Second Time Around, 111 Yorkville,416-916-7669, third floor, 416-916-7669 Rating: NNNNN
Decadent designer labels bought fresh off the rack don't always satisfy Toronto fashion find hunter-gatherers. This is a street style city where the thrill of the find wins over straight-off-the-runway buys every time. That's why Karen Wong 's Second Time Around shop, hidden in the third-floor attic of a Yorkville row house, earns our pick for the summer's best-kept shopping secret. Her merchandise is well logoed with authentic LVs and Gucci Gs, but its gently used quality and generously reduced prices guarantee commoner couture cred. The men's and women's consignment store has a fantasy-walk-in-closet look. A dormer nook is lined with high-fashion footwear (tweedy Pradas, Dior pumps and a crafty pair of Marni sandals for $85). Escada dresses and Burberry shirts hang on the $10 to $100 rack. Bags and luggage bear the most expensive tags, but smart shoppers stop in often to see if a consigner has lowered his or her price to move a gotta-have-it piece.
Wong's picks: A white Just Cavalli tank screen-printed with an oversized bejewelled crown, $60; satin Christian Laboutin espadrilles that lace up your leg with ivory grosgrain ribbon, $200; a jumbo black Chanel quilted bag in a discontinued style coveted by serious bag nuts, $1,400.
Look for: Fall merchandise slowly trickling onto the racks as summer stock gets scooped up.
Hours: Monday to Thursday noon to 6 pm, Friday and Saturday noon to 7 pm, Sunday noon to 5 pm, or by appointment.