About Us


The late Elia Pizzonia was born in Curinga, a small town in Calabria, Italy. He started apprenticing as a tailor at the early age of 8. Elia studied under "Mastro Leo" who was a master tailor. He successfully dedicated himself to this art and was committed to becoming a master tailor. When Elia immigrated to Canada in 1961, he brought with him knowledge, experience, determination and the dream of creating one of a kind outerwear for Canadians using European artisanal methods. He began his journey in Canada by working as a "piece work" tailor for various manufacturers including Hannah Ladies Wear, Roth Stern and Lindzon. In the evenings, he provided couture services for private customers from his basement at home. While working at Dylex/Tip Top Tailors, his expertise was quickly identified and he was promoted to foreman. Throughout the years, he raised a family and with the culmination of his experience he founded Coats By Mary Ellen, named after his daughter Mary and loving wife Ellen.

In March 1982, Coats by Mary Ellen opened its doors on Spadina Avenue, in the heart of Toronto's "Fashion District" with many clothing manufacturers lining the streets. Elia always surrounded himself with highly skilled professionals to assist him in making his creations. He taught his sons John, Domenic and Tony and daughters Lisa and Mary the necessary skills that would keep the family legacy alive. Now into its second and third generation of coat makers, John Pizzonia is at the helm. The Pizzonia family continues to offer local and international clientele an alternative to the traditional coat buying experience.

Whether it's 'off the rack' or custom made, customers are guaranteed to be satisfied that their money was well spent....Coats by Mary Ellen... over 36 years of satisfying the need for quality and style.