I flew in on the last day of September to extraordinarily warm weather - 20-degree temperatures in October in Toronto are unheard of - but predictably boring fashion, if you can call it that. Strolling along the street with my sister, I saw only track pants (and by pants, I mean bottoms or trousers), slouchy T-shirts and running shoes.
Even the high school kids were boring, opting for mountain hiking gear and oversized backpacks rather than skinny jeans, sweater dresses or anything remotely trendy. It's like people don't even bother getting dressed before going out in public.
Now I'm not saying you should get dressed up to the nines just to dash into the off-licence, but a little effort would be nice. What I saw in Toronto was people taking comfort over style to the extreme.
The one good thing I did find back home, which here you must pay an arm and a leg for if you want a decent pair, is shoes. Throwing caution and my 20kg baggage allowance to the wind, I hauled back four pairs, from shoe boots to ballet flats. And I came away only £200 poorer. I found the selection of brands, styles and prices much more appealing that what's on offer here - and I am tempted to go back for more.
I don't think, in general, it's the retailers in Toronto that are missing the mark with their fashion offer. Goodness knows, I did see a lot of edgy pieces. The problem, I think, is the nonchalant attitude of many Torontonians, for whom fashion is simply not a priority.