We asked, and you told us. Where Toronto readers voted for these 24 winning stores in our 2009 Where To Shop Awards!
—By Viviane Kertész
TORONTO ANTIQUES ON KING
Scour two tonnes of the city’s leading vintage and estate jewellery, china and sterling and silver flatware at this 30-year-old antiques market run by Cynthia Findlay. Finds include art deco pieces and a collection of maps dating from 1580 to 1850. 276 King St. W., 416-345-9941.
2ND: ASHLEY ANTIQUES
3RD: WATERFORD ANTIQUE MARKET
ATHLETIC & SPORTING GOODS
Whatever your passion—hockey, golf, baseball, snowboarding, running—get the latest goods and gear here to outfit your sport, with brands like Nike, Columbia and Rusty. The tri-level downtown location houses a Coast Mountain Sports, which carries kayaks, among other things. Toronto Eaton Centre, 416-598-3785; Yorkdale Shopping Centre, 416-787-1641.
2ND: SPORTING LIFE
This three-storey gargantuan bookstore pulsates at the hub of the Entertainment District, next to a movie-theatre megaplex. The main floor boasts magazines, gifts and travel books, second level features a Starbucks and DVDs, and the third floor stocks fiction and non-fiction. 142 John St., 416-595-7349; plus other locations.
3RD: WORLD’S BIGGEST BOOKSTORE
THE CHILDREN’S PLACE
Kids love the rockin’ T-shirts and pretty pastels at this leading specialty clothier. Togs for tots—organized in sections for newborns, babies (6 months to 4 years) and girls and boys to size 14—come in a rainbow of colours. Toronto Eaton Centre, 416-581-1444; Yorkdale Shopping Centre, 416-787-9530; plus other locations.
2ND: PLEASE MUM
3RD: GAP KIDS
CHINA & CRYSTAL
WILLIAM ASHLEY CHINA
Need china? North America’s largest tableware and specialty gift retailer anchors Bloor-Yorkville with 24,000 square feet and 300 manufacturers, like Vera Wang for Wedgwood and Kate Spade for Lenox. On-site stationery shop and Teuscher chocolate flown in straight from Switzerland, too. Manulife Centre, 416-964-2900; plus other locations.
2ND: THE BAY
Take home a taste of Canadiana from this chocolates purveyor named after the legendary national heroine who, in 1813, warned British troops of an impending attack. Don’t miss melt-in-your-mouth French mints, truffles, maple syrup and bubblegum ice cream. Hudson’s Bay Centre, 416-961-1085; Toronto Eaton Centre, 416-977-8445; plus other locations.
THE BAYThe eight-floor Yonge-and-Queen branch of Canada’s oldest department store conveniently connects to the Toronto Eaton Centre by a covered walkway. From appliances to the signature striped blanket to Vancouver 2010 Olympics apparel, The Bay’s got it all. 176 Yonge St., 416-861-9111; 44 Bloor St. E., 416-972-3333; plus other locations.
Fashionable designer frames at great prices—as well as sunglasses and contacts—draw eyewear enthusiasts in spades. Vision services include arranging eye exams, free one-hour turnaround for glasses, and an unconditional one-year accidental damage guarantee on frames. 40 Dundas St. E., 416-979-5550; 128 Hazelton Ave., 416-924-5600; plus other locations.
3RD: NEW VISION
BECKETT FINE ART
Painters and sculptors represented by this stalwart Yorkville business (since 1966!) include emerging and well-established Canadian and international artists like Toronto-based John Coburn, Robert Bateman, Japan’s Kotaro Migishi, and Ojibway painter Arthur Shilling. Photography, custom conservation services and museum-standard framing, too. 120 Scollard St., 416-922-5582.
2ND: HEFFEL FINE ART
3RD: GALLERY PHILIPPE
Head here for hip, hot boots, shoes and sandals for women and men at this footwear store carrying its own exclusive house brand. Lots of leather and pleather accessories like matching purses, as well as hair clips and cool shades. Holt Renfrew Centre, 416-921-9763; Toronto Eaton Centre, 416-599-4554; plus other locations.
3RD: TOWN SHOES
Founded in 1670, The Bay played a vital role in building Canada as a nation through its fur trade. Today, find pelts of mink, beaver and fox by La Bellezza, Blackglamma, and shearlings by Dominic Bellissimo. 176 Yonge St., 416-861-9111.
2ND: HOLT RENFREW
3RD: ALEX FURS
PUSATERI’S FINE FOODS
This gourmet grocetaria devoted to stocking the best comestibles money can buy—think luxury chocolates and dozens of kinds of olive oil—serves up divine prepared foods, exquisite floral designs and deluxe gift baskets. 57 Yorkville Ave., 416-785-9100; 1539 Avenue Rd., 416-785-9100.
