Holiday Shopping in Toronto

Prefer to browse IRL instead of online shopping? In Toronto, you’ll also find cheer in holiday shopping this year. 

Start early, plan ahead and buy local to avoid (or minimize) the usual challenges of the holiday rush while you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Toronto is Holiday Shopping Central for many and this year is no exception — it still comes with plenty of sparkle and glow.

The Hudson's Bay flagship store windows have previously been unveiled by celebs like Mariah Carey and Carly Rae Jepsen

Marvel at window lights and displays worthy of Santa himself

As far as Toronto holiday window displays go, the ones at the Hudson’s Bay store draw the most attention and have been a tradition to mark the season for over 100 years. Every year, thousands of holiday-loving Torontonians (and visitors) make it a point to marvel at the beloved displays at the flagship store at Yonge Street and Queen Street. 

From a jovial Santa Claus and industrious elves to giant snow globes, mechanical nutcrackers and animated polar bears, the window displays never cease to amaze onlookers each holiday season. 

Inside, even more magic awaits. Eight levels of designer shoes, beauty products, fragrance, men’s wear, accessories and home décor (including Christmas decorations) make it an ideal destination for one-stop shopping. Saks legendary fashion includes European collections and influential designers not widely available anywhere else.

Inside the Eaton Centre during the holiday period
CF Toronto Eaton Centre boasts the tallest Christmas tree in Canada at 100 ft tall

Discover magic and merriment at the mall

You haven’t truly experienced the spectacle of holiday time at a mall until you’ve been to the CF Toronto Eaton Centre. Starting in November, Toronto’s most iconic mall normally becomes the ultimate holiday shopping destination, complete with dazzling lights, spectacular decorations and an artful 50-foot Christmas tree. Nordstrom will add big style to your holiday shopping. After you’re done, make your way to nearby Nathan Phillips Square for free outdoor skating.

For exceptional shopping just beyond the downtown core head to Yorkdale. Or try Square One in Mississauga, Toronto Premium Outlets in Halton Hills or Vaughan Mills. You’ll get your fill of the spirit of the season — and fill up your shopping bags at Toronto area malls.

Some retailers may also offer curbside or in-store pickup for orders placed online or over the phone. For the most up-to-date information, we recommend researching or contacting individual malls or businesses directly.

Shoppers browsing products at the One of a Kind Winter Show
The One of a Kind Winter Show brings together more than 800 artisans, craftspeople and designers under one roof (Image taken circa 2018)

Find hidden gems at the One of a Kind Winter Show

Looking for a special gift that you won’t find anywhere else? The One of a Kind Winter Show is the largest consumer craft show in North America. Appealing to those in search of the unique and the fantastic, this event brings together over 800 artisans, craftspeople and designers to display their wares. There’s no mass-market merchandise here — only quality, lovingly crafted goods. Browse handmade ceramics, textiles, baked goods, Christmas ornaments and jewellery to find perfect and exclusive gifts for all your loved ones.

String lights, booths and people visiting the Toronto Christmas Market in the Distillery District
The Distillery Winter Village (formerly known as the Toronto Christmas Market) will feature a more intimate event focused on shopping and dining in 2021

Spread festive cheer at the Distillery Winter Village

Now an established tradition in Toronto, the Distillery Winter Village (formerly known as the Toronto Christmas Market) is the epicentre for festive cheer. Starting in November and running the month of December, the Victorian-era Distillery District is transformed into a traditional outdoor European Christkindlmarkt with carollers, charming craft and gift booths, and food and drinks that create a warming Old World atmosphere like no other. 

The rebranded Toronto Christmas Market will have a greater focus on shopping and dining than in previous years, featuring eight curated vendor cabins, 12 food vendor cabins and a line-up of buskers, carolers, and other entertainment.

After you’ve admired the 50-foot Christmas tree and had your fill of mulled wine and hot chocolate, wander around the numerous indoor shops and galleries for holiday gift inspiration. 

Grab a hot drink and take your shopping break among the holiday lights and displays around the Yorkville Village Park

Enjoy lights, lattes and luxury in Bloor-Yorkville

The most exclusive shopping district in Toronto is the place to go for high-end holiday shopping. Known as The Mink Mile, the always-sparkly district gets even sparklier leading up to the holidays as lights are strung in trees along the sidewalks and store-fronts are decorated with festive displays. The carols playing in the background at Holt Renfrew may be enough to draw you inside, where you will discover floor after floor of high-end fashion and accessories.

Visit Yorkville Village, a luxury mall that features high-end boutiques, such as TNT, Belstaff and Jacadi and exclusive labels from top Canadian and global fashion designers such as Kenzo, Yeezy, Victoria Beckham and Smythe.

Pause in Yorkville Village Park to enjoy the view of the quaint neighbourhood then continue your shopping at the many chic boutiques and designer stores lining Bloor Street West, Yorkville Avenue and Cumberland Avenue.

Queen West shopping offers a mix of indie, mainstream and vintage storefronts to cross more off your holiday gift list

Uncover fashionable finds on Queen West

For a hip holiday shopping option, head to Queen West. This vibrant neighbourhood hums with culture and creativity. With a mix of indie boutiques, familiar brands and top menswear, this area will enable you to tick lots off your list. 

With the vintage selection, rummaging through clothing racks to unearth those one-of-a-kind finds is the name of the game here. Hunt for goodies at shops like I Miss You Vintage and House of Vintage. Then take a break in one of the neighbourhood’s funky cafés or take a stroll through lovely Trinity Bellwoods Park, a destination in itself.

Shopping for jewelry at a craft and artisan market at Evergreen Brick Works
Smaller markets feature niche designers and artisans for a more intimate and one-of-a-kind shopping experience

Shop local and support small businesses

Not only is it more important than ever to support local and small businesses (it feels good too!), but you’re also more likely to find unique items that you won’t find elsewhere. Many of the smaller brick-and-mortar stores are now online or active on social media, so it won’t be too challenging to find shops to show love to.

If you’re looking for shops in a specific neighbourhood, check with the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) for a roundup of retailers and promotions that are hyper-local.

Need gift ideas? You’ll find something that fits the bill in our Uniquely Toronto: Holiday Shopping Guide.

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