Everything You Need To Know About Shopping In Toronto
Toronto is the capital of Canada and has a population of over 2.7 million, so shopping malls and department stores can get pretty crowded at times. The city is large enough and there are plenty of stores for everyone though, so don't panic – definitely check out the fabulous shopping in Toronto! We did some research to help you find the best times and places to go.
Shopping malls are popular in Toronto, and with good reason. Most of these places include a huge variety of shops, restaurants, entertainment like theaters, and fitness supplies stores. The Toronto Eaton Centre on Yonge Street is one of the largest in Canada with close to 300 stores and eateries to enjoy.
Another way to find a plethora of places to browse and purchase including vintage shops, boutique stores, and famous brands is to take a walk down the longest street in the world, Yonge Street. You may not be able to shop all the stores on Yonge Street since it is 1,178 miles long, but you can find many designer boutiques, clothing stores, and even art galleries to peruse. It's true, this street goes on forever, but the main shopping district is made up of over 600 retail stores, not including the Toronto Eaton Centre.
Queen Street West is another popular shopping street and the 501 Queen streetcar makes it so much easier. Hop on the streetcar and hit all the different neighborhood shops, each with its own personality and vibe. Designer boutiques and other nice shops can be found between University Avenue to Spadina Avenue.
No matter where you decide to shop in Toronto, you will need your hands free to carry all your purchases. Stop at one of the Toronto suitcase storage facilities to drop off your bags for safekeeping while you head for the boutiques and shops along Queen Street West, King Street, Downtown, or the luxurious Mink Mile.
Kensington Market is perfect for those looking for antique and vintage stores. The market is also home to a wide array of specialty grocers, bakeries, and specialty food shops as well as restaurants and bars to enjoy. Find it between Dundas Street West, Bathurst Street, Spadina Avenue, and College Street.
Kensington Market boasts a variety of kiosks, vendors, and boutiques in Toronto's Old Town, you can spend all day along the streets of this downtown Toronto neighborhood. You will find all sorts of budget items as well as one-of-a-kind pieces made by locals. Browse the Toronto market and then take a break at the quaint Bellevue Square Park.
St. Lawrence Market
St. Lawrence Market is another popular shopping spot on Front Street in the Old Town section of downtown Toronto. You can find a variety of items including fresh food, unique souvenirs, and antiques. They also have handmade items that you cannot get anywhere else.
It may not be as large as the Kensington Market but St. Lawrence Market boasts more than 50 food vendors as well as a gallery on the second floor. Some of the unique shops at this Toronto market include Bright Sky Jewellry, Anything Goes Accessories, and Kailash. Don't miss Acropolis Organics for hand-chosen items and Aren't We Sweet, featuring all sorts of sugary delights.
Take public transit to this unique and popular area. It seems like every metropolitan city has its own Chinatown and Toronto does not disappoint. In fact, you will find one of the largest Chinatowns in North America in Toronto with a collection of boutique stores, clothing stores, and specialty shops like Tap Phong Trading Company.
Most of the shops are spread out over Spadina Avenue and Dundas Street West. In fact, there are many boutiques and kiosks as well as Asian restaurants in Chinatown. Whether you are shopping for high fashion items like clothing, accessories, gems, or home decor, you can find all that and more in Toronto's Chinatown.
At the intersection of Highway 3 and Highway 407, Canada's first premium outlets mall Toronto Premium Outlets boasts more than 130 designer outlets in Toronto's downtown. As one of the newest malls in Toronto, this one is unique in the fact that it only includes premium stores and eateries.
It seems to be in the middle of nowhere, making it the perfect place for checking out the food, fashion, and other retailers without the hassle of too many crowds. You may not find a budget dollar store but you will find some world famous designer stores like Montblanc, Gucci, Jimmy Chu, and Tommy Hilfiger.
Chinatown shoppers can just keep strolling along to end up in Greektown and Little India where you can dine and browse Toronto's Indian culture shops. From a quaint and cozy silk and textile store to a shop selling homemade gifts, you will see it all in Little India.
If you are craving Pakistani cuisine, visit the Lahore Tikka House on Gerrard Street East. Or try Canada's most popular Egyptian brunch at Maha’s Egyptian Restaurant on the corner of Sandford Avenue and Greenwood Avenues. Be sure to stock up on your favorite Indian spices at Kohinoor Foods as well.
