It’s always exciting when a new business opens in Leaside. You might have noticed that the southeast corner of Sutherland and McRae is now the home of Salon Ten Ten. This business might be new to the neighbourhood, but owners Hilary Comiskey and her boyfriend Billy Tsopotos are certainly no strangers to the area. Hilary is a third generation Leasider. Her grandmother (86 and going strong) grew up on Bessborough and is still very active in the congregation at St. Anselm’s Church. Hilary grew up on Bessborough and her parents still live in her childhood home. Billy grew up close by in East York. So it seems it was a natural choice for the young couple to open their first salon together in a neighbourhood and community that feels so much like home.
From a young age both Billy and Hilary knew they wanted to own their own business. Hilary used to watch her uncle Peter Sullivan (now retired from Leaside business Peter Sullivan Landscaping) and aunt work together building a successful company. As a young boy, Billy spent summers in Greece watching his grandfather, a barber, groom the men of their village. He was fascinated by the precision with which he would shave his customers with a straight blade and the ritual of caring for his scissors and supplies. It’s here his love for hair and beauty was born. Hilary also had a passion for fashion and beauty. While Billy trained in haircutting, Hilary took to colour (the “painter and the sculptor,” as they like to call themselves). After being in the hair business for over a decade and a couple for more than four years, it seemed the right time to open their own salon.
221 McRae has seen many incarnations over the years. Most recently it was a dog grooming studio; then it stood vacant for a couple of years, so when they chose the corner shop for their Ten Ten, they knew they had a lot of renovation work ahead of them. Miraculously they transformed the space in just five short weeks! They had already decided on an “industrial chic” look. When construction began, they were thrilled to expose original beams and pipes that with a little love fit right in with their design. A client of theirs even built the cool cappuccino bar and main desk area for them.
You might be wondering what the name Salon Ten Ten means? For the past two years, Billy and Hilary have been cutting hair and growing their clientele from their apartment. To honour these humble beginnings they decided to name their salon after the apartment it all started in, #1010.
Check out Salon Ten Ten online at www.salontenten.com, or visit Billy and Hilary at 221 McRae Drive. Salon Ten Ten provides services for men and women ages 10 and up.