4 John St. (Weston Village)
World Famous Peter’s Barber Shop is the definition of old-school: The shop’s staff and patrons are overwhelmingly male, the haircuts are cheap (under $20), and the clientele is loyal.
Indeed, with the city’s influx of haute salons and hipsterized barber shops, places like Peter’s are becoming increasingly rare. And though founder Panteris (Peter) Kalamaris died last October, 50 years to the month after opening the shop, the place remains largely unchanged with his son, Peter Jr., running it. Peter Sr.’s chair sits empty out of respect, and longtime customers pat the seat to pay homage.
Besides being a sort of Weston Village boys club, however, Peter’s attracts a healthy clientele (both loyal and new) from as far away as Georgetown, St. Catharines, and Barrie for another reason: It’s chock-full of Leafs memorabilia.
With tickets, signed photos, jerseys, gold seats, and an old turnstile from Maple Leaf Gardens, the place is like an unofficial hockey hall of fame. As well, current and former NHLers including Gordie Howe, Ken Dryden, and Jay Rosehill have stopped by for cuts, and countless others have left their autographs on the shop’s sizable wall of fame.
It’s even famous enough to have made it on to the Canadian sports-tourist circuit. Kalamaris recalls a family from Seattle that stopped by a few weeks ago to check out the memorabilia on a cross-country hockey pilgrimage. “They had been to the Hockey Hall of Fame earlier that day,” he says. “They stopped in here to get their haircuts before moving on to Montreal to see the Bell Centre.”
Kalamaris Sr.’s legacy is still unfolding. Weston Village’s John Street has already been given an honourary name in remembrance of him, and 1,600 customers and neighbourhood residents have signed a petition to have a nearby laneway named Panteris Kalamaris Lane. Etobicoke York community council approved it this week; the item will be decided once and for all by city council in October.