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EXCLUSIVE | Toronto: Where to Shop

EXCLUSIVE | Toronto: Where to Shop

Gay Buys
In the Village Priape (465 Church St, 2nd floor; 416-586-9914) is Canada's leading gay store. Heavy on all things sexual, they are also the unofficial queer info center in town.

Out in the Street (551 Church St; 416-967-2759 or 800-263-5747) sells rainbow paraphernalia, toys, and t-shirts with messages like, "2QT2BSTR8."

Glad Day Bookshop (598A Yonge St; 416-961-4161 or 877/783-3725) specializes in LGBT publications, while North Bound Leather (586 Yonge St; 416-972-1037) is a patent-leather-bustier kind of place.

High Fashion
For more upscale shopping head to Yorkville where you'll find Beverly Hills-style boutiques (and prices) in Hazelton Lanes and along Yorkville Avenue.

Gay boys get their high-end jeans (G-Star, Diesel) at Over the Rainbow (101 Yorkville Ave; 416-967-7448).

Fur fashions (a Canadian specialty) can be found at Holt Renfrew (50 Bloor Street West; 416-922-2333) along with other tony Canadian and international designers.

Less fussy shoppers in Yorkville will gravitate toward the Canadian store Roots (100 Bloor St. West; 416-323-3289), which serves up cabin wear (sweatshirts, boots, long underwear).

Funky urban Xers blade over to Queen Street West (east and west of Spadina), where the bored saleschicks with multicolored hair and Goth makeup fit them for their next snowboarding adventure. Beware, mainstream has arrived -- the Gap, Guess, and Club Monaco are sprinkled amongst the funk.

For dirt cheap secondhand clothes, head for Kensington Market (between Dundas and College St, west of Spadina). Clothes spill onto the front yards of the houses on Augusta Avenue. If you know designer labels, turn the corner and make a beeline for Tom's Place (190 Baldwin St; 416-596-0297), packed with locals buying discount designer sports- and office-wear. "Only Tom knows the real price," we were told, and he'll give an extra discount at the cash register.

For outlet fans heading toward Niagara Falls, Canada One Factory Outlets (7500 Lundy's Lane, Niagara Falls, Ontario -- the Lundy's Lane exit off the Q.E.W.; 905-356-8989) offers up the usual suspects, only here prices are in Canadian dollars. With current exchange rates less favorable for the U.S. dollar and the Canada Revenue Agency no longer refunding most sales tax, you'll have to tame that spending demon a little.

Related Articles:
Toronto: Introduction
Toronto: Where to Stay
Toronto: Where to Eat
Toronto: Where to Play/Meet
Toronto: What to See & Do
Toronto: Resources

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Joe Okonkwo