There are lots of terrific independent stores in Toronto where you can find your family some amazing gifts without lining the pockets of a rich CEO. With so many choices, you’ll have no trouble finding your kids the perfect present while supporting your local economy, anytime of year. Many stores also offer numerous types of items, from home goods to baby equipment, crafts, games and books. So, get busy shopping with our Guide to the Best Independent Toy and Gift Stores in Toronto!
(Click on each title link below for more details)
In the Distillery District, head to the upper levels of this gorgeous housewares shop to find lots of quirky gift ideas, plus puzzles and a well-curated toy selection.
On my shopping list: Hot Chocolate Advent Calendar
Address: 28 Tank House Lane
Blue Banana Market
This huge space in Kensington Market is filled with goodies for everyone on your list, from quirky puzzles to pop culture socks!
On my shopping list: Pterodactyl Hand Puppet
Where: 250 Augusta Avenue
Game & Hobby Zone
The founder of this hidden gem in the Cumberland Terrace Mall is retiring so help them on their way with 33% off (with some exceptions) during their Retirement Sale! It has an incredible puzzle selection, as well as figurines, models and board games.
On my shopping list: Mudpuppy Little Feminists 500-piece Puzzle
Where: 820 Yonge St., Unit L21
The Labour of Love
In Cabbagetown, this home goods store also has terrific gift ideas for both adults and kids, such as games, puzzles, books, toys, clothing, and personal items.
On my shopping list: Casey & Finnegan Kids Tee
Where: 223 Carlton Street
There are lots of educational toys in the modern lobby of the Royal Ontario Museum, with themed gift areas alongside major exhibits. Dino fans should definitely stomp over here!
On my shopping list: GeoBingo World game
Where: 100 Queen’s Park
For artsy types, no visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario is complete without a stop at the beautifully designed gift shop, brimming with art-themed gifts and home goods pieces that are works of art themselves.
On my shopping list: Andy Warhol Soup Paint By Numbers Kit
Where: 317 Dundas St. West
Not only does this store have toys from upscale French brands such as Moulin Roty and Vilac, but also clothes and accessories, plus household and lifestyle items.
On my shopping list: Caramel & Co Starry Rainbow Crossbody Bag
Where: 295 Roncesvalles Avenue
Just You – Sarah & Tom
A perfect spot to hit for fans of all things “kawaii” (cute in Japanese), with gifts based on pop-culture favourites like Hello Kitty, Pokémon, Studio Ghibli films and K-Pop bands.
On my shopping list: Studio Ghibli movie posters
Where: 624 Bloor St. West
When your kids are aiming to be the hippest on the block, it’s best to go to the epicentre of cool on Queen West for upscale brands like Maileg, Janod and Minikane.
On my shopping list: Amuseable Boiled Egg Bag
Where: 674 Queen Street West
Unsurprisingly, this family hub in the west end is well-stocked with scooters! But they also have pretty much anything else a kid could dream up too.
On my shopping list: Wireless Drum Sticks With Speaker & Sounds
Where: 187 Roncesvalles Avenue
With locations in both ends of the city, you’ll find kids toys, books and clothes at Scout, as well as plenty of fun and funky gift ideas for parents too.
On my shopping list: Make It Fashion Activity Book
Where: 405 Roncesvalles Avenue, 1140 Queen Street East
This old-school toy store on Queen West is well-stocked with puzzles, train sets and seasonal items.
On my shopping list: Munch’s “The Scream” 1000-piece puzzle
Where: 710 Queen Street West
Known for their trendy clothing and accessories, this popular spot in Leslieville also carries cool Canadiana items and kids items from great brands like Hershel and Patagonia.
On my shopping list: Nail Polish Colour Maker Kit
Where: 935 Queen Street East
La Di Da
There is an abundance of adorable gifts at this tiny but packed shop on the Danforth. After you’ve found something cute for the little ones in your family, there are numerous treat-yourself options here as well.
On my shopping list: Pokémon Funko Pop Advent Calendar
Where: 128 Danforth Avenue
As well as clothing, footwear, books and baby gear, there is a thoughtfully curated assortment of toys for the littlest of peeps.
On my shopping list: Ink-A-Do Tattoo Pens Set
Where: 742 Queen Street East
My Gifted Child
As the name suggests, this shop near the Scarborough border focuses on educational toys, plus they have a wide variety of workbooks and teachers’ aids.
On my shopping list: Trivial Pursuit Party Game
Where: 2883 St. Clair Avenue East
Old’s Cool General Store
East York’s neighbourhood general store is cool indeed, filled with socially-conscious gift items.
On my shopping list: Women Artists A to Z Book
Where: 250 Westlake Avenue
Founded and run by a printmaking grad from OCAD, this space-themed print shop also sells a collection of gifts that are out of this world.
On my shopping list: It’s A Bop! Tote Bag
Where: 918 Danforth Avenue
Focusing on the younger folk, this shop in the East End has quality toys, books, household items and baby supplies.
On my shopping list: Yumbox Compartment Lunch Box
Where: 2054 Danforth Avenue
This popular store in the Gerrard India Bazaar neighbourhood is stacked with well-curated picks, plus they do brisk business in loot bags and balloons, and have an ice cream stand in warm months.
On my shopping list: LEGO DOTS Ultimate Party Kit
Where: 1511 Gerrard Street East
Treasure Island Toys
A treasured part of the Danforth for over 30 years, Treasure Island has a wide selection of building sets, dolls and outdoor toys, plus books, crafts and baby supplies.
On my shopping list: 4M Origami Flower Lights
Where: 581 Danforth Avenue
Midtown & Uptown
This busy midtown spot offers a well-edited selection of toys, crafts, games, puzzles and books.
On my shopping list: Thames & Kosmos Gummy Candy Lab
Where: 657 St. Clair Avenue West
An uptown retail institution, Toytown is Toronto’s longest-running independent toy store. Here you’ll find everything from building sets to housewares, puzzles to candy!
On my shopping list: iscream Sweet Surprise Claw Machine Fleece 5-Piece Pillow Set
Where: 1754 Avenue Road
Looking for more Parenting Resources in Toronto? Check them out here!