Toronto prides itself on having some of the finest shopping in North America. Indeed, most of the world's name boutiques have branches here, especially in the Yorkville area, where you can find such luxury labels as Chanel, Prada, and Cartier. For those a little leaner of wallet, you can join in one of Torontonians' favorite pastimes: bargain hunting. Locals wear discount threads like badges of honor and stretch their dollar at Winners—where overstocked and liquidated designer pieces and last-season fashions are slashed to a fraction of their original retail prices.

Toronto has a large arts-and-crafts community, with numerous art galleries, custom jewelers, clothing designers, and artisans. Sophisticated glass sculpture and Inuit art are ideal as gifts or for your own home. A few record stores are still going strong despite the dominance of digital music. The survivors’ trump card has been focused inventory and knowledgeable staff—head to Rotate This for alterative and indie music or Atelier Grigorian for classical and jazz. Bookstores such as Indigo have lounge areas where you can sip a coffee from the in-store café while perusing books by Canadian authors such as Alice Munro, Ann-Marie MacDonald, and Rohinton Mistry; don’t miss favorite independent Book City.

When it comes to department stores, all roads lead to Holt Renfrew on Bloor Street West, the epicenter of Toronto's designer shopping. A mere block east is the more mid-price department store The Bay. A second Bay can be found across from Eaton Centre, a sprawling shopping complex with multilevel parking in the heart of the city.

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  • 1. Craft Ontario Shop

    West Queen West

    This shop, run by the Ontario Crafts Council, stocks an excellent selection of Canadian crafts, including blown glass, fine woodwork, textiles, jewelry, and pottery—from earthy stoneware to contemporary ceramics. There's also a gallery featuring work by artists and craftspeople from around Ontario. Upstairs is the Devil's Workshop, which sells jewelry by local makers and hosts a popular DIY wedding band workshop.

    1106 Queen St. W, Toronto, Ontario, M6J 1H9, Canada
  • 2. Eataly Market


    Eataly is a sprawling and bustling monument to Italian food and cooking. Over three floors and 50,000 square feet within the Manulife Centre, the hybrid specialty food store/restaurant market is teeming with fresh Italian and locally sourced products from house-made cheese to fish, meat, bread, pastries, gelato, pasta, prepared meals, and more. There are also Italian wines and house-brewed beer, made in the basement Birroteca by Indie Alehouse (one of seven on-site cafés, bars, and restaurants).

    55 Bloor St. W, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 1A6, Canada
  • 3. Gadabout


    This two-floor antique shop is a rummager's paradise, and a favorite of local set designers looking for period-authentic items. The shelves groan with everything from '50s salt-and-pepper shakers to Hudson's Bay blankets, and there are racks of vintage clothing (for both women and men) with pieces that date as far back as the 19th century. You can rifle through the scores of carefully labeled apothecary drawers to trawl through opera glasses, costume jewelry, and military patches, or peer into display cases at the vintage lunchboxes and handbags.

    1300 Queen St. E, Toronto, Ontario, M4L 1C4, Canada
  • 4. George C


    If you're put off by the anonymous uniformity of the big designers along Bloor but you have some money to spend and want a touch of originality, head to this three-story Victorian refurb for an inspired selection of bold, sophisticated shoes, bags, and clothes for men and women from French, Italian, American, and Australian designers that you won't find anywhere else.

    21 Hazelton Ave., Toronto, Ontario, M5R 2E1, Canada

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.
  • 5. Gotstyle

    Distillery District

    This Torontonian start-up has hit the nail on the head, providing stylish men's clothes—Tiger of Sweden, Sand Copenhagen, and John Varvatos—to residents of the city's downtown condos. This huge airy branch carries ladies' clothing as well, including brands like Melissa Nepton, Soia & Kyo, and Hilary MacMillan. Head up to the lush purple-carpeted mezzanine level for business and evening wear and a round on the purple pool table.

    21 Trinity St., Toronto, Ontario, M5A 3C4, Canada
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  • 6. Gravitypope

    West Queen West

    This Canadian chain, frequented by fashionistas in the know, has an impressive selection that includes Paul Smith, Comme des Garçons, and Ami. The collections include menswear and womenswear, but shoes are the specialty, with designers including Church's, Camper, Hunter, rag & bone, Doc Martens, and many more.

    1010 Queen St. W, Toronto, Ontario, M6J 1H6, Canada
  • 7. Harry Rosen


    This five-floor department store is dedicated to the finest men's fashions, stocked to the gills with suits, shirts, outerwear, shoes, and accessories from designers such as Tom Ford, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, and Zegna (each with their own shop-within-a-shop). There's also plenty of preppy classics available for those who favor a more relaxed look.

    82 Bloor St. W, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1L9, Canada
  • 8. Hatley Boutique

    Yonge and Eglinton

    This company began as a cottage business in rural Québec nearly 40 years ago with a line of aprons depicting cute farm animals. Now this mainly children's boutique is stocked with quirky and colorful nature-inspired clothing covered in insects, animals, trees, and flowers inspired by the Canadian wilderness.

    2648 Yonge St., Toronto, Ontario, M4P 2J5, Canada
  • 9. Holt Renfrew


    This multilevel national retail specialty store is the style leader in Canada. There are handbags, watches, cosmetics, and fragrances from London, New York, Paris, and Rome, plus footwear and clothing from boldface designers (including Fendi, Burberry, and Gucci) as well as items from contemporary designers. Gents can head a few steps west to 100 Bloor Street West to browse Holt's menswear collection at the two-floor Holt Renfrew Men. Concierge service and personal shoppers are available, but just browsing makes for a rich experience.

