that it loves its discount stores. If you aren’t into thrift, i’m sure you’ll find better luck at some of Toronto’s Premium Outlets. Located a little further outside the city, you’ll find exceptional brands at cheap prices, such as Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and Fossil. Another great way to look for designer labels in Toronto is at consignment stores. Rare classics as well as noname labels can be found at one of the newest and classiest stores, VSP Consignment. With the look of a mini Holt Renfrew and the affordable prices, VSP is definitely somewhere you would find Carrie Bradshaw shopping.

Not being able to go shopping on the weekends can crush a woman, but not having any available credit left because you bought new Manolos each time you got dumped, is even more crushing. If you are ever watching Sex and the City and you suddenly feel like you are inadequate, always remember that there is no such thing as a real-life Carrie Bradshaw. The best you can do is create the best version of her using your own creativity and style, and begin the search for your own Mr. Big.

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