I Barbieri: Life Is Shorter Than A Fade

Introducing City Life’s barber series! our favourite barbershop picks that will have you looking and feeling your best.

The origins of your local barbershop are rich with history, and barbershops as social institutions have been around for centuries — going as far back as ancient Rome, when Emperor Nero was served by his personal barber.

Today, barbers with flair keep up with and deliver ever-changing styles for clients of all ages and walks of life and even inspire male grooming rituals.

The barbershop has traditionally been recognized as a haven for men, a place to gather and socialize. It’s a judgment-free zone where men can vent, curse and express commentary that may otherwise be considered politically incorrect.

Barbers offer more than just a fresh style and steady razor- wielding hand. They are modern-day Renaissance men, knowledgeable about various topics because of their years of developing relationships with the people who sit in their chairs.

Whether the topic of discussion is sports, politics or societal issues, barbers are listeners, advisers and members of the community who reserve judgment wholeheartedly because they know that will encourage expression.

Above all, their greatest satisfaction is to serve the communities that have been so loyal to them.

If you’d like to see your go-to barbershop featured in future editions of City Life, email us at [email protected]

Anthony “Ando” Del Maestro and his crew at I Barbieri do more than trim, fade and style … they inspire.

Walking into I Barbieri is no different than walking into your living room … the ambience feels like home. The only difference is razors are gliding, hair trimmings are falling, and the smiles of community members are glowing in and out the door. I am welcomed by the owner Anthony Del Maestro- known to many in the North York community as “Ando”, as he meticulously prefects his client’s mid-fade.

Born into a hardworking Italian family in London, England, that fostered honesty and creative expression. Ando’s roots in barbering are well-established: His father was also a barber. Although Ando initially aspired to follow his passion for music and embrace the rock ‘n’ roll life, he was encouraged to give it a try.

“Why not?” Ando recalls telling himself.

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I Barbieri was formed to recreate a welcoming, unrushed atmosphere in a modern setting. Knowing that you can walk in, take a seat, relax and then step back out into the world more confident than ever is to anticipate a pleasure that will always be fulfilled. Today, Ando leads his fellow barbieri, or barbers, with respect and passion.

“The camaraderie here is based on friendship and respect. We’ve known each other a long time, and I trust them implicitly. I don’t like to call this ‘my place’ because it took all of us to make it right. This is ours and, especially, the community’s place,” says Ando.

What separates Ando and his fellow barbieri — Mauro, Akram and Simo from others is that their process is more detail-oriented than at other quick-cut places. Their services do not follow the one-cut-fits-all 10-minute affair, and their perfectionism is reflected in the quality of their shaves. Secondly, they are dressed to impress with ties and tailored suit vests because they understand and preach that how you present yourself is an indication of your self-respect and the respect you wish to receive from others. Most of all, what has clients coming back week after week is I Barbieri’s defining energy, which lets clients be themselves and learn more about themselves and the world solely through the power of meaningful conversation.

“This is not about cutting hair; this is more about building relationships than anything else. We need to be expressing ourselves in one way or another, right? I find that when you can find your true expression, that’s when you’re going to be closer to happiness than if you don’t. That’s why I love what I do, and I hope to inspire others,” says Ando.

After my first experience as a client, I can confidently say that the gentlemen of I Barbieri remind us that life is beautiful with their modesty, honesty and distinguished charm.

3524 Bathurst Street Toronto, Ont. M6A 2C6

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Marc Castaldo

Marc Castaldo