Items for the Home and Family, household utensils, handy nik naks,
reminded me of Habitat in London circa 1870 or CA Paradis in Ottawa,
but the selection at IQ is eclectic, up to date , delightful staff, and we managed to get some Christmas stuffers already ;-)
and from their website " iQliving is founded on the principal of offering sleek, sophisticated and lasting products for the whole home "
What to buy: high end to low end trendy household items, pots and pans from europe, Japan, China ~ trendy, colourful and useful un-necessaries of fine living intelligently
What to pay: we blew fifty dollars and know it was well spent ` a bagful
My friend, Magda, used to work at this chocolate store. When I was last in Toronto I popped by to buy some chocolates and also tried some of their samples which were freshly made and delicious. I enjoyed munching some of the chocolates whilst sightseeing and also took some home as souvenirs.
Queen's Quay Shops and Restaurants have a special place in my memories of Toronto. This is where my parents used to take us when we wanted to do something really different that also included shopping. It's located just beside Harbourfront and includes a large number of niche or special interest shops that are accustomed to people looking more than buying. This is a place where you're certain to see things that are unique without feeling like you're in a tourist trap. The shopping area has been greatly revitalized by the building boom in the area, but the difficulty that developers have had in selling condos here, and in owners renting them out, means that it is never packed.
What to buy: Although there are some more standard shops and restaurants, including a new supermarket, most stores sell higher-end crafts and products. There are stores that specialize in Toronto artists, others that carry Japanese or Inuit works and at least one store that has toys for nerdy children (science toys and lots of robotic ones that you assemble yourself).
What to pay: Don't think about getting stuff cheap here - its more expensive than most places.
What to pay: Depending on what you are looking for... I found a lovely espresso cup and saucer for $14.00, a great propane fireplace that hangs on the wall, $500.00 and a really, really cool round pod chair with flat screen t.v. and reclining chaise.... that didn't have a price tag. I can only assume it costs more than my rent!
The city has many huge malls. Hillcrest mall is one of them. It is a huge mall in the Toronto outer city of Richmond Hill. For anyone in the area, it is a great place to shop. They recently improved it and I personally like their choice in the food court.
All about the home furnishing products and services in the Toronto Greater Area.
What to buy: This is my favourite site to search for furniture stores and asking for tips on renovation and interior design stuff for your home.
You can also find classifieds for apartment rentals, or moving sales to furnish your home cheaply.
If you are from toronto, you can post classified ads for free here too.
Aboveground has the best prices and selection of art supplies in the city, by far. No matter what medium you work in, Aboveground is likely to have everything you need.
It is located adjacent to the Ontario College of Art and Design. It used to be across the street in The Village By The Grange, but most of the retail space was converted to condos a couple of years ago. Aboveground worked with the City of Toronto to refurbish its current location, a historic house that had been condemned and slated for demolition.
If memory serves me, I believe they also give a discount if you show an ISIC card.
What to pay: A wide range, but practically everything is a bargain at Aboveground.
The perfect place to buy nice souvenirs that characterise Canada & the indigenous 'Indians'.
Very extensive range of articles, keepsakes, fabrics, outfits, toys, even stuffed polar bears!
What to buy: I liked the cute Indian dolls, made in Canada, using beads and suede.
The cute girl I have is "Iroquois Princess, Maiden of the Mist (or La Princesse Iroquoise, des chutes du Niagara).
The tale of the Iroquois Princess, > is a famous legend of an Iroquois Princess who went over the falls in a canoe. Legend says she was saved by the Gods of the Falls & that her spirit lives in the mighty forces of the waters of Niagara Falls."
Other items to buy are cuddly toys (moose), plates depicting the different provinces, copper plate decorations, etc.
And don't forget to purchase some maple syrup, available in a maple-shaped bottle!
What to pay: The dolls start from 15 CAD; I paid 24 CAD for the Princess in year 2000.
So what you should take home from Canada? Maple syrup, of course.
It's a good gift item, and if you have a sweet tooth you can always keep it for yourself. But if you are going to buy maple syrup, don't buy it in the duty-free!! True, they have cute little bottles, but it will cost you an arm and a leg. Save your money and go into an ordinary supermarket before you leave. The price will be MUCH lower, and the maple syrup just as sweet.
