Shop the Peg with fashion guru Lennard Taylor - Lennard Taylor at work in his Exchange District studio.

Lennard Taylor at work in his Exchange District studio.

By: Guest post by Lennard TaylorApril 30, 2018 //

With the spotlight on three major sports franchises, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, a world-renowned ballet and orchestra, The Forks National Historic Site, and many other major destinations, other great aspects of Winnipeg sometimes go unnoticed. Often referred to as Montreal’s younger sibling, Winnipeg boasts amazing shopping. 

Winnipeg’s garment industry has a long and successful history in the Exchange District in the heart of downtown. From the late 1800s to the 1980s companies produced mostly basic garments, like socks and gloves, but eventually those companies outsourced overseas. Since then local fashion brands have taken advantage of the area. As with almost all its accomplishments, Winnipeg is modest when it comes to its influence on North America’s fashion industry. Second only to Montreal, Winnipeg’s clothing companies design and manufacture some of the world’s most sought after names like Richlu, Canada Goose and Freed & Freed International. It is also an exciting time for a score of up-and-coming brands like Tony Chestnut, Bellabelas, Lennard Taylor Design Studio Inc. and Sarah Sue Design, who all produce in small cut-and-sew factories. With such longevity and success, it’s no surprise that fashion is here to say in Winnipeg. 

I was born and raised in Winnipeg so starting my business here was never in question. Lennard Taylor Design Studio Inc. started in a small space 11 years ago and with growth and success we were able to move to the Exchange District to open our beautiful two storey shop in a heritage building at 246 McDermot Avenue. Being a small business owner myself, I know what it means to have the support of Winnipeg residents and tourists and I am passionate about buying local whenever possible. Even though it might seem a bit biased, my go-to neighbourhood for fashion, art and culture will always be the Exchange District. No where else in North America can you find such a density of beautiful historic buildings.  These are the buildings that were built when money was not an issue. It wasn’t just money that built these glorious monuments of the human race’s ability, it was pride. That same pride still resonates through the Exchange District.  It's home to some of Winnipeg's cutting edge designers, international artists, world renowned architects, boutique coffee shops, celebrated culinary restaurants, theatres, galleries, maker spaces, jewellers, concert halls, and many other unique businesses.  The Exchange District is the heart of arts and culture in Winnipeg.  

You can buy almost any gift or souvenir in the shops of the Exchange District. Find a stellar hat at Haberdashery or put together a contemporary ensemble from Anya. Visit my store, Lennard Taylor Design Studio Inc., to buy a statement piece from my latest collection or watch my team sewing right in front of your eyes. Everyone loves a little sparkle in their lives. How about some stunning jewellery from DConstruct or Hilary Druxman?  If you’re looking for unique stationary you won’t be disappointed with Tiny Feast. Find beautiful Canadian-made treasures at Tara Davis Studio Boutique next door to our studio. 

Need some hip menswear? Check out the fast-growing Winnipeg brand ORDNRY.  You can never have enough bags or purses, in which case, you should check out UNLuggage.  Want to see some makers doing their craft right on the spot?  Check out Wilder Dry Goods, Old Hat, Commonwealth, and Mud & Stone which all are conveniently located on the same floor of 290 McDermot Ave.  If vintage or second hand treasures are part of your wardrobe or home design then you must visit PJ Vintage, Antiques & Funk and Vintage Glory.  To experience the art scene while on your trip to Winnipeg, you must come to the Exchange District in the evening on the First Friday of the month. You will experience over 50 artists studios/galleries and most stores stay open for the event.  Visit to download your free printable map that will guide you on a journey that will blow your mind.  I have only listed a few of the extraordinary businesses that call the Exchange District home and make this neighbourhood the cultural gem it has become. Explore it for yourself and be sure to rest your shopping weary feet and take stock of all your new finds at any one of the many restaurants or pubs in the area. 

While the Exchange District should not be missed, Winnipeg has a few other areas that need mentioning. Corydon Avenue, Osborne Village and Academy are all great for clothing and accessories shopping when you need to find something that will turn heads and is more unique than a big box store purchase. For shoes and jewellery, visit Rooster and Silver Lotus in Osborne Village. While there, be sure to stop in at Out of the Blue across the street for some great fashion and accessories. Academy boasts great shops like Eyelet Dove, Therapy Boutique, and Mad About Style. Stop in at Jenna Rae Cakes for one (or three) of their famous macarons. 

When you come to visit Winnipeg make sure you put shopping local at the top of your list. You will not be disappointed with the treasures and the friendly people you will find in what can only be described as Canada’s hidden gem.