The 'Food & Wine' magazine placed the St. Lawrence Market among the 25 best markets in the world. You won't find a better place in the town for fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and fish. Not to mention exotic foods from every ethnic corner. The historic St. Lawrence neighbourhood also has over 50 vendors offering some of the best delicatessens and restaurants in the city, with a wide range of speciality foods, deli meats, fish and seafood, baked goods and gourmet teas and coffees. Opening hours differ for the farmers market and south market.
Known in the 1930s as the Jewish Market, Kensington today is an awesome display of the city's multi-ethnicity. Here you will find shops packed with products from Europe, Middle East, South America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia and you will hear dozens of languages spoken. A visit to this neighborhood is like taking a trip around the world! With more than 100 shops in all selling everything from second-hand clothing to fresh produce, from exotic pastries to art objects and furniture, you won't go away empty-handed.
Eaton Centre is a must visit place in Toronto. Even if you have no desire to shop, make sure to at least look around this six million square foot glass-roofed arcade. Located between Dundas and Queen on Yonge Street, it is as exquisite as it is vast. With five levels, over 320 stores and restaurants, you will need more than a day to make your way through this shopping wonderland. The center is conveniently sandwiched between two subway stations and is steps away from many of Toronto's hottest attractions.
Dr. Flea's Flea Market is touted to be the largest of its kind in the city. This weekend market was established in 1987 and features an indoor and outdoor shopping area. From collectibles to cosmetics, home products to clothing, comic books to records and food stalls to farmer's market, there is plenty to shop about. You will also find nail salons, hairdressers, bakeries, poultry and delis. With more than 400 vendors, you will get some great bargain deals here.
Just one street over from this trendy strip is the Ontario College of Art and Design, Queen Street West is one of the top shopping streets in the city. When young artists graduated and were desperate for cash, they would bring their treasures here to sell. Soon small shops stuffed with unique items began popping up on Queen Street West. Today, you can still find unusual gifts from cool clothing to antique comics either in the stores or from one of the many friendly street vendors. It's also a hot spot for restaurants and bars such as the Epicure Cafe, the Rivoli and the Queen Mother Cafe.
At 1.6 million square feet (148,645 square metres), Yorkdale Shopping Centre is one among the largest shopping centers in Canada. Shopaholics will be thrilled to find more than 250 of Toronto's most fashionable stores at their disposal to hunt for some of the best apparel and accessories. Its year round customer service programs include gift wrapping, free strollers and wheelchairs, faxing service, valet parking and car cleaning, external security patrols and a lost and found service.
The Holt Renfrew specialty store carries exclusive designer fashions comparable to Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy's in the United States. The chain began early as a hat shop in Quebec City, Canada. You can browse through the private Holt Renfrew collection to find stuff that will still set you apart.
Chic shops and posh restaurants like Sassafraz and Yamato Japanese Restaurant, and the perpetually crowded sidewalk cafes make Bloor-Yorkville a quaint spot for those with expensive tastes. During the evening, wrought-iron lampposts light your way as you dip into art galleries, cocktail lounges and tiny boutiques selling haute couture. The area is frequented by celebrities, so you never know whom you will bump into next.
Louis Vuitton has has been critically acclaimed as the most valuable brand on this planet in the category of luxury fashion. Few can afford the merchandise of this premier French fashion house but there is nothing to parallel the satisfaction of owning a monogrammed Louis Vuitton luggage or jewelry. This Toronto corner store is situated in a pristine white building with glass windows displaying the expensive merchandise inside. Shop for coin purses and compact wallets in premium leather dyed in rare hues, deluxe inks, pens and crystal inkwells, and diamond charms, lockets and bracelets. Though, historically, Louis Vuitton was synonymous with trend-setting trunks and travel gear, today, its prêt-à-porter apparel for women and men is just as popular, creating waves on the international fashion scene. So if you're in a mood to splurge in thousands, make a purchase from this boutique and join ranks with international royalty and celebrities.
BMV Bookstore, with three branches in Toronto, is a serious book lover's haven. This flagship branch in The Annex neighborhood offers four storeys filled with popular as well as rare books, CDs, DVDs, vinyl records and magazines. The highlight of this place is that the pre-owned merchandise is available at highly discounted rates, yet this store ensures that their products are not worn out or unusable. This is one of the biggest second-hand book shops in Canada. One can spend hours browsing through the racks of classics, best sellers and special editions. This place is most popular for its large collection of comics, where customers can complete their collection of books featuring their favorite comic characters.
ShopAGO is the museum shop of the famous Art Gallery of Ontario. It stocks curated artwork, archival prints, unique art, craft and design products, luxury gift items and jewelry. Albeit expensive, its merchandise is rich in visual appeal and culture, making it worth a visit for both, the casual shopper and the serious art collector. The products include prints of popular Canadian Impressionist and landscape paintings, puzzles crafted by both Canadian and international designers, stationery, headphones, iPhone covers, umbrellas, caps and water bottles. Fashionistas will find chic crocheted bags and totes, cufflinks, watches and earrings. One can even shop for kitchen and gardening equipment such as watering cans, decanters, garlic crushers, bowl sets and jewel jars. Whet your appetite for the art world with a range of books on art history, fashion design and architecture among others topics.