Toronto’s Best Shopping Neighbourhoods

Torontonians know that when it comes to shopping, we have some of the best retail spots in the country. Whether your style is bohemian, grunge or elegant, there is a store for everyone. If you’re a visitor or just don’t know where to begin your journey, here are the top shopping neighbourhoods to scout out if you’re in and around the city.

Queen Street West

If you’re not a spending-your-Saturday-at-crowded-mall kind of person, you will love the shops at Queen Street West. This shopping layout is a great option to visit during the spring or summer when walking conditions are good. Among the entertainment district and not too far from the fashion district, this shopping strip boasts popular retail stores such as H&M, Zara and MAC Cosmetics. Also, if you like contemporary clothing with a vintage flair you will want to visit Brandy Melville. Also, if you want to know why Torontonians dress so well all the time, visit Lavish & Squalor, a unique independent clothing store, and you’ll find your answer.

Yorkville (Bloor Street West)

Luxury, ahead! Known as one of the richest and most sophisticated shopping areas in Canada, the Bloor-Yorkville shopping district has a store for just about every coveted designer brand you can think of. Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Kate Spade and Canada’s luxury department store, Holt Renfrew, are all retail residents. Whether you’re looking to treat yourself or just window shop and admire brands this is the place to go, as the window displays are as captivating as the brands. For those who have a budget but still admire the nice things, there are also affordable options such as Winners, where you can snag designer pieces (pending selection) of your own at half the cost.

Kensington Market

Vintage heaven. That’s really all I need to say when it comes to describing this nestled shopping spot that is home to some of the best vintage clothing stores in Toronto. Want a classic Hudson’s Bay jacket? You’ll find it here. Need an authentic 90s red checkered flannel top? No problem. In fact, I even found an identical vintage scarf my mother bought in the 80s – that’s just how real the shopping experience at Kensington is. It doesn’t matter what decade you want to channel, this colorful, unique and fashionable community makes you want to revisit even before you have left. Some notable stores to pop into or just browse their racks outside include Bungalow, Courage My Love and Vintage Depot. And don’t forget to stop and taste some of the International food restaurants and grocers (but that’s a completely different guide).

Dundas Street West

A mix of boutiques, nostalgic book havens and some of the best unfound dé©cor pieces in the city, this area is increasingly proving itself as one of the top streets to take a stroll down in Toronto. This hip area of city (it’s dubbed the Junction) has both vintage and contemporary clothing stores such as Lost & Found and Bridge + Bardot. You’ll also find Monkey’s Paw, which will make any book lover’s eyes glaze over as they peruse rare and uncommon printed books.

Honorable Mention

Orfus Road (North York)

Not in the downtown core per se, but definitely worth the trek, this budget-friendly outlet shopping strip is the perfect place to go to to buy basics and find hidden retail gems. Located not too far from Yorkdale mall, you can find similar stores that are in the mall such as Nine West, Le Chateau and Ardene – with budget-friendly deals.

Tags: best shops, guide to Toronto shopping, Kensington Market, Queen Street West, shopping, shopping districts, toronto, Yorkville

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