By Max MacDonald
In the realm of global healing and wellness, detoxing is big business. There are spas and centres ready to rid you of toxins. Now Toronto has a simple, chic and elegant market dedicated to helping your body live more peacefully. The Detox Market, which recently relocated its Toronto flagship to Spadina Avenue, occupies a space once owned by a furrier. “As a natural beauty company, we carry lots of vegan products however when we came to see the space there was fur everywhere it was really an interesting clean up,” as recalled by Laura Townsend, Marketing Director.
The Detox Market originates from Los Angeles, California as a pop-up in 2010 created to sell pure products which are curated passionately, tested efficacy and pure. In 2012 co-founder Romain Gaillard teamed up with naturopathic doctor, Bita Doagoo to bring The Detox Market to Canada. Using the lessons learned in LA, they opened a Toronto pop-up shop at 367 King St. W. which got fans and influencers clamouring for their unique take on beauty. This growth saw the market relocating to 420 King Street West and finally morph into their new permanent home at 116 Spadina Avenue.
As you step down into the subterranean area you’re instantly encouraged to relax. With an interior designed by Suulin Architects, headed by Amy Lin and James Chavel, their goal was to create serenity and a simple backdrop highlighting the products. The space combines a nod to the history of the building which was designed by Benjamin Brown in 1925 with a touch of modernity. With blond wood and stainless steel abound, a visitor can’t help but: wander, smell and test the 100s of products on placed soft light displays. Each area of the store is custom made to help encourage a sensory experience.
“The majority of the makeup we personally curate is you can literally eat it. It’s food grade quality,” says Townsend. The Detox Market carries brands from around the world from Gwyneth Paltrow’s infamous goop and RMS Beauty to Tata Harper and Pai. It’s hard not be overcome with joy and vows to try everything at least once. To nourish one’s hunger, without biting into a lipstick, they carry Toronto’s Greenhouse Juices and Kombucha’s. For men there’s a plethora of oils, balms, teas, and shave products all geared to keep a guy healthily well-groomed. It’s hard not to want to play with products in The Detox Market.
Walking around the store you notice: movable crates designed to be both seating and/or display, white ash makeup islands that occupy the heart of the store where customers can try samples or ask for an in-store lesson (they have 10 make up artists on hand), and an oversized sink where people are encouraged to play with new products. One of Townsend’s favourite things in the store is the community table which serves to display cosmetics and goods by day and host workshops by night. They encourage old fans and new customers to pop by for weekly-in store activities and demonstrations.
The Detox Market also operates storefronts at 96 Scollard Street in Toronto’s upscale Yorkville area, as well as a jewel box-sized space on the retail concourse of busy Union Station. In the United States, Detox Market operates storefronts in New York City (considered to be a flagship along with the new Toronto store) as well as eight units in Southern California, including Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Venice, Newport Beach and San Diego.
Whether you are looking for some self-care, gifts or just an escape from every day life, the new Detox Market Toronto flagship has products and a serenity which makes it difficult to return to day-to-day life.
Max MacDonald is a Toronto-based, award-winning, writer and editor. He has appeared as a personality on TV, radio and social media commenting on fashion, design and beauty. Max was the longest-running fashion editor at FAB Magazine where he interviewed everyone from the late celebrity hairdresser, Oribe, to Madonna. In 2014 he the created the online publication The Edito where he interviewed notables such as dance diva Kristine W. to Christopher Ciccone. 2016 saw him help legendary Toronto drag queen, Michelle Dubarry, obtain a Guinness World Record to global accolades.