There are so many terrific independent stores in Toronto to find your kids the perfect gift without lining the pockets of a rich CEO (ahem).
There are some stores who cross over from strictly toys and gifts into baby equipment, crafts, games and books. So stay tuned for more lists as we count down the shopping days!
So here is our guide to independent toy and gift stores in Toronto…
(Click on each title link below for more details)
Downtown & West End
This hidden gem, tucked away in the Cumberland Terrace mall near Yonge & Bloor, has an incredible puzzle selection, as well as figurines, models and board games.
On my shopping list: Rainforest 300-piece shaped puzzle
Address: 820 Yonge St., Unit L21
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: My Neighbour Totoro plush pencil case
Address: 624 Bloor St. West, 686 Yonge Street
When your kids are aiming to be the hippest on the block, best to go to the epicentre of cool on Queen West for upscale brands like Maileg, Janod and Minikane.
On my shopping list: Schylling Disco Ball
Address: 674 Queen Street West
There are lots of educational toys in the modern lobby of the Royal Ontario Museum, with themed gift areas alongside major exhibits (such as their Great Whale Exhibit).
On my shopping list: Educational Insights Geosafari Jr. My 1st Microscope
Address: 100 Queen’s Park
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: MindWare Paint-Your-Own Garden Gnome
Address: 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: Petit Collage Catventures Board Game
Address: 405 Roncesvalles Avenue, 1140 Queen Street East
This old-school toy store has recently moved from Bathurst to Queen West but is still well-stocked with puzzles, train sets and seasonal items.
On my shopping list: CubicFun CN Tower 3-D Puzzle
Address: 710 Queen Street West
East End & Scarborough
Not only does this store have toys from upscale brands such as Moulin Roty and Vilac, but also clothes and accessories, plus household and lifestyle items.
On my shopping list: Fjällräven backpack
Address: 734 Queen Street East
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: Fidget Toy Advent Calendar
Address: 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: Great Pretenders Colour Butterfly Wings
Address: 742 Queen Street East
As the name suggest, 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: Thinkfun Colour Cube Sudoku
Address: 2883 St. Clair Avenue East
Focusing on the younger folk, this new shop in the East End has quality toys, books, household items and baby supplies.
On my shopping list: Folkmanis Baby Sloth Puppet
Address: 2054 Danforth Avenue
This popular store in the Gerrard India Bazaar neighbourhood is small but 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: Creativity For Kids Beaded Snowflake Ornaments
Address: 1511 Gerrard Street East
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: Gamewright Trash Pandas
Address: 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: Crayola Puppy Party Colour-In Socks
Address: 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: Lego Art: Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe
Address: 1754 Avenue Road
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