Toronto is a city full of surprises. In every nook and cranny, you’ll find some unique stores that sell one-of-a-kind collections and items that are suitable for gifts, your home, and to purchase just because. Honor the designs and creations of these independent stores and explore the shelves of these cool stores, including Japanese food and goods store Sanko, and Toronto-themed Crywolf.
Skull Store The Skull Store is the “world’s biggest oddity shop”. A visit here is an adventure in itself, as the store features taxidermy, fossils from animals like bears, marsupials, birds, felines, and other mammals, and even rare human skulls and bones. Other items include jewelry pieces, craft supplies, and art.
Address: 397 Dundas St. E, Toronto
The Monkey’s Paw
The Monkey’s Paw is an antiquarian shop that sells unique and rare books and paper artifacts that date back to when print first began. It is the book lover’s dream and the place for people looking for interesting finds like books on the macabre or predicting female character traits based on breast shape. The store is home to the world’s first “Biblio-Mat”, a random book vending machine.
Address: 1067 Bloor St. W, Toronto
Saudade is a lifestyle store that celebrates Portuguese design and artisanal tradition, showcasing beautiful one-of-a-kind delicate jewelry pieces, funky home décor, fashion items, gift boxes, and apothecary items like soaps. The store’s name is translated as “a sentimental yearning for a former person, place, or thing.
Address: 1191 Dundas St. W, Toronto
Sanko has been supplying Japanese food and goods since the late 60s. Visit the store and find shelves of spices, sauces, and items that are essential for Japanese cooking, onigiri, pocky snacks, noodles, rice cakes, and seasonal items. They also sell kitchenware like ceramic, patterned and decorated dishware and more.
Address: 730 Queen St. W, Toronto
Cocktail Emporium Cocktail Emporium is a place well-recognized in the Kensington Market neighborhood. Its pink exterior and unique offering has caught the eyes of many and it has become the store to purchase all sorts of bartools, glassware, ingredients, gifts, and more. Some of their products include Japanese Traditional Yarais Etched mixing glasses and an array of rare and high-quality tonic syrups.
Address: 972 Queen St. W, Toronto
Curiosa is definitely for the curious. They sell a large variety of extraordinary items like calligraphy pens, vintage and antique reproductions of sundials, shadowboxes, music boxes, tarot and oracle cards, and games. However, the store is best known for their Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts collections.
Address: 1273 Queen St. W, Toronto
Outer Layer is one of Toronto’s most popular stores for quirky finds and novelty items. You’ll come across funky mugs, interesting perfumes, funny greeting cards, unique birthday surprises, and other items for special occasions. Collections include the I Heart Guts plushies, and twists on classic games like Stack the Bones and Bowling Alley Cats.
Address: 577 Queen St. W, Toronto
Easy Tiger is a lifestyle concept store that features delicately designed leather goods, jewelry, accessories, gifts, paper goods, and home décor. Unlike many other concept stores, Easy Tiger offers a selection of children’s items and toys like puzzles, building toys, and organic bibs. Be sure to also check out their wellness items like goodnight oil and pillow spray, a green papaya and lime mask, and Dr. Singha’s Mustard Bath.
Address: 1447 Dundas St. W, Toronto
Phone: 647- 748-6161
Weird Things Antique Shop & Clubhouse
Weird Things is a quintessential antique and oddities shop and gallery where you can marvel at some interesting items in multiple rooms on walls and on display in a homey setting. Some of the items are for sale, like toys, banners, old magazines and National Geographics, but the real draw here is the events including music performances and game nights.
Address: 998 Bathurst St., Toronto
Crywolf Crywolf is a creative Toronto brand that makes iron-on patches, pins, accessories, and silkscreen t-shirts. They are most famous for their Trash Panda line, inspired by the city’s preoccupation with raccoon stories, and their unique offerings like laser-cut resin pieces from Dconstruct and earrings made out of recycled skateboards from MapleXO.
Address: 605 Bloor St. W., Toronto
The Spacing Store is dubbed “Toronto’s City Store” as it carries a range of Toronto-centric buttons and magnets, hats, prints, kitchenware, greeting cards, and interesting magazines and books like 50 Toronto Hidden Gems and Curiosities. The store works directly with local artists, designers, and craftspeople to offer new products for visitors and locals alike.
Address: 401 Richmond St. W., Toronto
Maggie’s Farm Emporium
Maggie’s Farm Emporium, just like Crywolf and Spacing Store, is a quintessential Toronto gift shop that specializes in hand-made greeting cards, baby apparel, accessories, apothecary items, artwork, jewelry, and more. Head over and find tons of treasures and a mix of good from all kinds of themes.
