Stores, Malls or Markets in Toronto

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  • ellyse's Profile Photo

    Kozlik's Canadian Mustard: A Bottle of Canadian Spice

    by ellyse Updated Jan 4, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Me with the friendly mustard chap! An animated introduction to the stall's offerings Savoury... Sweet... And Spicy!
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  • Arial_27's Profile Photo

    Yorkdale Mall: Off the beaten path..

    by Arial_27 Written Jan 1, 2010

    Yorkdale is probably my favourite mall in the city. It's a little further out of the way, but has great selection and I personally prefer the atmosphere here to the Eaton Centre. There is also a movie theatre located in this mall and lots of restaurants to eat at. I'd say the selection here is about the same as at any other mall - tons of international brands, and Canadian ones too. You could shop for hours.

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  • Arial_27's Profile Photo

    The Shoe Room: For the dancers =)

    by Arial_27 Updated Jan 1, 2010

    This is a good tip for dance lovers. The Shoe Room is a very prestigious dance store that is affiliated with Canada's National Ballet School. They sell all kinds of dancewear, for children, adults, men, etc, and most of it of course is related to ballet but there is also a lot of jazz, tap and modern gear sold there. There's also tons of posters, and nice souvenirs such as dancewear bags, purses, pants, and sweatshirt that say "Canada's National Ballet School/ Ecole National du Ballet du Canada" and they're all pretty good quality. I love this store. Its also right attached to some of the NBC studios. If you're a dancer in the area, I'd pop in here to get some supplies. they have a lot of neat things - check out the website.

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  • balfor's Profile Photo

    Can't remember name of shop...: Toronto souvenirs

    by balfor Written Sep 22, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I don't remember the name of the store, but if you're on the street adjacent to the CN tower and looking out toward the lake, there is a bridge going over a lot of railroad tracks. The stadium will be on your right and the tower on your left. In the corner of the building on your left at street level is a souvenir shop that has loads of merchandise from Toronto. I wasn't looking for sporting team gear so I didn't pay close attention to what they had, but they DID have jerseys and various other items there.

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  • MissAntarctica2002's Profile Photo

    Photo Studio: Good, Fast and Cheap

    by MissAntarctica2002 Updated Sep 21, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    They say you can only have two of the following: Good, Fast, or Cheap, but the exception is at the Photo Studio. That's the one time when you can have all three. This photofinishing lab/camera store is in the ground level of the building where I work and I always take my film there to be developed. It is in a little corner of the gift shop within the Holiday Inn on King and is run by the owner, who is very courteous and helpful. Because the building is also a hotel, his standard service for 35mm film is 1hour, but the great thing is that you definitely aren't paying 1hr prices and the quality of the prints is great (unlike many 1hr photos I've tried. The guy develops all of the photos himself, so he keeps an eye on the quality. You can usually get a roll of film developed for under $7. If you ask you can usually get the $5.99 Special.

    Update: Photo Studio seems to have gone out of business. The hotel it is in is currently under renovations, but the store was looking a bit decrepit beforehand. For example, the I and O on neon sign out front stopped working many months ago, and so the sign has said "Photo Stud" for the longest time.

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  • MissAntarctica2002's Profile Photo

    What the heck is Dexit?

    by MissAntarctica2002 Updated Sep 21, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    At many merchants in Toronto's business district you might notice signs for a form of payment called Dexit. Dexit is short for Debit Express and it is designed for making small purchases.

    Many of the people that work in this area have signed up for a Dexit tag, which they load up with $100 at a time from their bank account. When they want to pay for something at a merchant that accepts Dexit, the merchant just enters the price into the Dexit machine and the customer touches the machine with their tag to approve the withdrawal of that amount from their tag.

    It's only suitable for people who shop in this area a lot, so don't sign up unless you'll be spending a lot of time here. I just thought I would do a tip in case people were wondering what it's all about.

    Update: As far as I know, Dexit is no longer offered. At least, most of the retailers who offered it as a form of payment don't seem to be participating anymore.

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  • stamporama's Profile Photo

    Where to buy fresh oriental fruits

    by stamporama Written Jun 5, 2008

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Chinatown obviously has a lot of Asian residents so inevitably they have street stalls that sell all manner of fresh fruits from Asia that the local Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai residents miss and crave for. There's no single shop that sell them so just walk along the avenue and you're bound to come across dozens.

    What to buy: Fruits from Asia like mango, papaya, lychee, mangosteen, soursop, pomelo, grapefruit, etc.

    Canned fruits???  Not here!
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  • lohki's Profile Photo

    Silver Snail: Comic Book Guy would love it here.

    by lohki Written Apr 11, 2008

    Actually the staff is really fun in here, none of that pretentious attitude that is sometimes found in sci-fi/comic settings!

    If you are in the Queen West area it is always fun to stop in the Snail!

    What to buy: Action dolls, comics, stuff!?

    What to pay: 9.99 and up

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  • penumbra's Profile Photo

    Chinatown: Modern day market

    by penumbra Written Sep 10, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Toronto has several Chinatowns and as it grows, the city will undoubtedly grow even more and larger areas. The original Chinatown is downtown along Spadina and being the oldest, arguably has the most character. Even on Sundays and holidays when most stores are closed, this area is thronging with people shopping at the variety and food stores.

