Chinatown -- The city's original Chinatown (there are three and counting) is in the heart of the city, steps away from Kensington Market and other shopping destinations. It is well worth a visit: You can peruse bins of touristy junk such as cheapo plastic toys and jewelry, or search out fine rosewood furniture, exquisite ceramics, homeopathic herbs, and a bounty of exotic foodstuffs. But don't try driving here: This is traffic purgatory and best navigated on foot.
The Eaton Centre -- Okay, you're short on time, but you still want to fit in all your shopping. If you don't mind chain stores, head to this city-center mall with 200 shops, including an Apple Store, Browns, Danier, Birks, Nine West, La Vie en Rose, Femme de Carriere, Williams Sonoma, Banana Republic, Mendocino, Laura Secord, H&M, and Indigo.
Queen Street West -- Queen Street West, between University Avenue and Bathurst Street, once the hip destination, is still a stomping ground for fashionistas in need of a fix. There's a mix of stores like the Gap and neighboring Canadian-based Le Chateau for budget fashions, M.A.C. Cosmetics, Kiehls (originally of New York), and some fine local designer fare like Boomer (for men), and Comrags (for women). The groovy design store Urban Mode, which has moved just west of Bathurst, is good for cool oddities.
The Underground City -- Subterranean Toronto is a hive of shopping activity for the multitudes working in the Financial District. While you won't find many shops down here that don't have an aboveground location, the Underground City is a popular retreat for winter's coldest days and for summer heat waves, and it's convenient for those who have little time to explore beyond the neighborhood.
West Queen West -- Playing down its grittier roots, this hot neighborhood has earned the cutting-edge reputation once held by Queen Street West. The city has dubbed it the "Art & Design District." Starting at Bathurst Avenue and running west to Ossington Avenue and beyond, this is where you'll find a concentration of fashion talent, art galleries, and some of the best new restaurants. While you're at it, walk north to the next major street, Dundas Street West, which is on the avant-garde of all fronts, from fashion to food.
The Mink Mile, Bloor Street West -- This strip of pricey real estate, known as Mink Mile, is bordered by Yonge Street to the east and Avenue Road to the west. It's where most of the top international names in fashion set up shop. If you're in the mood to see what Karl Lagerfeld is designing or to pick up a glittering bauble from Cartier or Tiffany, this is your hunting ground. The strip has undergone a long, drawn-out facelift and is all the prettier for it.
Yorkville -- One of Toronto's best known -- and most expensive -- shopping neighborhoods, it's where you'll find art galleries of note like The Guild Shop, designer boutiques, major outlets such as Toronto's only downtown Anthropologie and a Whole Foods location, and boutiques such as the Papery for curated stationery.