Who doesn’t love a good toy store? Even better, who doesn’t love a good independent toy store? While there’s nothing wrong with a one-stop-shop like the excellent Mastermind Toys, independent toy store owners are truly passionate about play, imagination, and creativity. They stock the toys they love and are often on hand to guide you in your decisions.
Here are 11 of the best independent toy stores in Toronto. Now go forth and play!
Talk about finding the treasure! This east-end store is full of fabulous finds and lots of play stations so that the kids are happy and occupied and the parents are free to roam the shop or talk to the owners. The store has been around since 1998, and this experience shows in the great offerings and help.581 Danforth Ave. (at Carlaw Ave.), Toronto
The name is a play on words: this Yorkville toy shop started out in 1984 with a huge array of wind-up toys. It has since expanded to include quirky, fun, and collectible toys—everything from doughnut pool floats to the latest edition of Beanboozled, the yummy/yucky jellybean game. You’ll certainly find something for that hard-to-buy-for person here.
91 Cumberland St., Toronto
This is the Roncesvalles purveyor of all that is cool and awesome in kids’ toys. Sure, they’ve got the great brands like Lego, PlanToys, and Corolle, but they also have items that you won’t see on just any toy shelf. Plus, they often offer neat events, like a scavenger hunt at Easter.
187 Roncesvalles Ave., Toronto
Maybe you thought KolKid was only a clothing store…think again! There are wonderfully creative options galore here, from gorgeous heirloom toys to marble runs and kid-friendly make-up. While you’re there, check out the modern and minimalist options for kids’ décor. Swoon!
674 Queen St. W. (at Euclid Ave.), Toronto
It’s all about the quality and the creativity at Silly Good Kids, which is as much a community fixture as it is a toy and gear shop. Crafts are pretty important here, as well as great books, essential items and those of the more whimsical nature. Fun community events, loyalty points and free gift-wrapping round out the offerings.
2054 Danforth Ave. (at Woodbine Ave.), Toronto
It’s a sweet little shop full of sweet little finds. We love the focus on environmentally friendly products – good for the earth, and also very important for our kids’ health. Browse a range of books, hand-made puppets, and cute night lights on offer—plus, while shopping for toys, you can pick up some kids’ clothes and shoes at the same time. Multi-tasking perfection.
742 Queen St. E. (at Broadview Ave.), Toronto
The perfectly packaged loot bags available here feature customizable gifts, biodegradable wrap, and a kosher, organic nut-free lollipop. Among larger toys, you can find the popular magnetic building toy Magformers, and there are plenty of building, musical, and artistic offerings as well.
1511 Gerrard St. E. (at Coxwell Ave.), Toronto
This Rosedale gem is a beauty of a shop, with soft muted tones and a variety of high-quality merchandise. Made with natural materials, these items are bound to be long-lasting treasures and are perfect for special milestone gifts. Think exquisitely crafted yo-yos, adorable tea sets, modern-design magnetic dress-up kits, and more.
8 Price St. (Yonge and Summerhill), Toronto
In business for more than 25 years, this shop is a packed end to end with a delightful jumble of toys, books, stuffed animals, and board games. You could spend hours browsing all the inventory. The staff is quick to assist in choosing the perfect gift for a child of any age. One thing you won’t find? Toy guns (even water guns) or video games—the owner is staunchly opposed to violent toys.
165 Bathurst St. (at Richmond St.), Toronto
There are loads of great board and card games at this St. Clair West shop, as well as neat items like a popcorn-shaped and scented pillow, plus lots of pretend food. Adults may be as happy here as the kids!
657 St. Clair W. (at Christie St.), Toronto
For dollhouse lovers of any age, this store is a magical place. Canada’s largest supplier of dollhouses and dollhouse miniatures, it spans 4,500 square feet, with a showroom, workshop, and shipping operation. Find dollhouse kits and assembled dollhouses at all price points and suitable for ages—from toddlers to adult enthusiasts—plus miniature furniture, people and pets, lighting and wiring kits, building supplies, flooring, wallpaper, and much more.
612 Mt. Pleasant Rd. (at Manor Rd. E.), Toronto