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Yorkville Village Shopping Centre | Courtesy of Yorkville Village
Yorkville Village Shopping Centre | Courtesy of Yorkville Village
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A Fashion Lover's Guide to Toronto

Picture of Sahar Aman
Staff Writer
Updated: 29 September 2017
Fashion lovers will find many places to visit in Toronto. There are plenty of malls and boutiques for unique shopping, interesting exhibitions and trendy bars and restaurants in which to show off your latest buys. Here’s our sartorial guide to the city.
Saks Fifth Avenue | © Joseph Morris/Flickr
Saks Fifth Avenue | © Joseph Morris/Flickr

Best places for fashion lovers to shop in Toronto

Queen Street

It’s worth spending a morning perusing the shops on Yonge, Spadina and Queen Streets. Along the way you’ll find Saks Fifth Avenue and famous chain retailers. Don’t miss the glorious strip between Bathurst and Gladstone; this hip stretch earned an accolade from Vogue, who crowned it the second coolest neighbourhood in the world. There are many boutiques and vintage stores to browse, and some of the coolest food and drink outlets in Toronto. If you want local brands, head to Frances Watson. If vintage is your thing, check out 69 Vintage, a superbly organised treasure trove. Or, drop into Drake General Store for gifts.

Flagship Drake General Store | Courtesy of Kayla Rocca
Flagship Drake General Store | Courtesy of Kayla Rocca

Kensington Market

This vibrant neighbourhood has held onto its identity in a city that is constantly evolving. Most of the shops and restaurants here are distinctly artistic. Kensington Market is a must-visit if you’re into vintage and antique stores. For the savvy and thrifty shopper, Sub Rosa Vintage is an excellent pick, with many one-of-a-kind items of clothing. Jewellery lovers should bookmark Courage My Love; it’s been around since the ’70s and is full of beads and trinkets from around the world.

Flagship Holt Renfrew Store | Courtesy of Holt Renfrew
Flagship Holt Renfrew Store | Courtesy of Holt Renfrew

Bloor-Yorkville

If you want to splurge then Bloor Street’s “Mink Mile” is the place to go. Begin at Bloor and Avenue; the closest subway stop is St. George Station. Keep going east towards Yonge Street for designer stores like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci and Hermès. Don’t miss Holt Renfrew, a high-end department store with multiple floors dedicated to the latest trends. For unique lifestyle brands, a visit to Yorkville Village shopping centre is ideal. To browse smaller boutiques, the cobbled streets of Yorkville and Cumberland Avenue are perfect. Checkout 119 Corbo for European designers; for all things denim, head to Over The Rainbow; and for seriously cool streetwear, go to Capsule.

Yorkville Summer Market | Courtesy of Yorkville Village
Yorkville Summer Market | Courtesy of Yorkville Village

Best places for fashion lovers to eat in Toronto

Byblos

The ambience, food and cocktails at Byblos are a smooth blend of classic traditions, local ingredients and modern cooking methods. Colourful plates of food are served family style. It’s the perfect place to get dressed up for.

Byblos | Courtesy of Byblos
Byblos | Courtesy of Byblos

Colette Grand Café

Colette Grand Café comprises an outdoor terrace, Parisian-inspired cafe with freshly baked goods, a restaurant, bar and lounge. The chic decor and menu is influenced by the classy French approach, so it’s an ideal place to flaunt your style.

Portland Variety

During the day, Portland Variety is where street style meets coffee. Many of the city’s well-known bloggers, photographers and influencers can be found here on coffee dates, enjoying the weekday brunch menu, working or snapping pictures for their Instagram feeds.

In the evening, Portland Variety transforms into an ambient restaurant with delicious food. Try to get your hands on one of their chocolate chip cookies, but get in early—they sell out every day!

Outside Portland Variety | Courtesy of Portland Variety
Outside Portland Variety | Courtesy of Portland Variety

Frings

For a spot of fabulous people watching, reserve a table for dinner at Susur Lee’s Frings, a restaurant that’s famous for getting its name from Drake. Show off your duds at this ultra-hip joint that has supper-club vibes. After feasting at Frings, you’ll be in a good location for a night out.

Where fashion lovers hang out in Toronto

Apt. 200 | Courtesy of Apt. 200
Apt. 200 | Courtesy of Apt. 200

Apt. 200 on Queen West is the perfect place to sip a drink and dress to impress. Toronto’s uber-cool crowd loves when bars resemble an upscale house party, complete with chandeliers, pool tables, arcade games and extensive drinks list.

You could also try The Addisons Residence in Toronto’s Fashion District, another home-inspired venue. There are lots of other bars and lounges in this area, and once the sun goes down the streets are filled with the modish. For stylish rooftop views go to Lavelle, and for a sophisticated cocktail, check out Thompson Lobby Bar.

Lavelle | Courtesy of Lavelle
Lavelle | Courtesy of Lavelle

What fashion lovers must see in Toronto

Bata Shoe Museum

At this unusual and unique museum, every shoe has a story. The Bata Shoe Museum explores cultural tales through footwear. Their stunning permanent collection has the world’s largest compilation of shoes and footwear-related artifacts, while their special exhibitions delve further into what society chooses to wear on its feet.

Fashion Victims Exhibition | © 2017, Bata Shoe Muesum, Toronto, Canada
Fashion Victims Exhibition | © 2017, Bata Shoe Muesum, Toronto, Canada

Royal Ontario Museum

The Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles & Costume at Royal Ontario Museum is always a great place to enjoy fashion’s rich and vibrant history. Check the website for upcoming events, as the gallery often has special exhibitions.

Textile Museum of Canada

Located in the heart of downtown, this colourful museum explores the aesthetic story and cultural journey of cloth throughout the centuries. The Textile Museum of Canada has over 13,000 textiles and covers 2,000 years of history across 200 regions of the world. In addition to their permanent collection, they often have travelling exhibitions and offer free tours on Sunday.