Top 8 Neighborhoods for the Best Shopping in Toronto
Published: January 1, 2023
Finding the right gift is always a challenge. Whether that’s family, friends or yourself! Luckily for you, this city is jam-packed with amazing shopping options. From neighbourhoods you should take time to explore, to one-stop shopping destinations, these are the best options for shopping in Toronto that will have you checking things off your list in no time.
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The Toronto Eaton Centre
It’s a big shopping centre in the core of downtown – a retail city within a city. With over 250 best-in-class retailers, restaurants and services, it’s easy to spend a day at the Toronto Eaton Centre. Plus, it’s only steps to more great shopping on King, Queen and Yonge. (You can also easily access it via The PATH – more on that below.)
The Distillery District
It began with a rejuvenation of the 47 buildings known as the Gooderham & Worts Distillery, and has since grown to be the home for artisans, craftspeople and assorted creative characters. The Distillery District an internationally-acclaimed village of one-of-a-kind stores, shops, galleries, studios, restaurants, cafes, theatres and more. It’s also one of the country’s premier arts, culture and entertainment destinations. It’s a can’t-miss shopping destination, for sure.
St. Lawrence Market
Just a few blocks from Union Station, St. Lawrence Market is the historic home to more than 120 vendors, merchants and artisans. Their work honours and continues traditions that date back 208 years – decades before the town of York would even become the City of Toronto. Its three buildings – the North Market, the South Market and St. Lawrence Hall – have long been a vibrant and vital shopping destination in the heart of the city. Beyond the amazing retail offerings, there are also interactive market feast with featured chefs and hands-on cooking and baking classes – but these events sell out fast, so book early.
Kensington Market is the real-world embodiment of the word ‘bohemian.’ It’s a neighbourhood that’s home to specialty grocers, bakeries and cheese shops, trendy bars, cafes and restaurants, not to mention unique shopping outlets that encompass everything from AAA Army Surplus to the Blue Banana Market, to the vintage found at outlets like Dancing Days and the iconic Courage My Love. You can shop for longboards, vintage guitars, vinyl, video games, bikes and so much more. So, if you’re on the hunt for something cool…yeah, Kensington is the perfect spot to do shopping in Toronto.
When the weather hits, it’s natural to want to hibernate someplace warm underground. Well, you can actually go underground shopping in Toronto – The PATH is a 30-kilometre-long underground walkway that spiderwebs its way beneath the city core, connecting Toronto’s attractions, hotels, restaurants and more than 1,250 stores, shops and services. According to Guinness World Records, The PATH is the largest underground shopping complex in the world. So, let it blow. You’ll be safe and cozy underground.
Queen Street West
Once a forgotten path through the heart of the city, Queen St. West is now a can’t-miss for some of the best shopping in Toronto. Towards the core, you’ll find name brand stores – like Lululemon, H&M, Urban Outfitters, Little Burgundy, Zara and Adidas . Head west, and you start to get a little more eclectic – with options like Anthropologie, Frank And Oak, CB2 and Urban Barn By the time you make it to West Queen West, you’re surrounded by quirky boutiques, cool cafes and restaurants, galleries and vintage clothing stores. This Toronto neighbourhood is definitely worth a wander, so wear comfortable boots.
King West Fashion District
Once known as the Garment District and home to the industry that clothed the nascent city, the King West Fashion District now overflows with unique boutiques such as Lorne’s Coats, one street north off King West, offer great selection of premium men’s and women’s outerwear. You can also peruse through Cynthia Findlay Antiques, renowned for its vast selection of antique décor including vintage jewelleries. King West Fashion District is also the home of swanky restaurants and clubs, and high-end retail.
And don’t let the warehouses and industrial façades fool you if you wander further east you’ll find yourself in Liberty Village– it’s full of old factory buildings converted into residential spaces, and mix of eclectic restaurants and retail shops. There are amazing things to be discovered here.
Yorkville is one of Toronto’s most iconic neighbourhoods. It’s a place where high-end fashion, food, style, culture, art and wellness meet, all within a few must-visit blocks. With over 700 world-class designer boutiques, restaurants, hotels and galleries, this is truly some of the best shopping in Toronto. So, be sure to explore this former 19th-century village – a place where historic charm and cobblestone streets meet vibrant and modern design.