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.
When it comes to shopping, you’ll find creative studios, rappers’ brands and Canadian inventions to snag on your trip to Toronto. There’s no shortage of Toronto things to do, see, eat and play with as you explore this beautiful, impressive city.
Things to buy only in Toronto
With a rich, multicultural population and tons of artists, musicians and entrepreneurs coming out of the city, Toronto is filled with shops that can only be found there. Perhaps the most iconic and contemporary is rapper Drake’s shop, October’s Very Own, which opened to great success in 2012 as a pop-up store. Buy Drake merch, or peruse merchandise from any of the artists signed to OVO, which is now a successful record label. Find the OVO shop in downtown Toronto’s only mall, CF Toronto Eaton Centre.
On Queen Street West, the truly one-of-a-kind antique reproductions shop, Curiosa, is a jewel in Toronto’s shopping crown. With newly-made items that look like they’re from hundreds of years ago—or from different worlds, like the Harry Potter universe—you’ll find something special at this shop. Nearby, pop into Made You Look, where you’ll find more Canadian-made jewellery than you’ve ever seen. Pick up a cute pair of earrings or commission a special piece at this jewellery staple of the city.
At Crywolf, design nerds will be in heaven at this creative shop offering made-to-order items with unique designs. Don’t forget to pick up some Trash Panda merch, which punctuated their success, or any of the designs made in-house at the Toronto studio. Last but not least, stop into the local favourite, Cheese Boutique, where you’ll find tons of, well, cheese! This place has been operating in Toronto for almost 50 years—and yes, you can sample the cheese.
Places to eat only in Toronto
Eating is one of the best things to do in Toronto, one of the world’s most multicultural cities. Make sure to grab a reservation at some of these swanky eateries. But there’s no shame in getting some poutine and eating it in one of Toronto’s incredible public parks!
As Top Chef Canada victor Carl Heinrich’s eatery, the fare at Richmond Station is bound to blow you away. Located in the Financial District, this modern restaurant offers contemporary and innovative food with a humble and down-to-earth vibe.
With a blindfold over your eyes and a wait staff comprised exclusively of visually impaired people, this humbling restaurant experience will put you in touch with your taste buds. While it’s based on a restaurant concept in Zurich, O.NOIR has its own Toronto flair and a completely unique menu.
The Keg Mansion
Did you know that Toronto has tons of haunted buildings? Did you know you can eat dinner at one of them? The Keg Mansion has a spooky history and tons of delicious food to try while you search for ghosts and spirits.
Perhaps the most Toronto of all these restaurants, 360 Restaurant is CN Tower’s iconic upscale eatery in the sky. Watch the sunset over the skyline as you eat the delicious, high-end fare from this famous Toronto restaurant.
Things to see only in Toronto
As one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, there is no shortage of Toronto-only sights in this incredible city. To start, check out the CN Tower to get a view of the city from up high. This record-breaking skyscraper will take your breath away—especially if you do the daring walk along its outer ridge. At Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, see underwater creatures from around the world as well as from Canada and, more specifically, Ontario.
One of the most impressive things to see in Toronto is the artwork. There are tons of art museums, like the Art Gallery of Ontario, where you’ll find slews of Canadian artists’ work. Casa Loma, a castle located right in the city of Toronto, is truly a sight to see as it backs up to a bustling city despite its old-world look. That speaks to the impressive history of the town, too, which is visible at places like Black Creek Pioneer Village. This open-air living history museum is a testament to just how old and special the city of Toronto is.
Fun facts about shopping in Toronto
- Toronto is the capital of Ontario
- Toronto is the most populated city in Canada. It’s also the fourth most populated in the continent of North America
- It’s considered one of the most multicultural cities in the world, making it a great place to shop
- Shopping in Toronto rivals the rest of the continent, with the city’s CF Toronto Eaton Centre being one of the busiest shopping locations
- There are several shopping districts in Toronto, including Old Toronto, the Distillery District, Kensington Market, the Financial District, the King West Fashion District, and more
- Yorkdale Shopping Centre, in Toronto, is considered one of the country’s most concentrated and prolific luxury shopping destinations
- Vogue named Toronto’s Queen West the second coolest neighbourhood in the world
How to get to Toronto
Toronto is located on the shoreline of Lake Ontario in Southern Ontario. It is easily accessible for anyone travelling around the province, from the U.S., from other Canadian provinces, or internationally.
By bus: It’s best to land at Toronto’s Union Station if shopping is what you’re after. Take any bus to this central location and simply walk or take public transit to your destination. Busses from the U.S. and all over Canada arrive at this station.
By car: Toronto sits along the Gardiner Expressway and Highway 401 from the east, west, or south and Highway 404 from the north.
Parking: Downtown Toronto does have parking, but it can get pricey for long days in the city. It’s best to park at a spot just outside of the city and take public transit into downtown.
By train: Trains arrive at the GO Station and Union Station.