A trip to Toronto will make everyone back home jealous, and for good reason. This is absolutely one of the most dynamic, exciting cities in the world, and it’s pretty much impossible not to have the best time. So if your friends, spouse or kids can’t join you here, bring them back a little something Toronto. Here are five places to go.
Unless you were under a rock this past spring, you know the Toronto Raptors won their first-ever NBA championship. It was quite the scene here, and one the city will never forget. At Real Sports Apparel across the way from Scotiabank Place is where you’ll find Raptors gear in any size (including kids). You can splurge for an official jersey or go for one of the many “We The North” shirts, hats or flags.
No, this has nothing to do with Drake the rapper (although you can’t get much more Toronto than Drizzy), but the Drake General Store is one of Toronto’s “fun gift stores.” You’ll find frameable prints of the city, Toronto-themed shirts, hats and swag, and cool items from local artists. They have an amazing Canadiana section too, with homages to the RCMP (our national police force), the CBC (our national TV station) and pins commemorating just about everything that rocks about Toronto. Also, a visit to the store is a visit to West Queen West, one of the best-loved areas of town. After you shop, you can eat, stroll the street or make your way over to Trinity Bellwoods Park, which is gorgeous in any season.
From the people who brought us Spacing Magazine, this store is a flat-out celebration of all things Toronto, and especially the TTC (Toronto’s subway system). The books, shirts, hats and pins you’ll find here are all styled to the max, and wherever you visited while you were in the city, you’ll find a memento of it in the store. Look for the kitschy Toronto-themed socks. They’re fantastic.
All liquor in Toronto is controlled by the LCBO (the Liquor Control Board of Ontario). The downside is that you can’t just walk into a convenience store and stock up on booze. But the upside is that the LCBO has just about everything you’d want, and pays close attention to promoting local producers so you can bring back an authentic Ontario wine, beer, cider or spirit. Having trouble choosing one? Find a product consultant in store, tell them who you’re buying for and they’ll help you out.
The Pantages Hotel is steps away from Ryerson University, the city’s newest and probably most exciting institute of higher learning. They were originally known for their broadcasting school, but now they have one of the best business schools in the country and one of the top performing athletic programs (Go Rams!). Look for shirts, hats and other fun items to bring home, and if you’re going to go there, take an hour to stroll the campus. It’s teeming with downtown energy.
Of course, while you’re in Toronto you should probably do some shopping for yourself, and our Stay and Shop package makes it easy and super affordable.