Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Mississauga, Ontario. I had a very idyllic childhood. My parents’ house back’s onto a natural park & ravine, so I lived my days like I was a member of Pan’s Lost Boys.
What brought you to Toronto?
Ironically – an expired visa brought me to Toronto. After a year at Ryerson, I moved to the UK to attend University of Arts, London College of Fashion. What was only supposed to be two years quickly became five. When I returned to Toronto I knew I needed to live in an area that mirrored the lovely community vibe I had in Kensington, so I’m blessed to have found my little haven in Roncesvalles.
What do you do for a living?
I’m a stylist. Still quite unbelievable to me that I can get paid to do what I love!
How did you get started?
I was interning at Dolce & Gabbana during my final couple of months at Uni. Initially I was there to support them during their buying season, by filling out paperwork, serving coffee – the typical intern duties, but they took an interest in my personal style & asked if I would dress the models for their Buying meetings. Essentially I had to sell the D&G look to the head Buyers of all the major department stores across Europe.
After that- there was no turning back, really. I will always be incredibly grateful to the D&G team for leading me down this exciting path.
What’s your favourite thing about your neighbourhood?
My favourite thing about my neighbourhood is the friendly, hippy community. Sometimes I feel like I live in Mister Rogers’s neighbourhood, which is really comforting when you go through periods of living out of a suitcase.
What’s the last treasure you found?
My most recent treasures are a white fringe dress that I found at Public Butter, which makes me feel like Dolly Parton. And I absolutely adore the Odacite Carrot Serum that I got at Frock. It gives you this amazing healthy glow.
If you were going to eat your last meal in Toronto, where and what would you eat?
Toronto has some really incredible restaurants! Some of my favourites can be found right here on Roncesvalles, but when I miss a home-cooked meal & crave comfort- I head to Church Aperativo Bar & order their gnocchi. Nothing really beats a fresh plate of pasta.
If it was my last meal – it wouldn’t be complete without heading to Geraldine’s for their ‘Sunset in Provence’. It’s my all-time favourite cocktail. If I was on my death bed- I would want that coursing through my veins.
If you could have a sleepover with anyone who has ever existed, who would it be?
Marie Antoinette for the champagne & cakes.
George Harrison for the music & makeouts.
If your life was a TV show, what would be the theme song?
It would have to be Bob Dylan’s ‘Queen Jane Approximately.’ I just can’t stop dancing to it.
What does Toronto need that it doesn’t have now?
Toronto definitely needs better transportation. The subway & streetcar system is archaic.
…A place to buy a good Bacon Butty would be cool too.
See Amanda’s work at www.amandalshirreffs.com