Canada's most vibrant city is also its top shopping destination, with an inspiring mix of edgy fashion boutiques, world-class design stores and perfectly droll souvenir shops.
This is the original, inspiring location of what has become a vintage chainlet offering a deep selection of Toronto necessities (wool cardigans, boots), along with plenty of femme finds ('60s slips, Bakelite bangles). We even found our favorite fur-trimmed coat on the racks at 69.
1100 Queen St. W., 416-516-0669, 69vintage.com
Worth the detour on an otherwise missable stretch of Dundas Street West, this cute spot offers graphic-print tote bags, pillows and tea towels—as well as custom-designed furniture—by husband-and-wife design team John Booth and Arounna Khounnoraj.
798 Dundas St. W., 416-203-2549, bookhou.com
- city guide
This store’s window displays are perennial showstoppers. And the inside of Louise Cooper’s salon is even more thrilling, with high-end vintage like Chanel jackets and Louis Vuitton bags, plus a sale rack stuffed with Pucci dresses.
180 Avenue Rd., 647-435-5875, thecatsmeowcouture.com
They may not bear any relation to a certain Toronto-born rapper, but these three satellite boutiques are more than mere hotel gift shops; they’re a repository of wittily self-aware Canadiana souvenirs, like Erica Weiner’s maple-leaf earrings, Gibbons Farm maple syrup and drinking cups that stack into a mini totem pole.
Founder Lauren Baker has been on a roll since she started LAB as a pop-up in 2009. Nowadays, you'd be hard pressed to find a blue chip label that hasn't made it onto the racks at one point or another. Believe us when we say it's worth the schlep uptown.
The hottest clothing shop in downtown Toronto boasts a spacious second floor complete with a fully-stocked espresso bar. Head here when you need stylish outfit options for a last-minute date — especially on Saturday evenings, when cocktails are served.
There’s so much vintage Danish furniture in Toronto that the futuristic wares at Mjölk—which stocks the latest from Scandinavia—provide a pleasant aesthetic jolt. You’ll want to take home the entire selection of super-slick kitchen aids (including a concrete soap dish!).
Don’t be overwhelmed by the mind-blowing amount of stuff—apparel, furniture, bric-a-brac—at this Parkdale shop. You’ll find more than enough treasure to justify sifting through it. We scored a pair of perfect red pumps for an equally mind-blowing $20.
While the local fashion community often reflexively reaches for gray and black, RAC refreshingly veers in the opposite direction, with colorful garb: Look for cheerful printed dresses from Mara Hoffman, hot pink tunics from Ashley Rowe and sweater dresses from Rodebjer.
If we had to outfit ourselves for the summer at one store, it would be Robber—all our favorites are here, including graphic-print Mociun swimsuits, eco-friendly Bodkin tunics and breezy sundresses from Built by Wendy.
863 Queen St. W., 647-351-0724, robberstore.com
This Mirvish Village shop mixes vintage clothing (Pucci hot pants and slipdresses from the ’20s) with unusual decor items, like a French-language school map of the Middle East—all at terrific prices. Upstairs is Vintage Bride, a sister store dedicated to wedding gowns from the ’30s to ’70s.
Michelle Germain showcases top talent in this all-Canadian boutique. Among our favorites are Ashen Drift’s braided necklaces, Freshly Printed’s silk-screened linens and Charlotte Hosten’s rosette-style silk brooches. We picked up a pair of ultra-comfortable pants from local brand Yoga Jeans by Second Denim—better than leggings for the plane home.
Karyn Valino’s Workroom is a must-see for visiting crafters. The airy atelier in Parkdale Village offers a full roster of one-day classes (on ombré dyeing, simple alterations and making champion ribbons, among others) and an astonishing selection of Japanese pattern books, sewing magazines and indigo-printed fabrics.