Ask anyone what they love most about living in Toronto, and you’ll hear a variety of different answers. The dining scene, the entertainment options, and the sense of community are all hard to beat. However, one response will likely stand out above the rest. For many people, Toronto is all about the shopping. Your options to engage in retail therapy are endless. The Toronto Eaton Centre and Yorkdale Mall may instantly spring to mind, but those only scratch the surface.
The unique, one-of-a-kind shopping experience Toronto offers is unparalleled. With hundreds of boutique stores to choose from in every neighbourhood across the city, it can be hard to narrow it down to a few great choices. However, here is a brief overview of the communities where you’ll find fantastic independent shops, from discount stores to high-end boutiques.
Church Yonge Corridor
This downtown neighbourhood was originally home to some of Toronto’s most affluent residents. Today, the area is diverse and comprised of people from all economic backgrounds. This diversity is reflected in the shopping opportunities sprinkled throughout the neighbourhood. You can find everything from small mom-and-pop retail stores to high-end fashion boutiques and everything in between. Here are just a few examples.
Stones & Findings
An artisan jewellery store with a twist, Stones & Findings is the go-to place for creatively designed pieces at incredibly competitive prices. Their collections include ready-to-wear bracelets, rings, and necklaces with sterling silver and gold options. What better way to treat yourself or find the perfect gift for someone you love?
How is this for over-the-top service? Imagine you’ve found an item you love online. Then when you click the Add to Cart button, your heart sinks because they don’t ship to Canada. At Reach E-Shop, that problem is solved forever. Order what you love and receive all-inclusive concierge service when you go to pick it up. Try your items on to ensure they’re the perfect fit before taking them home. One creative boutique makes the whole continent your shopping oasis!
An independent women’s boutique, Tusk offers stylish clothing and accessories from designers like House of Sunny, Donni, Paloma Wool, Girlfriend Collective, and more. Best of all, a portion of every purchase goes to a good cause. Tusk stands behind various anti-racism causes and supports access to housing, food, and health care for Toronto’s most vulnerable residents.
Curious to know more about the Church Yonge Corridor? Read all about it in our neighbourhood guide right here.
St. Lawrence Market
What is the shopping like in one of Toronto’s trendiest neighbourhoods? The fantastic experiences of St. Lawrence Market are well known among its residents. It also draws countless visitors each month to its epic farmer’s market and other boutique experiences. You’ll find easy access to The Path, a downtown network that spans 30 km of restaurants and retail services. If you’re looking for something one-of-a-kind, you’ll have no trouble finding it in St. Lawrence Market. Here are a few places to start your shopping journey.
Anything Goes Accessories
No trip to the market can be complete without visiting Anything Goes Accessories. Here, you’ll find all sorts of unique, handmade gifts, such as greeting cards, jewellery, and handbags. Many items are inspired by pop culture and technology. Visit once or visit a thousand times. We bet you’ll never find the same thing twice!
Support great causes while you find that perfect clothing item for yourself or a loved one! Peace Collective offers quality sports apparel for both men and women. Choose from various hoodies, T-shirts, tank tops, and outerwear for all seasons. You can feel good knowing every purchase benefits causes supporting food security, mental health initiatives, and refugee aid. So far, Peace Collective has raised over $238,000, with a goal of $1 million by 2030!
Wildlife Thrift Store
You never know what hidden treasure you’ll spot in one of Toronto’s many secondhand shops! Wildlife Thrift Store isn’t just the place to find the deal of the century. They are another retailer that wants to do good in the community by supporting charities like Covenant House, The Gathering Place, and Coast Mental Health. You’ll find different items with every visit, including clothes, books, shoes, hats, and kitchenware, all at a fraction of the price anywhere else.
Luba’s Coffee Boutique
Coffee lovers, prepare to be astounded by the variety and quality of coffee beans and loose tea waiting for you at Luba’s Coffee Boutique! You’ll find everything you need to brew your perfect cup right at home. They’ve got specialty syrups, Fairtrade beans, and an interesting array of tea and coffee making accessories. Visit on a Saturday, and you can park for two hours for just $1 at the nearby Green P.
St. Lawrence Market is one of the most popular neighbourhoods in Toronto! You can find out more in our guide right here.
At the Annex, you’ll find many of the most popular attractions Toronto has to offer, including the Royal Ontario Museum and Art Gallery of Ontario. There’s also a vast array of boutique shopping experiences waiting for you on nearly every tree-lined street. Here are some places you won’t want to miss.
Head on over to Risque Clothing for apparel that is sure to turn some heads! You will find beautiful sweaters, dresses, and accessories, with new arrivals coming in every week. These unique, high-quality fashion items come at surprisingly affordable prices.
Are you dreaming of high-end designer fashion without having to pay exorbitant prices? Welcome to l’Elegant Boutique, a treasure trove of refined secondhand clothing from the best designers in the world. Everything is sold on consignment, so you’ll never know what you will find to delight your inner fashionista. However, items from the likes of Gucci, Prada, Loui Vuitton, and Michael Kors are often on the shelves, just waiting for a new home!
Divine Decadence Originals
In love with all things vintage? At Divine Decadence, you can browse a wide selection of unique and elegant formal wear and evening gowns. Styles come from all different time periods and cultures from the last 100 years. Whether you arrive at the party in a Spanish embroidered cape from 1910 or a Vintage Couture Taffetta from the 1940s, you are sure to make an entrance! With so many stunning options to choose from, you may wish for a home with bigger closets.
Do you want to know more about what it’s like to live in the Annex? Check out our neighbourhood guide right here.
This is a quick overview of a few of the boutiques in our neighbourhoods. It’s impossible to talk about them all! If you want to know more about what Toronto has to offer, you can see the rest of our neighbourhood guides below: