With the new Toronto by-law taking effect July 7, wearing a mask is now mandatory in indoor public spaces. The mask needs to cover the nose, mouth and chin, without gapping. That means that business owners will have a mask policy going forward. Only children under two or those with an underlying medical condition will be exempt. And if caught breaching the bylaw, there is a set fine for businesses of $1,000. So with that in mind, what are the best face masks out there now?
To avoid that hefty penalty, and to help you make a buying decision, here is our Top 5 list of suggestions. The priority first and foremost of course is safety for all. But price point, quality and style are big factors now as well.
Best face masks: Peace Collective
Peace Collective is a Toronto-based company that may have heard of. That’s because in 2014 founder, Yanal Dhailieh, wore a “Toronto vs. Everybody” t-shirt to a Raptors game that created buzz.
Their goal is to focus on the bigger picture. So for every garment purchased, the company will provide three meals to Canadians in need through partner food banks to help fight against COVID-19. Having now shifted to creating re-usable masks, the materials include 100% cotton fabric. Plus they include a pocket for a filter sheet to add an extra layer of protection.
On top of that, the masks are handmade in Canada. Peace Collective has employed 14 seamstresses who had lost their jobs due to the pandemic. They start at $30 CAD for a two-pack and come in a variety of colours and local designs.
The Wanderly is a bohemian Dundas West boutique that has teamed up another local brand, the Wild Woven Collection, to make botanically dyed textile masks.
The masks are composed of 700+ count cotton and are dyed naturally using organic elements like marigold, butterfly pea flowers, even avocado. So that gives them a subtle marble effect. Each mask is $22 CAD, and all proceeds go to a Toronto-based, youth-led organization, Black Women in Motion.
View this post on Instagram
We have collaborated with our friends @wildwovencollection to make 100% cotton masks. Each mask is botanically dyed and made locally in Toronto. These masks are available online and in-store 💜 100% of the profits from the mask sales will be donated to @blackwomeninmotion “Black Women in Motion is a Toronto-based, youth-led organization that empowers and supports the advancement of black womxn and survivors of sexual violence. They work within an anti-racist, intersectional feminist, trauma-informed and survivor-centred framework to create culturally-relevant content, educational tools, healing spaces and economic opportunities for black womxn.”
Noir X Apparel
If you’re looking for a mask that will set you apart from the crowd, Noir X Apparel is for you. Made from 100% vegan leather and utilizing a special heat treatment, their masks recreate realistic-looking snake scales. And they hand select each piece of custom fabric, giving each person their own unique pattern. Also, it even comes with a luxury carrying case. These masks start at $48 CAD (sale price now).
If you’re looking for something a little more work-friendly, Harry Rosen has taken their signature dress shirts and repurposed them into face masks. Made from fine Italian cotton and featuring four layers of protective construction, these masks are designed with style in mind.
The masks are made in Toronto. To date, the company has donated over 2,200 masks to local hospitals in need. They are available online only and come in a pack of 2 for $50 CAD.
View this post on Instagram
We are pleased to announce our second delivery of handmade non-medical face masks. We're very grateful for all of the support and excitement surrounding our face masks when launched online last month. They sold out quicker than we could have imagined and we were able to donate over 2,200 masks to local hospitals in need. Since then, we've been working hard, right here in Toronto, to repurpose the production of our Harry Rosen Signature dress shirts and make them more widely available. We thank you for your continued support! Tap the link in bio to see the full selection.
If you’re not particular about Canadian-made and are looking to go all-out, Italian luxury fashion label Off-White offers three styles of masks, starting at $135 CAD. Plus the masks are made from 100% cotton and feature a double elastic for comfort and stability. Apparently they are popular among consumers in terms of best face masks. They have been selling out two out of the three designs.
There are many options to choose from out there now, so it was tough coming up with a Top 5. Some other candidates that we like include Peach Berserk (silkscreen pillowcase masks) and Sydney’s (Japanese suiting material). We also like Handsome and Lace (quirky designs) and Chronic Ink (tattoo shop designs).