Bang on in Baby Point

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been edited from the original version. The Repeat Boutique (710 Annette Street) has not closed as initially reported.

One of my fave flicks is Bringing Up Baby with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn; it’s a hilarious screwball comedy with Grant and Hepburn perfectly matched and exploding with chemistry.

With the formation of the Baby Point Gates Business Improvement Area in June, let’s just say Baby (pronounced baa-by) Point is growing up.

The area around Jane and Annette streets – framed by those historic gates at that intersection – does seem to have matured, generally for the better, in the year since I’ve shopped the ’hood.

True, the lovely DIY bead shop La Perlerie has been closed since April (and a forlorn For Lease sign still in the window, alas), but two businesses have cropped up that fill the gap.

Designer diva for less

One, there’s a real gem around the corner in the space formerly occupied by Barnstorm Leathers (don’t worry, he’s still in the hood operating out of Roach Tackle Folk Art at 355 Jane St.).

Like Repeats, Coco’s Closet sells ladies fashions on a consignment basis, but the emphasis, as the reference to Coco Chanel suggests, is on designer duds.

Owner Nadia Trelle, a former associate buyer at Holt Renfrew and general luxury brand expert, has created a girly chic boutique with blingy black chandeliers and soft pink-hued walls.

Trelle specializes in gently used mid-to-high designer labels only a season or so old, everything from Prada, Marc Jacobs, Theory, Escada, Tahari – and yes, even the occasional Chanel or Hermes scarf, though they go fast.

The day I pop in Trelle is in the process of pricing a Louis Vuitton hand-held purse that would sell for $1,300 new, which she says she’ll probably let go of for $745. If she’s unsure about an item’s authenticity – and she’s got a bevy of experts to call on for a second opinion, apparently – she just won’t take it.

There’s some affordable mid-level items: an InWear knit top is $45; a plaid wool cape, very on trend, is $95.

My oohs and ahhs: red wool Prada suit, $595, Postcard winter coat that would sell for $1,300-1,400 new, $445; striped Christian Lacroix top, $495; and a great selection of designer handbags and purses and designer jeans.

There’s no vintage per se except for some of the jewellery – I bag a gorgeous 1970s gold-tone bracelet with an oval cut stone for 20 bucks.

413 Jane St., 647-981-6870,

Beauty bar for babes n’ boys

Meanwhile around the corner the Cranberry Flirt express nail and blow dry bar has been open for four months.

The place is super cute, sporting lots of gleaming white surfaces with some pink splashes thrown in and a zebra-esque print on the blow dry chairs.

Service offerings are pretty nifty too, everything from express manicures, $10 each, for the gal on the go to men and even kid’s manis and pedis.

There’s also waxing and, of course, the blow dry service — if you’re a real diva you can go for the full monty and get unlimited blow dries (up to one per day) for $250.

Facials are a real steal at $35-75, the best prices I’ve seen for a storefront.

784 Annette St., 647-352-2200,

Say it with a button

Further south on Jane in the former space of a longstanding German bakery I see there’s a new spa that looks like it does medical esthetics. I’m sad to see the bakery go but apparently the gent and his wife retired.

For those missing the bakery and looking around for a new lunch joint, a new foodie place called the Mad Mexican is opening soon around 383 Jane.

More new blood in the hood with the arrival of Critical Buttons, which decamped at the beginning of the year from its Kensington Market digs to Baby Point due to cheaper rents.

Owner Kyle tells me his biz is mostly online anyway, so location isn’t as important.

I haven’t worn a pinback button since I was a tween, when we used to decorate army bags with them. Turns out kids still do this — in fact buttons aren’t just for election campaigns — they’re indie cool and have maintained a hold on hipster culture.

The company can make buttons based on your design or design one for you if you’re not that arty. If you’re a real do-it-yourselfer, you can rent or buy the button making machines (there’s more than one model but the basic one is $275). Kyle tells me most people come back for the contraption that cuts the paper into circles for you as cutting them by hand is pretty arduous.

You can even walk in off the street with a design or a photo and get a single button made for about four bucks.

365 Jane St., 416-204-1984,

About this article:

By: Kelly Gadzala
Posted: Nov 2 2010 5:41 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto