Bloor West Village is sensational in the spring. Another couple weeks and every street corner and flower pot will be bursting with life!
Now, let’s talk about one of my favourite clothiers on the strip – Buck’s! Many years before this ultra-hot Bloor West Village fashion outpost was conceived, owner and head honcho Renee Mackenzie, started having this recurring dream of what is now the hot spot you know and love!
And here’s that story:
She re-tells the dream, describing first realizing she’s in a store-like space—you know how dreams work—and instantly she has this overwhelming sense of calm and happiness. All the fashion endorphins start pumping, life is great and then… blammo! The store closes. Renee wakes up. And she’s left with this overwhelming sense that something’s missing from her life.
I know what you’re thinking: How the buck does a WSIB adjudicator in the prime of her career find the chutzpah to put it all aside and forge a new path in small retail fashion? And yasss—it is exactly like when Alexis proved to the world that she could not only get her high school diploma, but she could also become an unstoppable lady boss on a global level!
So right after my first interview question (“White or rosé?”), I asked her how this magical curated clothing store came to be one of the biggest draws in Bloor West Village. Fun fact: Renee with her daughter, Kayla, started Buck’s Hard Goods in Oakville, not Toronto, and it was not a clothing store, but was primarily footwear and accessories. Their magic started in that cute little downtown pocket of Oakville, but after a few years and lots of learning, Renee was looking to bring Buck’s Hard Goods to bright lights, big city.
She started scoping out commercial space in the West End, primarily thinking of Roncy and Queen West. But for years the right space proved elusive. Then on a beautiful March day in 2018 – almost 5 years previous now – they found themselves in Bloor West Village.
Pause here for a moment.
So – for all of you who know Bloor West Village, you know the magic that Renee must have witnessed. All that glorious spring sunshine spilling everywhere. Everyone coming out of hibernation, the patios bursting at the seams, all the flower stands exploding with tulips… perfection.
It’s ‘The Village’ at its best. And that’s about the time that 2240 Bloor Street West became home to Buck’s Hard Goods!
Even before it opened, the shop generated excitement in the neighbourhood. I mentioned to Renee that people used to stand outside and guess at what new shop was opening. She laughed and said that they would hear people outside and see them peeking in as they worked away at prepping their new digs. What can I say?
As a neighbourhood – we love our small businesses! And Renee was quick to agree, “Bloor West Village is the most supportive neighbourhood in the city. It really is like a village and people care.”
Buck’s original concept of footwear and accessories organically grew to become more of a purveyor of all cool streetwear staples. The pieces and collections that they carry are curated from dozens of quality independent labels for both men and women. You will LOVE the finds from Saltwater Luxe, Rino & Pelle, Circle of Trust and Heartloom. And fan-favourites like Kut, Galo, Chaser and Save the Duck are personal style winners each and every time.
Just as Buck’s Hard Goods was gaining momentum, curating trendy looks for their west-end clientele, hiring talented and fun staff, becoming a mainstay of the neighbourhood… the pandemic hit. And it hit hard.
The months and months and months of the stay–at-home order weighed heavily as inventory sat and waited. Renee remembers watching a girlfriend, who is also in the retail business, hosting a live online trunk show. But she couldn’t do that. Or wait…could she?
At the time, Buck’s had an online presence but they needed to next-level their engagement. And that they did, tripling their online audience with edgy posts and stories, fun reels, and beautiful snaps of their curated looks. And his brings us to one of my favourite Buck’s offerings: the Buck’s Thursday Live Auction. It’s grown and refined since the locked-down days of the pandemic, but you’ll still see Renee and her team in action as they showcase all their wares. Using the online chat feature, viewers can bid on selected pieces from their collections.
It’s like Christie’s… but way cooler!
If you want to check it out for yourself, jump onto Insta, follow @bucks.hard.goods and tune in at 8pm on one Thursday each month — watch for it!! When the auction goes live… well, that’s when you start shopping! This is not a humble suggestion, it’s a ‘Save The Date’ for your calendar, especially as the gift-giving season rolls into town.
Since Buck’s Hard Goods has come into its own, I’ve purchased shoes and boots for me and my guy, sweaters for me, my mum and my daughter; fabulous earrings for me and my mum; cute dresses, cool tanks, comfy joggers, big hoodies and sharp denim …for me. Oh geez, there’s a pattern happening here… Oh, and I cannot get enough of their scented candles. My faves are Femme Fatale and Thunder Struck!!!
I honestly can’t say enough about how fantastic this shop is. I wish I could buy everything!
Anyway kids, here’s the lesson:
Dream big, work hard, and never underestimate the power of a great outfit!
So what are you waiting for? Get down here, spend your money and make a day of it in ‘the village’.
Keep watch on Instagram for their live events!!! @bucks.hard.goods
Wouldn’t it be lovely to have the leafy enclave of Swansea as your family’s community, with the awesomeness of Bloor West Village just a 5-minute walk away?
For the lucky new owners of this detached 4+1bed, 3.5bath family home on Durie Street in Swansea – NOW SOLD – it will be a reality!
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We also SOLD this brilliant listing at 48 Deforest Road – a 3bed, 2bath, renovated semi-detached residence (with a finished lower level and semi-detached one-car garage) boasts countless modern upgrades and represented a tremendous opportunity! A Splendid Semi-Detached Residence In Family-Friendly Swansea
And this 3bed 4bath townhome called A Stylish Family-Friendly Townhouse In Desirable Swansea. It was an urban oasis!
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And this Vintage Bungalow Perched On The Slopes Of Morningside Avenue that SOLD for $651k over asking!!
Love Swansea, Bloor West Village & High Park Like We Do?
Here are some of our other Amenity Blogs in these neighbourhoods:
How Toronto’s Original BIA Betters Bloor West Village & The Surrounding Communities
Sporting Fish-Eating Grins At Snappers Fish Market
Cycling The West Toronto Railpath
Born To Ride: Exploring High Park And Beyond By Bicycle
A Lotta Love For Toronto’s High Park
Rennie Park Is My Swansea Sanctuary
Stepping Back In Time In The Village of Swansea, Toronto