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A person could put a serious dent in their gift list or pick up a little something for themselves in the myriad, diverse shopping areas in Toronto. Some are a short walk away from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) while a few are well worth the 10-minute cab ride. 

The PATH

Hidden under the streets and buildings of downtown Toronto is a vast network of shops, restaurants and services. Connected to over 50 buildings, including 6 hotels, the PATH is an underground pedestrian walkway that spans more than 30 kilometres (19 miles). So when the weather isn’t cooperating, you can still get what you want in comfort. 

The PATH stretches from the waterfront to the Eaton Centre (more on that later) and has shops ranging from high end to fast fashion. Multiple entrance and exit points mean you can pop in and out as you wish, and with some navigational skills you can connect right from the MTCC via the Skywalk toward Union Station. Just follow the signs and store directories to find your way around. 

Queen Street West (for local designers and menswear)

Named one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world by Vogue magazine, Queen Street West stretches from Yonge Street all the way out to High Park and changes personalities as you travel westward. The best bit for unique shopping is from Spadina Avenue over to about Dufferin Street, where you’ll find local designers interspersed with international labels. Look for Tusk for on-trend women's fashion, Park & Province for finely crafted casual menswear and  Mini Mioche for organic children’s wear.

Restaurants abound in the area with Terroni being a local fave.

Kensington Market (for vintage)

Toronto is known for its vintage clothing scene, so if you’re a fan, head to Kensington Market. The funky neighbourhood which started life as an ethnic enclave is now home to a handful of vintage boutiques for clothing and home decor, dotted among the cool bars and cannabis shops. Check out Courage My Love for fashion and Bungalow for mid-Century home decor. 

Stop for a bite at Wanda’s Pie in the Sky for a vegetarian lunch or sweet treat or Trinity Common for one of the best burgers in town.

Eaton Centre  

The premier shopping destination in Toronto, this large, light-filled mall is part meeting place and part fashion mecca. It’s anchored on either end by Nordstrom on the north end and Saks Fifth Avenue / Hudson’s Bay on the south, with a range of 200+ retail (and fast food!) offerings in between. Generally speaking, the higher up you go in the 3-level mall, the higher the price tags go, too. 

Bloor-Yorkville (for high-end)

Known as the “Mink Mile,” the area from Yonge Street to Avenue Road certainly has its high rollers with the likes of Prada and Tiffany’s, but you can also find fashionable deals at the Hudson’s Bay department store and Nordstrom Rack. Holt Renfrew and Harry Rosen are two Canadian icons for designer women’s and menswear respectively. Head a couple of blocks north to Yorkville Village for a luxury mall experience.

Whether to people watch or have a meal, be sure to stop while in Yorkville at a resto like Trattoria Nervosa or Sassafraz

Pro tip: If you have just a short time and want to pick up an artisanal souvenir, The SHOP at Harbourfront Centre is only a 10-minute walk from the MTCC. There you’ll find stylish glassware, jewelry, pottery and textiles from the in-house craftspeople. Take a few minutes to stroll among the open workshops to see the artists in action.

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