The Best Baby Stores in Toronto
The best baby stores in Toronto make for an impressive list. It wasn't too long ago that you went to Macklem's for your stroller and a department store for everything else, but Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods, and a lot of those neighbourhoods (Leslieville, Roncy) are full of young families, and they don't just want another vividly-coloured blob of extruded plastic from a Southeast Asian factory in their nursery.
The overwhelming fact for first-time parents is just how much stuff you're going to need to get your offspring from delivery room to kindergarten, and the modern urban parent has proved to be a very discriminating and conscientious consumer of baby goods - no Bisphenol A for our future Nobel Peace Prize winners, nosirree Bob. The result is that, once a neighbourhood has passed from its bars-and-bistros phase, the next stage of gentrification usually involves a lovely little shop with limewashed floors selling wooden toys from Norway and baby carriers in fetching shades of heather.
There's a lot to buy when you're a parent, but thankfully there are a lot of places in Toronto willing to sell them to you, in practically every area where someone is currently turning their guest room or study into a nursery as you read this.
Here is the list of the best baby stores in Toronto.
With two locations in Leslieville and College Street, Baby on the Hip has two of the city’s biggest incubator neighbourhoods nailed. They’re green (of course) and strive to stock the sort of locally-produced toys and goods that look like they were hand-made by someone who could actually knit, sew or work wood. A healthy section of maternity and post-partum merchandise means they try to take care of mums as well as tots. More »
Leaside has been an incubator neighbourhood since the first baby boom, and this Bayview Avenue shop is big enough for generations of moms. Stock includes Paul Frank car seats from Clek, Monte Luca gliding nursery chairs that would look good in a boutique hotel lobby, and Dutailier’s very attractive modernist cribs. More »
Tucked in on the ground floor of a vintage low-rise apartment building facing High Park, Hello Sunshine is a magnet for west end parents heading in or out of the park for a stroll on a sunny day. They feature design-forward strollers like the Bugaboo and Cameleon, organic baby clothes, and CDs by hip kid music stars like Dan Zanes and Lisa Loeb. More »
Every parent wishes their child’s nursery could look as lovely as this clean, white, bright Rosedale store. It’s the sort of place where you can get one of Areaware’s “hand-tuned rattles,” in gold, silver or chrome, or Oeuf knitwear baby jumpers (with bunny loop ears! So cute!) A place where procreation meets aspiration. More »
Another big store, on Avenue Road north of Lawrence, Lil’ Niblets carries everything from mission-style Natart cribs to baby cutlery from Boon to Ginsey’s Elmo potty. It’s a one-stop shop kind of place, so it’s useful to know that they offer a baby and gift registry for parents whose nesting has a timetable and agenda. More »
Like a toddler’s toys, this Annex baby shop has spread out over the years, taking over several storefronts at Dupont and Bathurst. They carry lines like Baby Jogger’s strollers for active parents, Dandelion’s organic rattles and teethers, and ErgoPouch swaddles, made of bamboo and likely to make your baby look like adorable dim sum. More »
This Yorkville baby store is bright and stylish as heck, with wall-length windows that look onto Yonge Street and a selection of baby mobility systems from Bugaboo, Stokke, Mountatin Buggy and OrbitBaby (that’s strollers for the rest of us). There’s also a range of furniture from P’kolino that will make your nursery look like a Scandinavian board book. More »
You can get all kinds of baby goods at this Bloor West Village shop, but the name lets you know that their specialty is cloth diapers, the use of which marks you as a parent with an environmental conscience (and a serious gag on your gag reflex). They offer daily diaper talks for the cloth diaper neophyte, bra fittings for nursing bras, and more. More »
This new shop on Bathurst near the Wychwood neighbourhood features local and Canadian lines like OM Baby’s onesies in organic cotton and Quebec-based Chimparoo’s baby snugglies. The shop’s at the front while the back space features story time, singalongs, and children’s art classes. More »
The city’s most venerable baby shop opened in 1945, at the start of the Baby Boom, and sold prams and cribs to west end families for years before the surrounding Roncesvalles/High Park neighbourhood aged and Macklem’s began to look a bit stranded. But like some kind of movie ending, about ten years ago a whole new wave of families arrived in the area and made Macklem’s boom again. Sure you can get your Maclaren stroller there, but make sure to admire the Silver Cross Balmoral pram they keep like a totem of their past. More »
More like a gallery than a baby store, this Trinity Bellwoods shop will have you wondering why your nursery can’t look this spectacular. There are strollers and potties, to be sure, but the furniture will leave you awestruck, and you might want to sneak some of it into your room when the kids grow out of it. And yes, that’s a clear plexiglass crib. More »
Kol Kid has migrated around the west end, but it’s settling into its West Queen West spot with a selection of whimsical and striking clothes, toys and nursery decor for parents who were over Little Tikes long before their first Lamaze class. Clothes from lines like Nico Nico and Oeuf come in shades like autumn fruit and fabrics like soft, nubbly wool. More »
The Junction’s Snug as a Bug sells footie PJs for adults as well as kids, so you can style that family Christmas card photo that’s sure to embarrass your kids when they’re teens. Kids can get attractive winter and rainwear, and nervous parents can pick up activewear with protective padding and reflective stripes, as well as covers for bicycle helmets decorated with flowers and frogs. More »
This Beaches consignment store fills its shelves and racks with attractive, up-to-date kids’ clothes thanks to the fact that almost no child ever wears out clothes before they grow out of them. You’ll also find toys and even strollers in great condition, and the store’s blog lets the local parent network know what the store needs and when the shelves are filled. More »
Many Toronto baby stores stress “local is better” in their buying, but this small but well-stocked store near the Carrot Common on the Danforth has made it their mission. This means clothes, decor, toys and even games made within a two-hour drive of the city, made with workmanship that’s rare in a market generally fed by sweatshops. More »