Toronto

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.

Shopping

69 Vintage

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

Shopping

Bookhou

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

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Shopping

The Cat's Meow

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, thecatsmeow​couture.com

Shopping

Drake General Store

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.

1144 Queen St. West, plus other locations, 416-531-5042, drakegeneralstore.ca

Shopping

Fawn

Owner Kasha Bilobram is often the first in town to offer ultra-stylish new clothing lines—like German brand Boessert/Schorn and Swedish designer Carin Wester.

967 Queen St. W., 647-344-4703, fawnboutique.ca

Shopping

Jonathan + Olivia

This sleek-and-chic refuge on vintage-heavy Ossington Avenue is the city’s best resource for international all-stars like Band of Outsiders, Alexander Wang, Pamela Love, Surface to Air and Fjallraven.

49 Ossington Ave., 416-849-5956, jonathanandolivia.com

Shopping

Inabstracto

Kate Eisen’s tightly edited boutique has pristine furniture (like Norwegian armchairs from the ’60s) and unbelievable accessories (like Canada’s biggest stockpile of Freitag bags), along with a huge cache of coveted Lotte table lamps.

1160 Queen St. W., 416-533-6362, inabstracto.com

Shopping

LAB Consignment

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.

1956 Avenue Rd., 647-345-4020, labconsignment.com

Shopping

Lady Mosquito

Peru native Cynthia Villegas travels home several times a year to seek out innovative textile artists and crafters. The best pieces—including felt necklaces and brooches—are so striking and graphic, they could double as wall art.

 

1022 Queen St. W., 647-344-3266, ladymosquito.ca

Shopping

Lavish & Squalor

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.

 

253 Queen St. W., 416-599-4779, lavishandsqualor.com

Shopping

Mjölk

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!).

 

2959 Dundas St. W., 416-551-9853, mjolk.ca

Shopping

The Narwhal

This impeccably-edited boutique showcases New York cool kid labels like Helmut Lang, 10 Crosby Derek Lam, and Rag & Bone, plus homegrown talent like Ela handbags.

8 Price St., 647-351-5011, narwhalboutique.com

Shopping

The Public Butter

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.

1290 Queen St. W., 416-535-4343, thepublicbutter.com

Shopping

Preloved

Famous for its modern use of vintage fabrics, this flagship features gorgeous clothes for women and kids, as well as selections from its growing home line, like pillows made from recycled wool sweaters.

881 Queen St. W., 416-504-8704, preloved.ca

Shopping

RAC

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.

124 Cumberland St., 647-352-4433, racboutique.com

Shopping

Robber

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

Shopping

The Refinery

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.

588 Markham St., 416-818-1104, therefinery.com

Shopping

Shopgirls

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.

1342 Queen St. W., 416-534-7467, shopgirls.ca

Shopping

Smash

We discovered a delightful, eclectic mix of antiques here, such as wooden church pews, a rack of antlers and 150-year-old French watercolors—but we left with a beautiful screen print by owner Paul Mercer.

2880 Dundas St. W., 416-762-3113, smash.to

Shopping

Vintage Mix 1

Bring cash and expect a huge selection of ’70s and ’80s vintage at rock-bottom prices—we walked up to the register with five pairs of shoes, none of which topped $20.

186 Ossington Ave., 416-534-7767, facebook.com/VintageMix1

Shopping

The Workroom

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.

1340 Queen St. W., 416-534-5305, theworkroom.ca