When I first started torontoShopoholic I wanted to help everyone with the best where to shop in Toronto information all in one place. It was Toronto Shopping insider information that no one else was sharing.
I found that most people knew all about the biggest malls and some of the exclusive shopping neighbourhoods in Toronto but after wandering around my city I knew there were so many more Toronto shopping districts to be shopped!
You may be coming to Toronto as a tourist or are a local looking for somewhere new to explore.
Either way the Toronto Shopping District guides will show you all the shopping in my favourite Toronto neighbourhoods.
To get to know the real Toronto you have to venture into these neighbourhoods; venture beyond the malls!
Toronto shopping isn’t just about malls and big chain stores. In fact what I love about shopping in Toronto is the great mix of independent boutiques and international chains.
In fact some of the chain stores that are here in Toronto are only found in a few cities in Canada. Stores like JCREW, Ann Taylor, Zara and Massimo Dutti are limited to large cities.
Even Joe Fresh has its special studio stores that carry the higher end Runway items that are not found at the Real Canadian Superstore.
Still these major chains aren’t what draw me back to the city. It is the feel of West Queen West, it is great designer consignment shops, it is the selection that I can find no where else.
Recommended places to Shop in Toronto
Toronto is a big city with many Toronto Shopping Districts. No one is denying that. And you might want to narrow your Toronto Shopping trip to certain districts if you still plan on shopping more than one neighbourhood.
To make your search easier the torontoShopoholic has arranged the neighbourhoods with great shopping by shopping districts.
So for the purposes of this website a Toronto shopping district is more than just one neighbourhood. It is a collection of shopping areas that make up a district.
Downtown Toronto is the area south of Bloor street and includes the core of the cities shopping and tourist destinations.
Yonge Dundas Square – this is the busiest intersection in all of Toronto. Most notably this is where you find the Eaton Center but also lots of other shops like Urban Outfitters and the new Saks Fifth Avenue.
The Distillery District – The shopping here has an artsy bent. You will find many artists studios that sell their jewellery and designs where they work. Also find home decor and fashion.
Bloor and Yorkville – When most people think of Toronto shopping their minds immediately go to the Bloor Yorkville and for good reason.
With the most coveted names in fashion represented here every shopoholic’s dreams can come true!
Those on a budget shouldn’t shy away, however, as there are a number of fashion conscious discount retailers and mid market favourites to be found.
From Holt Renfrew, to Banana Republic to H&M there is something for everyone on this street!
Queen West – This area is like shopping the mall only in a boutique setting. Find lots of big name shops interspersed with smaller boutiques.
King Street East – This area is a home decorators dream. Plenty of furniture and design stores.
Toronto Fashion District – West of Spadina and East of Bathurst along Queen street you will find Toronto’s Fashion district. Home to funky independent boutiques, vintage shops and wedding stores this area is more interesting to shop than Queen West. You will also find fabric shops geared towards fashion, Arton beads and one of the city’s best Joe Fresh locations.
North of downtown, or rather north of Bloor Street, is Midtown Toronto.
You will start to notice more residenital areas and it gets a bit quieter.
But the shopping Ohhh the shopping!
Rosedale – Rosedale might be better known for the estates and moneyed reputation of its residents but there is some interesting shopping along the section of Yonge that runs from the Summerhill subway stop to the Rosedale stop.
Along this stretch you will find a number of antique & furniture stores intermingled with fun clothing boutiques such as nyla and specialty stores like the Spotted Zebra. Don’t forget Gee Beauty for your spa needs and stop at the Doria cafe for lunch!
Davisville –With a stretch of shopping along Yonge and one along Mt. Pleasant, this Toronto neighbourhood offers some unique boutique shopping.
Along Yonge, there are currently more restaurants than clothes shops, however along Mt. Pleasant you will find a bunch of kids clothing boutiques & one of Toronto’s best maternity stores.
Yonge & Eglinton – Also known as young & eligible, this shopping district starts at the intersection of Yonge & Eglinton with the Yonge Eglinton Center and follows Yonge north to Sporting Life.
