Giuseppe Romantini, Joe’s Barber Shop

Toronto's Italian Barbers

2012/01/30 - Written by Viviana Laperchia
Giuseppe Romantini, Joe’s Barber Shop, photo Giulio Muratori
Giuseppe Romantini, Joe’s Barber Shop
Giuseppe immigrated to Canada on September 10, 1958. He started working in a barber shop on Royal York and Queens Quay, but eventually ended up on College St. “La mia vita sono 51 anni di College.” Joe’s Barber Shopis located withinAvalon Hair Design, a cutting-edge hair salon co-owned by his daughter Loriana. 

Birthplace: Rovito (CS)

Why did you become a barber? Perché mi piaceva. Ero un ragazzo, avevo 12 anni, pulivo, poi ho imparato i capelli, la barba, ecc. Per me un era modello, poi ancora all’età mia lo faccio.

Cutting hair for: 62 years

Training: I learned at school and then under the tutelage of maestro Stefano in Italy, the town’s barber

Quality to be a good barber: It takes years of training. It looks easy, but it really isn’t. You need a lot of experience to get it right. Now I do it with my eyes closed.

Favourite cut: Taglio all’italiana, con la sfumatura, raffinata con il rasoio

Worst cut: I capelli come i galli, le creste. Io non li faccio, li passo alle ragazze. Un taglio professionale è all’uso italiano.

Clientele: We get doctors from Mount Sinai, lawyers, and everyday people.

Thing you love about your job: It’s a very ‘complete’ job, it gave me my living, helped support my family. I also have to thank Canada because I came with nothing and was able to have an honest and quiet life

Who cuts your hair? My daughters or other girls here at the salon

What do you think of hairdressers? Not much of a difference, just the number of female clients.

About retiring: It’s nice to retire but I need to stay busy and active. I work part-time when my family isn’t here. I come here to keep the place in order

About the decline of the trade: Se sei professionale e sai lavorare, non muore mai. Non farai tanti soldi, ma qualcuno avrà sempre bisogno di tagliarsi i capelli.

Joe’s Barber Shop

541 College St, Toronto




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