BALISI 711 Queen West, 416-203-2388 and 668 College, 416-532-1074 www.balisi.com
Balisi owners Rehlee Balisi and Cory Kierstead pulled an all-nighter February 19, preparing their second shoe shop for its launch party debut that evening. As the sun rose, they heard a commotion coming from the street and walked out onto the sidewalk to see the now legendary Queen and Bathurst fire raging a block away. It was a dramatic welcome to their new location, but the closed-off street and smoky smell lingering over the strip didn’t deter opening-night guests from celebrating their arrival.
A month later, the neighbourhood is moving on, and Balisi’s footwear stock has swelled. Men can choose from stylish sneaks by Zeha, Fly London or Boxfresh, while women drool over Chinese Laundry sandal heels, quirky Irregular Choice flats and glossy Kamik rain boots in juicy spring colours. Clothing has a much larger focus at the store’s southern outlet, with oversized bags and quick-fix jewellery complementing tunic and tank dresses by Vancouver’s Lovely Girl or Montreal’s Voll. Denim by Kaporal, Denim & Thread and Jetlag rounds out Balisi’s mix.
Balisi picks: Miz Mooz’s low wedge is available in black, brown and tan, $99.99; the pointed toe of Fly’s Tile style is layered with brown, orange and red leather strips, $239.99; Irregular Choice’s Duchess flat is made of perforated turquoise suede edged in gold, $144.99.
Look for: Balisi’s annual fashion show fundraiser at Revival (783 College) on May 7 benefiting SickKids Foundation. Watch www.balisi.com for ticket info.
Hours: Monday to Thursday 11 am to 8 pm, Friday and Saturday 10 am to 9 pm, Sunday 11 am to 6 pm.