I am not sixteen anymore and my figure ain’t what it used to be, as they say. I can’t just go into a store, flip through the racks and find a perfect fit, right off the bat. But when I’m in Toronto, visiting my mother (and usually pressed for time), the place I head for is Winners.
Winners is a bargain outlet for designer clothing with several branches in Toronto. Department stores in North America tend to be overwhelming. There are so many floors, so many escalators and so much going on, you sometimes end up buying nothing because there is just too much.
Winners, in that respect, is a much more focused kind of place. All the departments are on one floor, which makes shopping there much more manageable. That is especially good when you’re in a hurry (like when your husband is waiting outside, or your flight leaves in a few hours).
My favorite is the clearance racks, although almost everything in the store is marked down. While the prices are not dirt cheap, they are quite reasonable, and a red sticker on the tag indicates a further reduction. For example, a pair of jeans originally sold for $48 was marked down to $29 and I bought them for $16. And remember, we are talking about Canadian dollars.
Helpful Hint: Most women don’t look at the “petite” racks on the assumption that they could not possibly fit into anything remotely “petite.” Well, that is a mistake. You can be fat as a horse and petite sizes will fit you perfectly. They are cut to fit NORMAL women. If you have not been blessed with that long-legged, long-armed, lanky look, and find that you have to take up every pair of pants you buy, try on a pair of petites. No alterations needed.
On the Niagara River, straddling the Canada-US border, Niagara Falls is probably the most notable natural attraction near Toronto.
The city of Niagara Falls is a popular resort area with something to delight every member of the family. Souvenir stores galore everywhere here. There's a pretty extensive one where you get off the Maid of the Mist. Prices seem to be about the same everywhere, so you might as well buy here if you find something you like.
What to buy: They seem to have thought of everything possible, from the usual postcards (very pretty!), fridge magnets, T-shirts (somehow I found these tacky), mugs, photo frames, notebooks, coffee table photo books, to the more unusual (or unique) bottles of Niagara Falls water! Couldn't resist buying a bottle of that, a notebook, plus some postcards and fridge magnets to give away to friends back home.
What to pay: The cheapest items are the postcards, fridge magnets and bottles of Niagara water, which cost a few CAD each.
You might be wondering, why is Hard Rock Cafe in my Shopping category and not Restaurants or even Nightlife? Simply because I didn't have time or money to do anything at Hard Rock Cafe other than buy a Hard Rock Cafe souvenir, hopefully the start of my Hard Rock Cafe souvenir collection.
At the main entrance, which could be seen from the street or inside, there was a DJ booth where a DJ was spinning tunes.
What to buy: Merchandise on offer include Hard Rock Cafe T-shirts, hoodies, caps, shot glasses, pins etc. Since I was looking for something light, practical and unbreakable, I bought a T-shirt.
The Niagara peninsula enjoys climate that is conducive for the growing of wine grapes. Instead of the icing on the cake, in the many wineries around Niagara-on-the-Lake, a couple of hours' drive from Toronto, you can have the icing of your wine... and drink it too! :)
What to buy: The last stop on our winery tour was at the gift store where as tour members we all had a voucher worth 5 CAD off the purchase of certain wines, so I bought a sparkling wine which I liked. The store also had a wide selection of their reds, whites and also icewines. Good value!
With a few outlets in University of Toronto, this is a great place to stock up on any souvenirs related to the University. Some are even joint ventures by Canadian brands such as Roots bags.
What to buy: Anything and everything related to the University seems to be available here, including various items of clothing (hoodies, T-shirts, sweatshirts, socks, caps), bags, decals, mugs etc. Take your pick!
Located in the south building of St.Lawrence Market, this stall has an amazing variety of self-made Canadian mustards for you to pick and choose from. On Saturdays they even have free tasting for customers, apparently with meat but I was there too early and only saw pretzel sticks. Not a problem as that meant I had more stomach space left for trying other food later!
What to buy: Mustards here are categorised into spicy, sweet and savoury, with the bulk of products falling into the last category. I shamelessly tried quite a number and finally decided on the Niagara Classic which's a savoury mustard... there were a number which I liked the taste of, but the name of this one made it stand out as uniquely Canadian/Torontoian. Other ones that I liked included Amazing Maple, Clobbered Cranberry, Raspberry, Iced and Wined etc.
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