Hide Your Credit Cards: Hit the Best Shopping in Toronto's Bloor-Yorkville

The Bloor-Yorkville area in Toronto might now be known as the hub of the sophisticated, but it wasn't only that way. If you go way back to 1830, there was even a guy named Joseph Bloore. This now-exclusive neighbourhood began as a residential neighbourhood and brewery site (because those things go together like birds of a feather).

Ask a baby boomer what Yorkville was like in the 1960s. Shabby, run-down, but hippie chic, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young played here back in the days when smoking publicly and wearing bellbottoms were even more fashionable than they are now. The cigarettes and pants have changed dramatically, as has the landscape, thanks to the influence of businesses like Holt Renfrew and Harry Rosen. Soon coffee houses with acoustic sets became high-end boutiques for the incredibly wealthy.

With condominiums aplenty and fashions shows parading through Bloor-Yorkville's many Starbucks, this neighbourhood is a symbol for the dynamic pulse of ever-changing Toronto. While things remain uncharacteristically stagnant, get in your shopping while you can at Holt Renfrew, L'Elegante or Over The Rainbow. Even the thrift stores aren't what we would call affordable, but you may run into a celebrity, or a unique item that won't be replicated at your next cocktail party. If you can't afford to shop, look at it as a museum of clothing and jewellery and then celebrate your ability to restrain with a foamy latte.

Window or regular shopping: it is time to get to these 10 Best.



Sometimes all it takes is the right accessory to pep up an outfit. A little black dress with the right statement necklace stands out from the pack. A piece of costume jewellery or the right scarf or handbag is often the initiating point in a...  Read More



You may assume that a consignment shop translates to moth-eaten clothing, but that is certainly not the case in Toronto's luxury marketplace of Yorkville Avenue. Basia's Closet is actually one of the hottest places to shop in Yorkville,...  Read More



The average woman's bra size can change over six times in her lifetime. If you have been getting by with some old models with worn-out elastic bands, it is time to get over to an expert and find out your true size at this moment in time. Who...  Read More



We will revert to a Karl Lagerfeld quote to open up about L'Elegante: "Never use the word 'cheap'. Today everybody can look chic in inexpensive clothes (the rich buy them too). There is good clothing design on every level today. You can be the...  Read More



Whoever said "diamonds are a girl's best friend" obviously doesn't live in Canada. Diamonds are nice and all, but they certainly don't keep you warm. What does do the trick incredibly well is cashmere and Kumari's is the store to find it in more...  Read More



Men don't only have to be the arm-candy in the shopping experience. Rather than spending a day answering "yes" to the question "Does this look good on me?" men can have a shopping experience that will have them looking dapper or fly or on fleek,...  Read More



Although 40 years doesn't sound that old, in Toronto's notoriously fickle retail landscape, it is impressively long. Over the Rainbow isn't going anywhere as long as jeans don't go out of style. In 1975, Over The Rainbow opened as a tailor-made...  Read More



Even if you have never had the funds or occasion to attend a ball, shopping at Divine Decadence will have you wishing for your own fairy godmother. Carmelita Blondet will be happy to take on the role of godmother, a woman that is as at-home in...  Read More



Upscale shopping at its best; this Bloor-Yorkville destination has been at the top of the list for visiting celebs and well-to-do Torontonians since it opened back in the 1970s. Look for shoes, handbags and couture from designers such as Badgley...  Read More



Shopping at Holt Renfrew in the Bloor-Yorkville area of Toronto harkens back to the time when customer service was all about the customer rather than the commission. There are concierges that roam the store ready to attend to your every need....  Read More


Meet Courtney Sunday

Courtney Sunday has lived in England, Switzerland, Canada and the US, finding her way into the professions of freelance writing and yoga teaching in between travel opportunities. She learned...  More About Courtney