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Best of Toronto

The Best Baby Stores in Toronto

Posted by Rick McGinnis / November 23, 2012

best baby stores torontoThe 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.

See also:

The best kid (family) friendly restaurants in Toronto

Baby on the Hip

Baby on the Hip

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 »

Moms to be and More

Moms to be and 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 »

Hello Sunshine

Hello Sunshine

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 »

Advice from a Caterpillar

Advice from a Caterpillar

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 »

L'il Niblets and Baby Sprouts

L'il Niblets and Baby Sprouts

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 »

Marlene's Just Babies

Marlene's Just Babies

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 »

BB Buggy

BB Buggy

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 »

Diaper-eez

Diaper-eez

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 »

Balafant Boutik

Balafant Boutik

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 »

Macklem's

Macklem's

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 »

Ella + Elliot

Ella + Elliot

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

Kol Kid

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 »

Snug as a Bug

Snug as a Bug

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 »

Bumbleberry Kids

Bumbleberry Kids

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 »

100 Mile Child

100 Mile Child

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 »

Discussion

33 Comments

mmmm / November 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm
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Safe to say the title of this article is an oxymoron.

Cue the "you're the moron" comments on 1....2..
Wahhh / November 23, 2012 at 12:28 pm
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The most important pro tip for you knocked up people out there that you will ever hear:

If you haven't put your name into daycare places yet, stop everything you're doing and do it NOW.
butwhere / November 23, 2012 at 12:32 pm
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I thought this post was going to be about buying babies... Where can I buy a baby, damnit!?
Ford4ever / November 23, 2012 at 01:01 pm
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Honestly, having been through parenthood and all these shops before, I can tell you that the best baby store in Toronto is ... Craiglist.

Macklem's is a close second.



wha? / November 23, 2012 at 01:34 pm
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People are still having babies in Toronto?

How can they fit their brood into their 432 Sq Ft condo?
Rick / November 23, 2012 at 01:56 pm
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15 Examples of baby stores for yuppies.

Yes, go there any spend your money of grossly over priced crap that your kid eventual grow out of.

The best place to go for this stuff are the following places;

Costco and Walmart.

Boom. Done. No yuppie loser mothers to deal with who think there baby is a celebrity baby and need all this usuless crap. Go ahead, spend your money here, at least you'll make someone rich.
Tim W / November 23, 2012 at 02:31 pm
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I'm gonna go out and pick up a couple of fresh babies tomorrow, great article.

Artisinal Farmers Market Hipster Babies, they were cool before they were born
cl fan / November 23, 2012 at 02:58 pm
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i second the craigslist mention- it's great except for the yuppy moms that think they can resell their stuff at 95% of the retail price.
Lisa / November 23, 2012 at 05:19 pm
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Lil niblets is awesome and there's some goodies north of the city too!
Me / November 23, 2012 at 06:36 pm
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$800 for a stroller? That has to be a typo, or a joke?
Trish Haddad / November 29, 2012 at 10:53 am
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Please check us out - we were a bricks and mortar store in Toronto for 16 years and are now on-line only. We were listed by Blog TO as one of the best clothing stores in the past!
Trish Haddad replying to a comment from Trish Haddad / November 30, 2012 at 09:34 am
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www.beansprout.ca that is....
Diana / November 30, 2012 at 10:27 am
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BambiniMio - Creative Baby Gifts & Baskets - Free Delivery in GTA
-Baby Blooms Bouquets (baby clothing)
-Diaper Cakes (will be the conversation piece at any baby shower/birthday)
-Baby Baskets (European Design - will blow your guests away)
-Parisienne Pastries & Cupcakes (baby clothing)
-1st Christmas/New Year custom ornaments with your baby's name
Great selection of gifts from newborn to 12 months old.
Diana / November 30, 2012 at 10:30 am
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BambiniMio - www.bambinimio.com, e-mail: bambinimio18@gmail.com
Ace McNugget / November 30, 2012 at 10:46 am
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DECO labels in etobicoke. Oh wait, you mean stores for babies, not places run by them?
aric / December 1, 2012 at 03:40 pm
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i am saleman at garments shop baby
Stroller harassment / January 10, 2013 at 05:25 pm
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Warning to all consumers!! Do not purchase anything form canabee baby located at hwy7 and woodbine. They are very unprofessional and do not stick to their word. To the point of them calling and harassing you on the phone. When they a mistake they don't admit it and turn it on the customer. If you have had a good experience you are one of the lucky ones. Just a concerned parent to be looking out.
Lisa / February 3, 2013 at 09:22 pm
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www.nest.ca free shipping in Toronto.
Camila / March 26, 2013 at 04:19 pm
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If any of you moms are looking for a maternity, newborn, & family photographer, make sure to check out www.bellatrixphotography.com :)
Anika / April 17, 2013 at 12:51 pm
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For beautiful hand painted toddler chairs with free delivery in the GTA, check out www.chairio. Jimdo.com
Smack / May 13, 2013 at 10:20 am
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I try to avoid Moms to be and More, they have a terrible mark up on goods their staff is hit and miss for both helpfulness and attitude.
Tsering / June 29, 2013 at 06:25 am
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Looking for soft, organic and comfortable bamboo clothing for babies. Bamboo benefit: Soft, Anti bacterial, Hypoallergenic & more... All at reasonable prices! Retail and Wholesale
Tsering replying to a comment from Tsering / June 29, 2013 at 06:27 am
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Tsering / JUNE 29, 2013 AT 06:25 AM
Looking for soft, organic and comfortable bamboo clothing for babies. Bamboo benefit: Soft, Anti bacterial, Hypoallergenic & more... All at reasonable prices! Retail and Wholesale