One of my all time favourite shopping areas with plenty of great eats to tide you over while shopping, boutiques (Mendocino & Sporting Life)are mixed with perennial favourites (Gap & Club Monaco).
The Eglinton Way – Eglinton west of Avenue offers a wide range of clothing shops for Women, men and kids. Shoes and accessories aren’t forgotten either! TNT, Honey & Madison shoes are mixed in with Kick Maternity and Oink!
Bargain hunters beware, this stretch of Eglinton is all upscale.
Leaside – Along Bayview south of Eglinton and north of Davisville is a stretch of shopping, restaurants and bakeries that can entertain ladies who lunch to young families for an afternoon. Amongst the shops is the cities top rated Hollywood Gelato, and an elegant garage sale! Find my FAVOURITE WINNERS and Homesense in this neighbourhood (by Laird and Eglinton).
This section is not for teens or those in their twenties, the clothing offerings are for more mature women and men. But a must visit for expecting couples & young parents.
No one uses the term Uptown in Toronto, its North Toronto thank you.
And if you thought that midtown was cozy North Toronto is just idyllic.
There is still plenty of Toronto shopping here and you will find some of Toronto’s best malls.
Yorkdale, Bayview Village and Fairview. Throw in Ikea and you are set!
Yonge Lawrence Village (Bedford Park) –
Last stop along Yonge Street before the 401 this North Toronto neighbourhood is boutique filled and family friendly. Looking for Anne Klein, head to Tique. Looking for menswear look next door at the Coop. Need a bra or swimsuit? Melmira is where you should head next. So much shopping to do before you can head back on the highway!
Avenue Road – Along Avenue Rd between Lawrence and the 401 is an eclectic strip of shopping, eating and drinking!
There is one of the cities larges LCBO locations (two stories!), designer resale, riding paraphernalia and even shop for prom!
This Toronto neighbourhood shopping stretch is long so bring your walking shoes.
Cartwright Avenue – close to Yorkdale mall just like Orfus Road, this area is known for having lots of lighting stores. If you are remodelling your home you will want to check out this area.
Castlefield Design District – This area is home to Canada Goose and more importantly loads of Home Decor stores like Elte.
East of the DVP you enter East York.
You will notice that this side of the city feels less overwhelming and more “small town” than central TO.
You will also find more independent boutiques than chains and big names, but that is just find by the residents of East York.
The Danforth (Greektown) – The Danforth is known for the plethora of Greek restaurants influenced by the ethnicity of its residents.
But the Danforth is also a great boutique shopping area as well as home to Toronto’s oldest (and arguably the best) bridal shop; Becker Bridal.
The Beaches – Visiting the Beaches neigbourhood transports you to a small cottage town without even leaving the city. With a mix of chain stores and independent boutiques this shopping neighbourhood is a must visit!
You can even stay at the Beach if you want, Days Inn has a hotel right in this neighbourhood. Wander down to Lake Ontario and then wander back to the strip along Queen E for lunch and shopping! The makings of the perfect day.
Leslieville – This Toronto neighbourhood has a cozy small town feel.
Except that the shopping offered here is immensely better than anything you would find in rural Ontario!
From bakeries, to antiques, vintage, recycled and brand spanking new clothing, you might think you aren’t hip enough to shop here. But you are!
There is no cute name for Toronto’s west end.
But there are so many great Toronto shopping areas on this side of the city it doesn’t really matter.
West Queen West – Probably some of the best shopping in the city especially if you want to shop independant boutques over mall stores.
Bloor West Village – Lots of fantastic boutque shopping. Make sure to walk up to Jane and Annette too for some fantastic designer consignment.
Little Italy – Mmmm Italian food, martinis and clubs. Little Italy definitely has night life going on. But during the day this pretty stretch of College between Bathurst and Ossington is a perfect spot to meet for lunch and shopping. And perhaps a gelato.
Kensington Market – This is a big neighbourhood littered with a mix of vintage and modern shopping among food stalls and ethnic grocery stores. Kensington Market is nestled next door to Chinatown so there is a bit of an Asian flare mixed in with Mexican and vegan as well. Its known for cheap threads and cheap eats!
Which Toronto Shopping District are you visiting?