    Bottomless bins Lots to choose from
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  • mikey_e's Profile Photo

    Bloor Street: Upscale shopping experience

    by mikey_e Written Aug 23, 2007

    Bloor Street contains many, many shops and is much the same as Passeig de Gràcia in Barcelona or Miracle Mile in Chicago. This is the part of the city where you will find all the designer and luxury boutiques, from Tiffany's and Hermès for jewellery to Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci for clothing to Bang and Olufsen for electronics. As with luxury shopping in many other cities, the hours for these stores are restricted compared to those of malls and shopping centres, and most stores will only stay open later on Thursday, with average closing times for other days at about 6PM. Of course, stores stay open later in November and December during the Christmas shopping season. For those of us who cannot afford to spend several hundred dollars on a shirt or pair of socks, Bloor Street is also quite fun for window shopping.

    What to buy: Men's Clothing: Harry Rosen, Holt Renfrew
    Women's Clothing: Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Holt Renfrew, Prada
    Other clothing shops: Roots, The Gap, Lulu Lemon, the Irish Shop, Zara, H&M, Winners
    Shoes: Davids, Aldo, Town Shoes
    Electronics: Bang and Olufsen
    Jewellery and Accessories: Tiffany's, Hermès, Mont Blanc
    Others: Pottery Barn, L'Occitane, Telus Mobile

    What to pay: Don't expect anything cheap unless the store prides itself on below average retail price shopping (i.e. Winners or H&M)

    Holt Renfrew on Bloor Bloor near Yonge Louis Vuitton on Bloor
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  • mikey_e's Profile Photo

    Queen West: Trendy Shopping at Decent Prices

    by mikey_e Written Aug 14, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I'm shocked and appaled that in the initial stage of writing this tip Sherway Gardens and "Super Surplus" were optional headlines but not Queen West. This is THE place to go if you want something trendier than an chain store but less ridiculously expensive than Holt Renfrew. Queen West was the alternative culture Mecca for Torontonians from the 1960s to the 1990s, just after tha influx of Draft Dodgers from the US. Today the trendy clubs and restaurants have moved to Queen West West (Queen and Dufferin westward) but there are still lots of stores here. True, there are some name brands on this strip, with more and more moving in (H&M, Club Monaco, Aritzia, HMV, The Gap, Zara) but there are still lots of small boutiques were you can get your fill of crazy salespeople and outlandish Japanese-inspired fashions.

    What to buy: There's pretty much something for everybody here. If you want rocker and punk clothing, head to Black Market near John Street and Queen, where everything is vintage and you can find very unique pieces of clothing (taste optional). For handbags and accessories there is Te Koop and the stores just west of Spadina on Queen have a healthy mix of clothing by namebrand but niche designers like Puma or Vice and much smaller individual designer than can really make your waredrobe seem unique.

    What to pay: Cheaper than Europe, more expensive than Yonge Street

    Queen Street West

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  • lohki's Profile Photo

    Soma Chocolatemaker: Food of the Gods

    by lohki Updated Jun 26, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Large factory-esque setting with a counter for ice creams gelato and coffee.
    Filled with many bars and bags of delicious treats a counter for buying truffels and individual chocolates.

    The cafe area, with seats and stools has this wonderful partition that looks like it has been drizzled with melted chocolate. Don't forget to take a gander at the old grinder in the back corner. Some of the cacao beans are actually raosted here, then ground and turned in the amazing treats here.

    What to buy: Ummmm let me think about this.....

    CHOCOLATE!

    If you are a lover of all things chocolate I highly recomend trying their pure Mayan Shot. Not only is it very warm but the trace of chilli is unbelievable can be served with steamed milk, but I am a purest and love it as is.

    What to pay: Pay as little as $3.00 for a shot of hot Mayan Shot or pay as much as $100.00 for a large slab... I assume for baking.

    Bars and treat bags tend to run in the 5 to $15.00 range and I am sure the single chocolates are 3 to $5.00 each.

    Mayan Shot of pure heaven old school grind
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  • OlenaKyiv's Profile Photo

    Those dry sea products: Chinatown

    by OlenaKyiv Written May 17, 2007

    First time I saw those unidentifiable for me dry sea products in sacks that had a strong odor and a bunch of flies around. I think those vendors gave the specific taste (literally and figuratively speaking) to a market.

    Chinatown
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  • OlenaKyiv's Profile Photo

    Shopping in Chinatown

    by OlenaKyiv Written May 17, 2007

    Street vendors sell a lot of stuff right on the street: fruits, vegetables, dry fish, and other sea products, cheap things that I had no idea what to use for. Some products were on shelves, some in boxes, and even right on the street’s ground. All this selling happened not in a calm manner but as a constantly moving sea of people and sellers. What I really didn’t like among many shops is how dirty they were inside and outside. Also the odor. I understand it is because of the kind of food sold in the stores, but for me it was unbearable.

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  • OlenaKyiv's Profile Photo

    Shopping in Chinatown

    by OlenaKyiv Written May 17, 2007

    I would never think Asian vendors are so loud! One guy cried out about his products and prices for so long, that I started doubting whether he is a man but not a tape recorder or radio. Frankly speaking, I though I could observe such behavior only among Middle Eastern vendors. Well, I was wrong.

    Inside of Chinatown shop
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