Shopping in Toronto is the perfect place to find unique and interesting items for every budget.
Toronto has become a premier shopping destination in North America in recent years, with a variety of neighborhoods offering something for everyone, regardless of budget. Its unique mix of cultures means you’ll find one-of-a-kind pieces from around the world and homegrown favorites. Make sure to leave some extra space in your suitcase for all your purchases – Toronto’s shopping scene is so tempting it’s hard to resist!
For those with special occasions in mind, Toronto has stores that will satisfy even the most discerning fashionista. Hudson’s Bay and Holt Renfrew are classic department stores, while Gotstyle is a menswear shop with a barbershop. If you’re looking for something more Canadian, head to the Drake General Store.
Whether you’re shopping for yourself or a loved one, you’re sure to find the perfect souvenir to bring back home.
The Best Places for Shopping in Toronto
1. Downtown Toronto
Yonge Street in Toronto is the longest street in the world. Spanning over 1,900 kilometers, this street is home to over 600 retail stores, ranging from independent boutiques to chain stores and bargain shops.
The Toronto Downtown district is also home to the Toronto Eaton Center, one of the largest malls in Canada. With over 300 stores, this mall adds an extra boost to the retail shops on Yonge Street.
Finally, at the heart of the district lies Yonge and Dundas Square. This square is the perfect place to take in the atmosphere of Yonge Street, with a variety of live events taking place there throughout the year.
2. Queen West
Queen West is a popular shopping destination during the day. It is popular for its eclectic mix of hip boutiques, designer stores, and high-street favorites. It has something for everyone, no matter their style or budget. Queen West has become a shopping mecca in a relatively short time, as it was once quiet and modest. Despite its sudden popularity, Queen West has managed to remain charming and unpretentious.
3. DRAKE GENERAL STORE
If you’re looking for something unique, Drake General Store is the place to go. It originally opened as the hotel gift shop for the Drake but has since expanded to four locations. It’s a combination flea market and museum shop with a variety of items. You can find everything from ghee and ironic children’s clothes to adult onesies and solid Gold Slinkys.
Drake General Store claims that “we love things that are sensible and things that are not so sensible.” Look for the neon purple cross to help you find the store, which may make you think you’ve stumbled into a pharmacy. Not to worry, you’ve just entered gifting heaven! And, no, the store does not belong to the recording artist.
Chinatown is a true paradise for shoppers. It is filled with one-of-a-kind trinkets, delicately decorated figurines, ornaments, and a variety of holistic remedies. In the center of Chinatown, visitors can find a food court and some unique accessories and fashion pieces.
Tap Phong is a well-known spot for kitchen utensils and household items among Torontonians and Kensington Market; just a short distance away, it is known for its vintage shops and graffiti walls, giving it a bohemian vibe.
5. SAKS FIFTH AVENUE
Toronto is often compared to New York City, and the opening of Saks Fifth Avenue only added to this perception. Located in the former home of the beloved Canadian landmark Hudson’s Bay, this large space proves that retail therapy is still alive and well. Women will find a paradise of over 1,000 shoes on display at any given time, allowing them to live out their Carrie Bradshaw fantasies.
Men are not forgotten either, as Saks Fifth Avenue declared, “Men are the new women.” This luxury market has something for everyone, even those who usually prefer to shop online.
6. The Distillery District
The Distillery District is a pedestrian zone, eliminating the risk of heavy traffic that is common in many shopping areas. This creates a safe environment for shoppers to explore the variety of stores and vendors. The area is known for its unique blend of Victorian Industrial architecture from the early 19th century and modern influences.
This place offers a range of independent stores selling unique clothing, accessories, and other items. In addition to the shops, there are plenty of cafés, restaurants, and galleries in the area for visitors to enjoy.
7. HOLT RENFREW
Shopping at Holt Renfrew in the Bloor-Yorkville area of Toronto is an experience in itself. The commitment to customer service is evident in the roaming concierges ready to attend to your every need. Complimentary alterations on all full-priced items add an extra level of service. In-house amenities such as a spa, barber, and cafe with delicious pastries and cappuccinos further enhance the shopping experience.
High-end fashion shows are held in-store, allowing shoppers to become inspired. Though you may not be able to purchase the items you see on the runway, the experience of Holt Renfrew is sure to leave a lasting impression. To top off the experience, indulge in one of the cafe’s delicious cappuccinos before you exit.
Leslieville is a trendy Toronto district located east of the Don River. It was originally a small village named after George Leslie, a nursery owner. Over the years, the area has grown into a middle-class residential area and is now a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.
Queen Street East is the epicenter of Leslieville and is packed with vintage stores, antique shops, cafés, galleries, and more. Here, you can find a great selection of quirky fashion items and accessories, as well as unique home decor and antiques. Leslieville has gained a reputation as the hippest place to drink, dine and shop in the city – a vibrant and exciting neighborhood with something for everyone.
9. HUDSON’S BAY
Hudson’s Bay is an iconic Canadian department store on any Toronto best shopping list. Founded in 1670, it is North America’s largest continually operated company and older than Canada itself. With its signature white and striped blankets, it has become a staple in almost every Toronto home.
The store offers a wide range of merchandise, including clothing, shoes, accessories, furniture, and beauty products. Visitors to Toronto should take advantage of the opportunity to purchase one of the famous blankets.
Despite the fact that department stores are becoming less popular, Hudson’s Bay is an iconic piece of Canadian history that should not be overlooked.
Ultimate fashionistas will be in their element in the Bloor-Yorkville area. This up-market neighborhood is known for its stylish and sleek haute couture labels. It is a discreet area tucked away between the high-rise buildings and larger shopping malls of Downtown Toronto. The buildings still preserve their Victorian architecture; inside, the boutiques showcase contemporary designs, creating a colorful and innovative contrast.
11. YORKVILLE VILLAGE
Yorkville Village is the premier destination for upscale shopping in the Bloor-Yorkville area of Toronto. Since it opened in the 1970s, it has been the go-to spot for celebrities and wealthy Torontonians.
The stores in Yorkville Village are stocked with designer shoes, handbags, and couture from renowned fashion houses such as Badgley Mischka, Christian Louboutin, Monique Lhuillier, Michael Kors, Carolina Herrera, Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, and Zac Posen.
Whole Foods is also located in the Village, so shoppers can purchase organic groceries and wine. For those looking for fitness activities, Equinox offers a variety of classes, such as yoga and spinning.
Yorkville Village is popular for its stylish atmosphere, making it the ideal destination for those who appreciate luxury.
12. Greektown on the Danforth
Toronto’s Greektown, located along Danforth Avenue, is a bustling center of activity. It is a popular meeting place for many and an ideal destination for shoppers. The avenue is full of markets and distinct retail stores, offering a wide selection of jewelry items, such as necklaces, earrings, and headbands. Brides also flock to Greektown to find the perfect gown, while high-end boutiques, homeware stores, and clothing stores keep other shoppers occupied.
13. LAWRENCE MARKET
The World’s Best Food Market has been in operation since 1803 when it was as popular as Market Block. In 1834 it became the temporary office of the local civic government. After the Great Fire of Toronto, it was rebuilt and has since become a hub of Toronto activity. The market offers more than just a shopping experience- insightful tours can keep visitors abreast of the market’s important role in Toronto’s history.
Most importantly, The World’s Best Food Market is a place of culinary delight, featuring locally aged cheeses, the best peameal bacon sandwiches in town, and many other delicious offerings.