2ND: BRUNO’S FINE FOODS
3RD: WHOLE FOODS
Find home decor items priced up to 20 to 60 per cent less than in a department store. From dining room stemware to bedroom linens to kitchen cookware and garden planters, top name-brand furnishings are discounted here. 195 Yonge St., 416-941-9185; Eglinton Corners Shopping Centre, 416-750-8066; plus other locations.
2ND: POTTERY BARN
3RD: HOME DEPOT
Laptop trouble? Geek Squad Agents service your computer in-store or at your hotel room! Lost? Get a portable GPS device here. The latest in digital cameras, portable DVD players—with lots of DVDs—plus camcorders and more. Toronto Eaton Centre, 416-642-8321; 695 Wilson Ave., 416-635-6574; plus other locations.
2ND: FUTURE SHOP
3RD: THE SONY STORE
JEWELLERY & WATCHES
This 90-ear old gem positively gleams with reasonable prices on diamonds—some of which are mined, cut and polished in Canada—plus gold, silver, pearls and precious stones. Titanium and stainless-steel baubles also lend this mall chain sparkle. Toronto Eaton Centre, 416-977-8466; Yorkdale Shopping Centre, 416-789-7263; plus other locations.
This triple-category threat (see Furs and Department Store) carries some of the sharpest women’s garb under one roof. Betsey Johnson, Jones New York and Esprit hang alongside house lines like BAIA Blue Label (for business attire). 176 Yonge St., 416-861-9111; 44 Bloor St. E., 416-972-3333; plus other locations.
Leather lovers unite at this made-in-Canada clothing chain offering designer quality at decent prices. Snap up a chic sheepskin car coat, lambskin bomber jacket or suede handbag, briefcase or laptop bag. Toronto Eaton Centre, 416-598-1159; Yorkdale Shopping Centre, 416-783-9526; plus other locations.
2ND: NORTHBOUND LEATHER
Stocks cute, comfortable, sexy and affordable bras, panties and PJs in motley patterns and colours. Carries the Victoria’s Secret Pink line of sweet undergarments, sophisticated At Home sleep sets and lifestyle loungewear, and La Senza’s own beauty products. The Exchange Tower, 130 King St. W., 416-362-8639; Toronto Dominion Centre, 66 Wellington St. W., 416-203-1581; plus other locations.
2ND: LA VIE EN ROSE
3RD: SUPER SELLERS
TIP TOP TAILORS
The secret to Tip Top Tailors celebrating its centenary? Expert on-site tailoring. Get kitted out in luxurious yet reasonably priced suits, sport coats, dress pants and denim from Calvin Klein, Andrew Fezza, Daniel Hechter, Bellissimo and Britches. First Canadian Place, 416-862-9229; Fairview Mall, 1800 Sheppard Ave. E., 416-756-1100; plus other locations.
2ND: HARRY ROSEN THE BAY
PET SUPPLIES & ACCESSORIES
This pet lover’s paradise has 10,000 different products for Fluffy, Fido, and exotic animals like reptiles, birds and fish. Full-service grooming salon and training services available. Leashed and vaccinated pets welcome! 835 Eglinton Ave. E., 416-696-0388; 12 William Kitchen Dr., Scarborough, 416-335-7922; plus other locations.
2ND: PET CUISINE
3RD: GLOBAL PET FOODS
TORONTO EATON CENTRE
From Aritzia to Zara, the city’s landmark downtown mall boasts 235 stores—including eight of the Where To Shop 2009 winners and 14 runners-up—across the length of two whole city blocks. Enjoy two food courts or browse favourites like Sephora, Apple, Lacoste and Banana Republic. 220 Yonge St., 416-598-8560.
2ND: YORKDALE MALL
3RD: FAIRVIEW MALL
SPAS & SALONS
THE OLD MILL SPA
This beautiful spa lies within a historic Toronto inn along the Humber River. Try services like a personalized facial, a mani-pedi, the Sea Essential Remineralizing treatment, a Maple Sugar body polish, or the Soufflé Wrap, a signature treatment recommended for mothers-to-be. 21 Old Mill Rd., 416-232-3700.
2ND: ELMWOOD SPA
3RD: DONATO SALON & SPA
TOBACCO & CIGARS
Go for a nosh, leave with a stogie! This unique tobacconist with two giant humidors full of quality Cuban, Honduran and Dominican cigars like Cohiba, Montecristo, and Yitz’s own house brand has operated within one of the city’s best Jewish-style delicatessens since 1972. 346 Eglinton Ave. W., 416-487-4506.
2ND: HEMINGWAY’S CIGARS
3RD: ACE CIGAR CLUB
TOYS ‘R’ US
Great games—both video and the old-fashioned board kind—plus puzzles and learning toys from trusted brands like Leap Frog will make kids feel like they’re in a candy store. Clothes and gear for newborns can be found at this massive toy emporium, too. Yonge Eglinton Centre, 416-322-1599; 690 Evans Ave., 416-621-8697.
3RD: MASTERMIND TOYS—Viviane Kertész