Address: 407 Roncesvalles Ave., Toronto
Bay Street Video
A rarity in today’s modern society, Bay Street Video preserves the DVD collection lifestyle and is considered Toronto’s #1 destination video specialty store. They offer DVD and Blu-ray video titles for rent and for sale in genres like foreign films, musicals, documentaries, and TV series.
Address: 1172 Bay St., Toronto
Blue Banana serves up one-of-a-kind gifts and revolves their whole philosophy around the notion of gift-giving. They offer an eclectic range of gifts that reflect the diversity of the neighborhood and their commitment to Toronto as a city. Named one of the top three gift shops in Toronto, be sure to stop by the store for gift-giving bliss.
Address: 250 Augusta Ave., Toronto
Labor of Love
Labor of Love is a boutique concept store that carries a collection of handmade jewelry, eclectic and kitschy gifts, and other unique products. They also host events, collaborate with artists, and promote other local independent businesses, consistently updating their inventory. Whatever your personality, age group, or budget, the store will have something for you.
Address: 223 Carlton St., Toronto
Likely General Likely General is an artsy general store featuring work and ideas from upcoming artists. Not only do they sell crafty items like mason jar sippy cups, local honey and preserves, and picnic baskets, they make sure everything is handmade and responsibly-made. The owner invites artists that have their products in the store to conduct DIY workshops occasionally which are complemented with cocktails.
Address: 389 Roncesvalles Ave., Toronto
Dancing Days is located in bohemian neighborhood Kensington Market, and definitely reflects the vibe of its location. This unique clothing store has been providing the Toronto community with vintage and new clothing, Batiks, and hemp culture products.
Address: 17 Kensington Ave., Toronto
Made You Look
Made You Look offers a beautiful selection of jewelry created by Canadian designers. 20 of the 100 designers create their work on-site in their jewelry studio. From wedding and engagement rings, precious gems, wearable art pieces, and costume jewelry, the store specializes in a down-to-earth and customized approach to jewelry.
Address: 1338 Queen St. W, Toronto
The Cheese Boutique is a comprehensive gourmet emporium of cheese that has been open for 47 years. They have maintained a mom and pop corner store experience and vibe ever since but has grown into a gourmet staple which sells epicurean cheeses, truffles, prosciutto, olives, and fois gras to name a few.
Address: 45 Ripley Ave., Toronto
Sonic Boom is Toronto’s, and in fact, Canada’s largest independent record store. They have been a staple of the music scene for this reason – their impressive selection of used and new records, cassette tapes, CDs, and DVDs. The store has expanded and now carries lifestyle and home products, band t-shirts, and more.
Address: 215 Spadina Ave., Toronto
Spruce specializes in handmade decorative items in the heart of the Cabbagetown neighborhood. These items include glass and barware, textiles, art pieces, vintage furniture, and more. New items arrive on a weekly basis to keep their inventory fresh, so you may want to jump the gun and purchase these special products so you don’t miss out.
Address: 455 Parliament St., Toronto
Papabubble is a Barcelona native company that is now found worldwide, reviving the traditional methods of crafting authentic handmade hard candy. These artistic and beautiful candy products are visually beautiful and equally delicious. The store even allows visitors to create their own candies with their own designs, colors, and flavors.
Address: 3360 Yonge St., Toronto
Beguiling Books and Art
Founded in 1987, this comic and graphic novel retail store is home to the largest selection of avant-garde, alternative, and underground graphic novels in the country. They have won several awards, including the first Will Eisner Spirit of Retailing Award for excellence in retailing, and continue to purchase old comics published from the 1930s onwards that arrive regularly.
Address: 319 College St., Toronto
A&C Games A&C games is set in the heart of downtown Toronto and has the largest selection of games in the city. Here, you can rediscover rare and vintage games, video games, card games, board games, t-shirts, hats, and wallets. Notable finds include retro games like the Legend of Zelda and game consoles like SEGA and N64.
Address: 452 Spadina Ave., Toronto
Stamen & Pistil Botanicals
Stamen and Pistil is a homey neighborhood plant store that has plants large and small for any space. From tropical plants, to soil, to terrariums, the store provides everything you need to spruce up your space with some nature. They also provide terrarium workshops that include all the materials you need and offer plant-care knowledge as well.
Address: 1567 Dundas St. W, Toronto
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