    50 Bloor St. W, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 1A1, Canada
  • 10. Mountain Equipment Co-op

    Entertainment District

    MEC (rhymes with "check"), the much-beloved Toronto spot for anyone remotely interested in camping, sells wares for minor and major expeditions. It's also a go-to spot for cycling gear. The vast assortment of backpacks means you can shop here for anything from a schoolbag to something that will accompany you on travels around the world. For C$5, you get lifetime membership to the co-op.

    300 Queen St. W, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2A2, Canada
  • 11. Roots


    The longtime favorite brand for leather jackets, varsity jackets, bags, and basics is crafted from tumbled leather and stamped with the country's national icon, the beaver. The homegrown company's impressive flagship store showcases the more modern styling possibilities of their laid-back offerings.

    80 Bloor St. W, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 2V1, Canada
  • 12. Rotate This


    Music lovers in the know come here for underground and independent music from Canada, the United States, and beyond. Whether you're a hardcore collector who wants to flip through the new secondhand record arrivals or just a casual fan with a record player, it's a long-running paradise of vinyl.

    186 Ossington Ave., Toronto, Ontario, M6J 1G1, Canada
  • 13. Soma Chocolatemaker

    Distillery District

    You can almost satisfy your sweet tooth just by inhaling the delicate wafts of chocolate, dried fruits, and roasted nuts in this gourmet chocolate shop that specializes in fair-trade ingredients. Big sellers include truffles, mango chili and raspberry fruit bars, and gelato. For something different, try the Bicerin, a thick mixture of melted chocolate, espresso, and whipped cream.

    32 Tank House La., Toronto, Ontario, M5A 3C4, Canada
  • 14. St. Lawrence Market Complex

    Old Town | Crafts

    Nearly 70 vendors occupy the historic permanent indoor market and sell items such as fish, meats, produce, caviar, and crafts. The building, on the south side of Front Street, was once Toronto's first city hall. The best time to visit is early on Saturday from 5 am, when there's a farmers' market in the building on the north side. Get there after 9 and it quickly becomes the worst time to visit.

    91 Front St. E, at Jarvis St., Toronto, Ontario, M5E 1C4, Canada

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Tues.–Thurs. 8–6, Fri. 8–7, Sat. 5–5; farmers\' market Sat. 5–3
  • 15. TIFF Shop

    Entertainment District

    This sleek little gift shop at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, the cinematic HQ of the Toronto International Film Festival, stocks an ever-changing selection of cinematic paraphernalia linked to TIFF's current programming. The exhaustive inventory of film books includes many difficult-to-find titles, biographies of just about every director you can think of, and studies of even the most obscure film movements. There are also unusual gift items and cute items for children.

    350 King St. W, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 3X5, Canada
  • 16. Toronto Antiques on King

    Entertainment District

    The 6,000 square feet of this shop provides ample opportunity for browsing among the cabinets, shelves, and bins overflowing with porcelain, silver tea sets, Majolica pottery, Lalique vases, collectibles, and antique maps. It's also Toronto's leading purveyor of vintage and estate jewelry, making it a popular stop for those seeking out engagement rings.

    284 King St. W, 2nd fl., Toronto, Ontario, M5V 1J2, Canada

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.
  • 17. Toronto Eaton Centre

    Dundas Square Area

    The 2 million–square-foot Toronto Eaton Centre shopping mall has been both praised and vilified since it was built in the 1970s, but it remains incredibly popular. From the graceful glass roof, arching 127 feet above the lowest of the mall levels with artist Michael Snow's exquisite flock of fiberglass Canada geese floating poetically in open space down to all the shops, there's plenty to appreciate. There's a huge selection of shops and eateries, but here is a simple guide: the basement level contains the massive Urban Eatery food court. From there, the prices get higher with the altitude, with the top-floor Saks Fifth Avenue being every label-conscious shopper's dream.

    220 Yonge St., Toronto, Ontario, M5B 2H1, Canada
    416-598--8560-guest services
  • 18. Type Books

    West Queen West

    The carefully selected fiction and nonfiction at Type Books includes local authors, as well as fun cards and gifts. The art and architecture section has pride of place at the front of the shop, and the extensive children's area is in a bright spot up a few steps at the back.

    883 Queen St. W, Toronto, Ontario, M6J 1G5, Canada
  • 19. 119 Corbò


    Both legendary and of-the-moment designers—Balenciaga, The Row, Jacquemus, and Stella McCartney, to name a few—are gathered here under one roof, along with some of the finest footwear and accessories in town.

    119 Yorkville Ave., Toronto, Ontario, M5R 1C4, Canada
  • 20. 401 Richmond

    Queen West

    Packed with galleries, interesting shops, and two cafés, this beautifully refurbished industrial building is an essential component of Toronto's contemporary art scene. Check out YYZ Artists' Outlet, which holds consistently engaging shows, or Gallery 44 for contemporary photography. There's also the respected artist collective Red Head Gallery. Don't miss well-stocked Swipe for books on all things design and Spacing for stylish Toronto-themed T-shirts, prints, and knickknacks.

    401 Richmond St. W, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 3A8, Canada

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon.

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