Toronto’s BlackToe Running Opens New Downtown Location
Eight years after opening their first location in King and Bathurst in Toronto, Mike and Maya Anderson, the husband-wife duo behind BlackToe Running, has opened a second location downtown. Their new location, at 2488 Yonge Street, is “the perfect place for a second location,” says Maya. “We had our eyes on it since before the pandemic. It’s big, bright and airy. Because it’s in an older building, there are also so many cool features that you couldn’t find anywhere else.”
Another key aspect of the new location is that the store is in a corner unit, in a large space, close to some of the best running spots in town. Between the Kay Gardner Belt Line, Mount Pleasant Cemetery, and Sunnybrook Park, guests have plenty of choices for hitting the trails. “Profitability was key in choosing the new location for the store,” says Mike. “As with our first store, we want to create a group of runners and organize community races.”
What’s new at the Yonge and Eglinton location?
The Andersons say the experience in the new store will be similar to their flagship location, but they’ve modernized the downtown vibe a bit. “It’s comfortable, but with more modern technology. I think we have the coolest locker room in the whole race. It’s supposed to look like the inside of a shoebox. It is a small room which we believe was once a bank vault. It wasn’t mobile, because you can’t move a vault, so we made it our locker room,” says Mike.
The couple teamed up with a local runner and designer Richard Kuchinsky to bring the store to life: “Richard gave us new ideas and we knew we had a great design, but the execution was difficult,” says Maya. “Many issues have arisen, some due to COVID, and some due to the usual issues that arise with construction. When it comes to materials, we had to strike a real balance between what we wanted and what was actually available.
The store is currently open for shopping while the owners put the finishing touches. The Andersons say they’ll be hosting a grand opening in about a month. “It’s amazing what came out of that hard work,” they say. “It took a little longer than expected, but we’re so proud of it!”
If you want to get involved in the BlackToe community, keep an eye out for their social pages. In the coming weeks, they will begin to hold community races on Thursdays. “These are just very low pressure races, really a chance for the new community to get to know each other,” says Mike. “For the new racing season, we will have two racing clubs, one for each location. It will probably be operational this summer.
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