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Okay, Torontonians. It’s our time to shine.
Although the city lives and breathes beauty all year round, there is nothing quite like a Toronto summer. We love this city for all that it is — the culture, the businesses, the food, the views. When the trees start to turn green and the sun starts shining, Toronto feels reenergized and city dwellers feel ready to enjoy a quintessential city summer.
Something us city folks will know about summer city living is that there are undoubtedly some Toronto must-haves for these sunny months. It isn’t a true Toronto summer without some warm weather essentials (we’ve got you covered for this one), an overheating moment on the ttc (can’t help you here, sorry), and a visit to the island (see you there!).
Here’s our go-to list of handy and helpful goods for life on-the-go in the city:
Essential #1: A go-to city bag
Something to carry your SPF and sunglasses in, of course!
Will tote bags ever go out of style? We don’t think so. There’s something about a Toronto tote bag that just says “I live here”. We encourage you to hop on the tote bag train, because a city summer calls for a lot of water, sunscreen, and snacks to carry about. You can make it your own with our wide range of design options.
If you pack light, this one's for you. This sling is still big enough to fit your sunglasses, because that is essential, but it is cross-body and utilitarian for the days you’re out and about. Check out the new sizes and styles that recently arrived at the shops!
Adding a splash of summer-inspired colour, Danica’s hip bags are fun and functional. Available in a handful of patterns, you could match them with your warm-weather outfits or pick a staple for your everyday wear.
Essential #2: Easy, no-brainer jewelry
For when it’s too hot to think about styling accessories — we’ve picked out the easy ones for you.
When you’re busy enjoying every second of the sun, you don’t want to think too much about throwing together every piece of an outfit. That’s why we love these simple yet unique flowery hoops, because they’re a summery floral twist on a classic, goes-with-everything style.
Here comes the sun! This sunray necklace by Toronto jewelry designer Biko is one that we see becoming a staple for the city summer. Not only is it designed with the sunshine as its inspiration, but its simplicity makes it accompany any and all summery outfits with ease.
This mixed chain bracelet achieves the layered bracelet look without having to spend the time untangling and matching. The word “effortless” is what’s important here. Throw this on with any outfit and it will elevate your look to exude elegance with very little effort.
Essential #3: Grab-and-go Skin Savers
The sunshine is good for the soul, but not as good for the skin. We’ve got you. You’ll love these Canadian skincare brands, too!
A mineral facial sunscreen with SPF 30 that will provide broad-spectrum protection for your face without irritating your skin. This non-greasy, non-whitening formula is perfect for daily use to let you enjoy the sunshine safely.
Beeswax lip balm to take your lips on a tropical vacation. Their lip balms smell so irresistibly delicious and will keep your lips hydrated for hours. Made with clean, natural ingredients and hand-poured in small batches, you’re supporting your lips and a small business — it doesn’t get better.
Infused with aloe vera and intended to set your makeup and give your face a refresh, this face mist is made for hot summer days. It is also great for bare skin as a spritz of rejuvenation on a hot day, and available in multiple fragrances!
Essential #4: Hair Accessories to Keep you Cool
If you know, you know.
Handmade in Toronto, Freon Collective cotton scrunchies come in a variety of colours and patterns to match your summer looks. If you know what it’s like when the heat hits and you have to put your hair up, you understand why these are in our essentials list.
Handmade hair ties that are also made with love in Toronto. If you prefer something sleek that still gets the job done, PonyTail Mail makes these hand-knotted adjustable fit hair ties in a selection of vibrant colours.
A fun and shiny way to keep your hair off your face in this heat! This brass hair slide is intended for half-up styles, and is a unique way to put together an effortless summer hairstyle.
Essential #5: Must-Haves for the Park
We will not be chiming in on the East vs. West side debate. We love both, okay?
These blankets, otherwise known as Turkish towels, are the perfect lightweight answer for your picnic in the park. Easy to carry around and easy to clean, it has all of the essentials of a park date, and you can pick one up in your favourite colour!
Designed for a relaxing yet active day off, this vacuum insulated and easy-to-carry tumbler is designed to keep a cool summer drink to be enjoyed on an even cooler summer adventure.
Nothing says “Toronto Summer” like a picnic in the park. Whether you’re a High Park person, Trinity Bellwoods regular, or have your own hidden gems (share please!), you’ll need to pack your snacks, and we’ve got just the thing. The perfect size for a picnic for two, this cooler is easy to clean and easy to carry.
What essentials will we find in your weekend bag? Let us know in the comments!