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Neighbourhoods & Shopping
This bright and airy shopping mall, the largest in Toronto (boasting over 250 stores), is located downtown, a hop, skip, and a jump away from the CN Tower. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Toronto, the Eaton Centre features a multi-level, open-concept design, and a vaulted glass ceiling from which hangs a whimsical sculpture of a flock of Canadian geese, by Canadian artist Michael Snow. With its cool layout, excellent shops, and great restaurants, The Eaton Centre is definitely worth a stop!
An unexpectedly quaint pocket of Victorian architecture in the midst of Toronto’s high-rises and shopping malls, the Bloor-Yorkville neighborhood is home to many restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries. If you’re looking for some high-end shopping, Bloor Street features a wide variety of upscale shopping, including Holt Renfrew, Hermès, Gucci, and Prada.
Queen Street boasts an eclectic mix of vintage and antique shops, chic boutiques, and edgy, hip shops, too. This area, known as a centre of Canadian fashion, music, performance, and visual arts, is especially trendy. For a more “bohemian” vibe, walk even farther west, to the area known as West Queen West, between Bathurst Ave. and Niagara Street.
If you’re looking to escape the high-rises and department stores of the city for a while, Kensington Market may be the place for you. Here you will find a plethora of vintage and “pre-loved” clothing stores, cool little cafes and restaurants, furniture shops, and a wide variety of ethnic grocers.
The market is comprised of the South Market, which has more than 50 (mostly food related) specialty shops, and the North market, which has been hosting the Saturday farmers’ market for over a century. On Sundays, more than 80 antique vendors take over the North Market’s halls to sell their wares. Close to downtown and in the centre of the historic St. Lawrence neighborhood, this market is a must for any visiting foodie and/or history buff.
A little less high-end than Bloor Yorkville, Yonge and Eglinton offers a great mix of mainstream and more unique shopping options.
Gooderham and Worts Distillery opened in 1832, and eventually becoming the largest distillery in the British Empire. It continued producing whiskey and other spirits until its closure in 1990. Today, “what you will find is a dramatic fusion of old and new. An inspired blend of Victorian Industrial architecture and stunning 21st century design and creativity. The result is an internationally acclaimed village of one-of-a-kind stores, shops, galleries, studios, restaurants, cafes, theatres and more.”
Once one of Toronto’s poorest neighborhoods, today Cabbagetown holds the distinction of being the largest area of preserved Victorian housing in North America. Here you’ll find brightly painted houses, wrought iron fences and beautiful gardens, as well as a distinctly “bohemian” atmosphere.
One of the biggest Chinatowns in North America, Toronto’s Chinatown has attracted immigrants from many Asian countries. Here you will find lots of fantastic restaurants, shops selling kimonos, porcelain, herbs, jewelry, and (if you like) some fun, touristy kitsch, too.