Shop local Toronto: West End edition

A list (in no particular order) of small, local shops in Toronto’s West End that I love and can sometimes afford.

PSA: I wasn’t paid, nor was I gifted any items to write this. 🙂

1. Cocktail Emporium [pictured], 3 locations

Uhhh, spread my ashes in here. I want everything: the glassware, the bar tools, the very practical rainbow disco ball cups. Their ready-to-mix syrups are great for those moments when you want to make a new cocktail but don’t want to spend three hours milking fennel. | @cocktailemporium

2. Miss Pippa’s, 1158 College St.

Shop local Toronto | Miss Pippa’s on College St.

Miss Pippa’s feels like the closest I’ll get to Rose Apothecary (Schitt’s Creek, David). I love their dead flowers, hand-made knick-knacks and glass candle holders. | @misspippas

3. Balfour Books, 468 College St.

At first, I didn’t realize that Balfour is a used bookshop because it’s highly *aesthetic*, and you can often find new releases. The books are in excellent condition and organized on worn wooden shelves labelled with Scrabble tiles — it’s so Hygge, I could scream.

No updated IG or website (I know), just go in.

4. The Dog Bowl, 984 Dundas St. W.

I go here to stare at dogs. | @thedogbowlto

5. VdeV, 797 Dundas St. W.

If I had a nickel for every time I sulked over all the pretty trinkets and trust-fund throw pillows in here, I would spend it all on one of their $48 ceramic candles. | @vdev_maison

6. Good For Her, 175 Harbord St.

The staff at Good For Her have created an approachable, inclusive space that feels like you’re at your best friend’s house…if your best friend has ribbed vibrators on their wall. Every body (space intentional) welcomed. | @goodforherstore

7. Shaw Flowers, 1068 Dundas St. W.

Shaw flowers on Dundas West, Toronto

Shaw Flowers was my neighbour for three years and, even on crummy days, just walking by always brought some light. Their prices are reasonable for Toronto plant shops, and the family who runs it is incredibly kind and helpful. The butterflies are my favourite.


8. Type Books, 3 locations

Shop local Toronto | Type Books on Queen Street West

I’m a big fan of Type’s themed window displays, which always showcase timely books and paper mache art that could bring a tear to Neil Buchanan’s eye. And if puzzles didn’t give me rage blackouts, I would buy theirs. | @typebooks

9. Olivia’s Garden, 569 Crawford St.

The dried flower bouquets from this idyllic shop (^ that’s not the shop, that’s my kitchen table) last forever and make me feel rich. | @oliviasgardeninc

10. Philistine, 928 Queen St. W.

Philistine is my dream closet. I find the pricing comparable to Aritzia, but Philistine’s items are ~ cooler ~. They also have the best greeting cards, and for every 20 dollars you spend, you earn one dollar towards store credit. Nice for you. | @philistinetoronto

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