Only in Toronto: Shopping
As a creative, cultural and entrepreneurial hub of the world, there are simply endless things to do and see that you can only do in Toronto.
Toronto is a one-of-a-kind city – not only when it comes to the people and attractions, but also when it comes to local shops and businesses. If you’re looking for a souvenir of your trip, forget generic T-shirts and mugs. Bring home a keepsake that you won’t find anywhere else from one of these unique Toronto gift shops.
Drake General Store
You’ll feel like you’ve gone back in time the moment you enter the Drake General Store. This one-of-a-kind shop is chock-full of Canadiana with an old timey feel – everything from toques, to engraved flasks, to traditional maple syrup, to iconic Hudson’s Bay blankets. Shop at any of these locations: in The Hudson's Bay store on Yonge Street, beside the Drake Hotel on Queen West or in Union Station.
Blue Banana Market
Blue Banana Market is as hip and eccentric as you would expect from a store located in Kensington Market. With two levels overflowing with posters, games, clothing, jewelry, musical instruments and various odds and ends, it’s impossible not to find something here that catches your eye. There aren’t many other stores in Toronto where you can buy a designer dress, a bongo drum and a jar of gourmet hot sauce under the same roof.
The first retail offshoot of Toronto’s Spacing magazine, the Spacing Store is located off Queen West in the fittingly creative shared space of the 401 Richmond building with its industrial bones, wooden ceiling and exposed beams. Toronto-themed merchandise includes the publication’s popular TTC station buttons, reprinted vintage posters, cool T-shirts, cycling-themed items and peameal bacon-scented candles.
St. Lawrence Market
The history of Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market goes all the way back to the turn of the 19th century. Renowned for its selection of locally sourced produce, meats and other edible delights such as local favourite, Kozlick’s mustard. The market also features handmade crafts and novelties from home-grown vendors. Browse at your leisure and when you get hungry grab a peameal bacon sandwich from Carousel Bakery or a Portuguese-style custard tart at Churrasco.
AGO Gift Shop
The Frank-Gehry designed gift shop at the Art Gallery of Ontario is arguably as impressive as the museum that houses it. From personal accessories, to stylish home décor, to Group of Seven prints, this shop contains everything for the fashionable art lover. Check out the AGOkids section for books, toys and craft sets that make wonderful gifts for youngsters interested in exploring the world of art.
Marketplace at the CN Tower
There’s no landmark that’s more iconic “Toronto” than the CN Tower. The tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere is a tourist magnet – and unsurprisingly it’s over 8,000 square feet gift shop is stuffed to the brim with unique souvenirs including authentic First Nations art, sports memorabilia, and (of course) CN Tower miniatures. Browse the merchandise before or after taking the elevator up 342m to the famous Glass Floor and SkyTerrace.
One of the most innovative stores in one of Toronto’s most unique neighbourhood’s, Bergo Designs in the Distillery District is known for its European-inspired designer housewares and home décor. The front room is filled with row upon row of shiny contraptions that artfully combine functionality with creativity – including contemporary kitchenware, moving alarm clocks and flower vases that look like they stepped out of a Dali painting. In the kids’ section, various gadgets and gizmos offer endless hours of fun for little ones.
Rated as Toronto’s best unique gift store by NOW Magazine, the Arts Market is a favourite spot for Toronto artists and art-lovers alike. Hand-stitched clothing, homemade greeting cards, original paintings and sketches – here’s your opportunity to bring home a genuine piece of Toronto while supporting the local art community.