The area of Queen and Dovercourt in Toronto is home to many cute little shops but one that stands out the most to me, is Chasse Gardée boutique, around since 2008. The French name translates to "private hunting ground" which sets the stage for what to expect quite well.
Daniela Bosco, owner of Chasse Gardée (Photo by Jenna Marie Wakani)
What you can expect to find inside are hard to find labels: Dries Van Noten, ELA, Jeffrey Campbell, Cheap Monday, Miss Alice, and Won Hundred to name a few. What you may not know is that Daniela Bosco, the owner, carefully orders one of each size in a particular shoe style, which means you likely won’t see someone on the streets rocking your shoes. That is brilliant thinking! While I always lust for the shoes first, they also carry belts, purses, tees, and sometimes if you are lucky, you can find a dress or other pieces of clothing.
What I love most about this store, unlike most stores that carry so many things and have poor displays of them, they make for an unpleasant shopping experience overall. Chasse Gardée however has a front window, letting in natural sunlight on the exposed brick, and glossy wood with high ceilings. The decor allows for the merchandise to speak for itself, it's almost like walking into a carefully curated art installation, where each piece in the store is its own focal point. The products carried at the boutique are selected from designers globally.
Daniela actually designed this space and got together with her girls to build it — talk about putting your sweat and tears into your business. Not only is it a retail space, but the boutique also rents itself for after-hours usage as a gallery, yoga studio, event space.
Photos by Eugen Sakhnenko