Yonge Street West
Queen Street West is a special area of retailers tucked into the city that begins at Yonge Street by the Toronto Old City Hall and ends at The Queensway by Sunnyside Beach. It is truly the longest street in the world and spans almost 1,200 miles, including picturesque places beyond the city. This street stretches from the shore of Lake Ontario all the way to Lake Simcoe.
Needless to say, you cannot shop all of these special stores in the city area of Yonge but you can have your pick of hundreds making your choices a little bit better here than anywhere else in Canada. The highlight of all of this is the Dundas-Yonge Centre, a public square near the Eaton Centre and Queen West.
Downtown in any city has its own vibe or character and in Toronto, the ambiance is special. In fact, the neighborhood encompasses many of the markets like Kensington and St. Lawrence as well as the Allen Lambert Galleria with its stunning atrium. The Toronto Eaton Centre is also in the middle of downtown just east of Bay Street.
Bloor Street East and Yonge Street are also included in this neighborhood and Chinatown is just north of Queen Street West. Along this street, you can visit Zara, MEC Toronto, and Kops Records. You can also grab a drink or something to eat if you visit any of the 100+ restaurants and bars downtown.
Also known as the Mink Mile, this Bloor Street West shopping area is known for its upscale shops and luxurious homes. Along this section of Toronto, you can visit top-name clothing stores like Gucci, Prada, Kate Spade, and 119 Corbo as well as Pellini Milano Paris, Vera Wang, and Luis Vuitton. But it is not all expensive shops on the Mink Mile. You can also find Banana Republic, H&M, and the Gap too.
In this stretch of Toronto, you can also find over a dozen spas and studios like Beaute d'Amour, Amani, and Spring Day Spa. Enjoy a nice massage or get your nails done between stores. If you are interested in art, there are several art galleries like Heffel, Kinsman Robinson, and Lumas.
Toronto Eaton Centre
The Toronto Eaton Centre cannot be missed with its highrise buildings and the huge number of stores. If you walk north on Yonge Street to Queen Street West, the variety of shops is incredible from dollar stores to high-end fashion clothing stores.
Besides being home to many of the anchor stores like Hudson's Bay, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Nordstrom, you will also find over 250 more places to shop and eat. It is one of the largest malls in the Toronto area with almost 500 thousand square feet of shopping space.
Dragon City Mall
If you are tired of the crowded malls with hundreds of stores where you have to walk for miles, try Dragon City Mall on the corner of Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue. In fact, this quaint shopping mall near Queen West has just about 20 stores but they are unique places you will not typically find at a Canadian mall.
For instance, the Sun Wa Bookstore of Canada has gently used and rare books as well as gifts, The Owl of Minerva is a one-of-a-kind Korean Restaurant, and there is even a karaoke bar on the second floor. To top it all off, there is a stunning public garden on the fourth floor.
Although it only has 46 stores, Yorkville Village mall on Avenue Road in Toronto's Yorkville Village has been open since 1976 and is one of the oldest shopping centres in Toronto on Avenue Road, just two blocks north of Bloor Street and Queen West. It is in the vicinity of the Mink Mile so many of the shops are high-end boutiques.
Shoppers head to this mall when they want to find everything from expensive luxury goods as well as Toronto's best organic grocers and wine shops. Michael Kors, Monique Lhuillier, and Christain Louboutin are a few stores to look for. You can also stop in the Yorkville Club to work up a sweat or enjoy some yoga.
Square One Shopping Centre
As the largest shopping mall in Ontario, the Square One Shopping area has over 330 stores selling household items, clothing, accessories, fashion items, and vintage shops. Found in Mississauga on the corner of Highway 403 and Hurontario Street, you only have a short drive to get there.
The mall has six anchor stores including Holt Renfrew, Simons, and Uniqlo to name a few. It even has a Walmart Store. It is truly a one-of-a-kind place to shop for anything from budget items to high-end fashion clothing and accessories.
Toronto Shopping Malls and More
Toronto has some of the best shopping boutiques, streets, and markets as well as malls, centres, and vintage stores in Canada. Kensington Market is a popular choice for fresh food and handmade wares while Bloor-Yorkville is where to shop for the high end shops and luxury finds. For everything in between, there is Queen West. If you have the time, make sure to visit Toronto Union Station. It's an interesting and unique transit hub with lots of excellent shopping too.