For students and local trendsetters alike, thrift shopping is possibly the best way to find one-of-a-kind vintage items while sticking to a budget. Luckily for Montrealers, the city offers a plethora of local vintage, consignment, and thrift stores. To help students navigate the map of businesses spread across the city, The McGill Tribune found the best Mile End thrift stores based on their budget and style.
23 Bernard Street West
Located on the corner of Bernard Street West and St-Laurent Boulevard , Local 23 offers a dynamic space with an endless array of secondhand pieces. Although the store is quite small, its managers have fit an enormous quantity of pieces into that space. Local 23 specializes in ‘90’s vintage clothing, shoes, boots, and accessories. Their styles are ever-changing, with new pieces coming in every week from approximately 25 regular consigners. Most clothing items are priced from 20 to 40 dollars per piece, while accessories sell for slightly less. Unlike many thrift stores, Local 23 has a plus-size jeans rack, which makes it much more accessible to bodies of many shapes and sizes.
51 Bernard Street West
As Local 23’s sister consignment store, Empire Exchange is located right across the street, on the corner of Clark and Bernard Street West. Empire Exchange is Montreal’s first and only buy-sell-trade store, meaning that customers can sell their own articles of clothing for an immediate portion of the appraised value or store credit valid at multiple locations. The store specializes in in-season modern and vintage clothing, shoes, and accessories.
5330 St-Laurent Blvd
Focused on repurposing and recycling used clothing, Citizen Vintage offers an alternative to the rise of fast fashion through its environmentally-conscious mandate of recycling and upcycling secondhand pieces. In addition to selling vintage and repurposed pieces, mostly from the ‘60s and ‘70s, the store sells an array of handmade clothing articles from a variety of local designers, promoting the Montreal art scene. Although it is on the pricey side, Citizen Vintage is a great option for sustainable shoppers, and sells sizes up to 16, making it more accessible than many other shops.
157 Bernard Street West
With the greatest variety of item prices of all the shops on this list, Kay Vintage offers shoppers a true treasure-hunting experience. Although the space is quite small, the store is stocked from floor to ceiling with everything from five-dollar accessories to 50-dollar dresses and leather jackets. The store’s items are sectioned by price, making it easy and efficient to stick to your budget when shopping there. Its inventory includes hats, dresses, and leather wallets, belts, boots, and shoes. The owner is not only extremely friendly, but is also open to negotiating prices, making this store accessible to even the most frugal thrifter.
56 Saint Viateur Street West
Annex Vintage is a hub for vintage clothing-lovers and independent designers alike, showcasing hundreds of pieces from national artists. This shop sells more than just clothes. With jewellery, stationary, apothecary products, pins, patches, artist T-shirts, socks, and many other gift items on display, there is something for everyone. While on the pricier side—with some items selling for 60 dollars—Annex Vintage has a dynamic collection of high quality products that you won’t find elsewhere.