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Usually while you are away your time for shopping can be very limited, therefore any time you can squeeze in for shopping is precious. It is always a good idea, once you realize you will have time to shop, to do a little research either in travel guides, or the internet to see what is available to you in the particular city you are in. By doing this it will give you a good indication of the merchandise a particular store sells and then you can purchase unique items for your home, or gifts to bring those special people on your list. Once you have a plan this will ensure that each moment of your time will be used to the fullest.
If you are visiting the city and staying in a hotel, it is always nice to have some fresh fruits and pastries in your room for yourself and your travel companion, or perhaps for friends that may come to visit you in your hotel room. A good market in the city for purchasing such goods is the St. Lawrence Market , located at 92 Front Street East The phone number to call for more detailed information is 416-392-7120. This market is the most wonderful place, and every Saturday there is an amazing farmer's market, where you can pick up the fresh produce. There is a terrific pastry shop, a bread shop where there are many, many varieties of breads available, a cheese shop, etc. the list is endless. Also, downstairs there is a great little coffee shop where you can purchase fresh roasted beans either as a gift for someone or as a treat to have yourself, for once you get home. Do note that the main market is closed Sunday and Mondays. There is also a Whole Foods Market at 87 Avenue Road where you can shop for anything food related, including a nice selection of gluten free options. Their phone number is (416) 944-0500
If you have a few hours only to shop, here are a few stores which are relatively close to each other, allowing you to utilize your time to the fullest. One of these stores is called Putti Fine Furnishings; it is situated at 1104 Yonge Street (phone number is 416-972-7652) and it is a great little store that carries soaps, bath products, candles, mirrors, perfume bottles, writing paper, pens, light fixtures, and many other gorgeous items too numerous to list. This store also has some stunning European antiques. An added bonus is If you need a little break, there are many little coffee shops and eateries in the area. Depending on your time element for shopping even if you only have time to go to one store you will do very well at Putti.
Now, if you still have time to spare, you can go further up Yonge Street to Restoration Hardware, 2434 Yonge Street (at Eglinton) phone number is 416-322-9422. It is large, bright and has so many wonderful items. They have tons of lamps in every shape and size, the most luxurious linens — sheets, pillows, bedskirts, duvets, towels, etc. as well as candles, and many other home accessories. If you have a limited amount of time for shopping and you are looking for both gifts to bring back home from your trip, as well as objects for your home, you cannot go wrong with the three stores mentioned here.
If you enjoy malls, the Eaton Centre has all of your big name stores and is located right on the subway line, at Yonge and Queen. In addition, you have one of the best malls for fashion at Yorkdale, which also has subway access. Yorkdale carries fashions for every budget, from designer labels to the major chains. If designer fashion is your forte, then you must shop in Yorkville, which has all the biggest names in fashion, including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Lacoste and Versace.
While in Toronto, you cannot miss out on Lululemon. This yoga wear store for men and women carries the hottest collection for yoga and track wear. With stores in Yorkville, Yonge and Eglinton, Yorkdale, as well as many other locations, you must purchase a few pieces from here, as the clothes are second to none, and never seem to wear out.
Yorkville is the high end district for shoppers in Toronto. Especially during TIFF, there are celebrity sightings at shoppes as well as restaurants throughout Yorkville. Named by Fortune Magazine as the seventh most expensive shopping streets in the world (2008), you better bring your wallet to the Yonge and Bloor area if you are going to be shopping in Yorkville!
Hope this helps a little. Safe travelling!