Seven times each year, more than 70 antiques dealers from Ontario and Québec descend on Centrepoint Mall for the Heritage Antique Market. The goods up for grabs include 19th- and 20th-century porcelains, jewelry, silver, furniture, and paintings. If you're in town when the market is on, you're in luck. Be sure to call ahead or check the website (www.heritageantiqueshows.com) for the schedule. The market takes place on statutory holidays. Centrepoint Mall is located at 6464 Yonge St. (at Steeles Ave.) and is accessible by subway (it's the Steeles stop on the Yonge Line). Call tel. 416/483-6471 for more details.
Toronto has all of the requisite big-name European boutiques along Bloor Street West, between Yonge Street and Avenue Road. You'll find Louis Vuitton at no. 111; Gucci and Hermès at no. 130; and Prada and Chanel at the Colonnade shopping arcade at no. 131.
Fresh Perspective -- Let's say you're pressed for time, and you want to hit a single store that will let you shop for truly distinctive clothing and giftware. Get yourself to Fresh Collective, a designer-run collective at 692 Queen St. W. (tel. 416/594-1313; www.freshcollective.com). You will find hip designs by local, up-and-coming labels -- and you'll be able to talk to the people who made them because they staff the store themselves. The focus is primarily on designs for women (sorry, guys), but the eclectic offerings at any given time will also include baby togs and jewelry.
Hunting for Vintage -- In-the-know shoppers will tell you that Toronto has had a truly great vintage-shopping scene since the '70s. From couture and designer finds to simple smocks, collectibles to impulse buys, if you're prepared to rummage, you can find it.
An Outlet for People Who Hate Outlets
Vaughan Mills is a massive shopping complex 32km (20 miles) north of Toronto (close to Canada's Wonderland). This clean, modern mall is home to Holt Renfrew Last Call (the only Holt Renfrew discount center in the province), the world's largest Tommy Hilfiger store, and Canada's largest Toys"R"Us/Babies"R"Us. Most of the stores in Vaughan Mills aren't outlets, but there are just enough to make sure you get an easy deal (plus, there's a massive Winners store -- do you really need more?). The only catch is that you do need to drive to get here (take Hwy. 401 to Hwy. 400, then drive north and exit at Bass Pro Mills Dr., which leads directly to the mall). For more information, call tel. 905/879-2110 or visit www.vaughanmills.com.
In Ontario, Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) outlets include small boutiques, big stores, and some (wine and beer only) locations at grocery or convenience stores. It's a government monopoly that rattles many a citizen who would prefer more choices. At least there's plenty on offer. Look for tastes you won't find easily elsewhere, such as locally produced wines (Niagara and Prince Edward County are producing exceptional vintages), as well as the popular ice wine, an intensely sweet dessert wine that has won awards the world over. There are LCBO outlets all over the city, and prices are the same at all of them. The nicest shop is the LCBO Summerhill (10 Scrivener Sq.; tel. 416/922-0403; subway: Summerhill). Built into a former train station, this outpost hosts cooking classes, wine and spirits tastings, and party-planning seminars. Other locations are at the Manulife Centre (55 Bloor St. W.; tel. 416/925-5266), 20 Bloor St. E. (tel. 416/368-0521), the Eaton Centre (tel. 416/979-9978), and Union Station (tel. 416/925-9644). Visit www.lcbo.com for information about products and special in-store events.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.