Contact: poshakorganicapparel@gmail.com


MommaBear / September 11, 2013 at 07:18 pm
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A REAL REVIEW OF THIS LIST. Only commenting on places I've been to and suggesting others (mainly on-line)

BABY ON THE HIP - Nice store. good selection for a small store. Bonuses - Bathroom for little ones who has to "go". I like the useful community postings and classes such as first aid and sign language. Only had one bad experience where the sales person was a bit "snobby". Otherwise, everyone else had been a great help. Stroller friendly... maybe 4 out of 5 stars. There;s a small threshold you have to get over.

MOMS TO BE AND MORE - Agree with other poster. Hit and miss with staff and overpriced. Lots of "stuff" but I never really felt "at home" there. For some reason it's never my go to place to shop, more of a "oh yeah, there's that store, maybe they have it." I gave it a good few tries and still not feeling it.

BB BUGGY - Again, hit and miss with the staff. More misses than hits. I feel like they are "location snob"s as they think they are they only BB store in the downtown area and will make sure you know it. I don't think the selection of merchandise warrants it.

KOL KIDS - The stuff it cute. Go there for more Apparel and toys than actual baby stuff. This was the first place I went to buy "cool" shower gifts and was initially impressed with the merchandise. I've been there a few times and every time, the owner (or whom i think is the owner) is an enormous snob. That's a shame cuz otherwise i'd be there more often.

100 MILE CHILD - It's cool. I like been there once and the guy was really cool. Would go back. Nor investigated if everything is/was produced "locally" but so far so good.

NOT ON LIST - but suggested by other posters before me...

WALMART - Yes, go there for diapers, wipes and the basics, but they don't have the cool "educational", "safe, organic" toys etc, or at least it's harder to find depending on location etc. PS _ WALMART ON LINE IS AWESOME!!!Try it. Speedy deliveries for me so far.

COSTCO - Small technicality - Costco may not qualify for this list as it's not in Toronto Proper - or at least that's what I think - I don't know I don't have a membership but I hear the prices are great for at least the basics, stock up if you can it's worth it.

CRAIGSLIST/KIJIJI - I found it pretty useful for toys that are no longer on the market but still good.

BABIES R US - When my friend asked me "Where are you registered?" I said "d'uh, where else? Babies r us is the only Specialty store!" Boy was I wrong. They have stuff. great prices when on sale otherwise, "blah." They do give airmiles. Bonus! CON - Yonge and Eglinton store is a "B" to get to via TTC with a stroller. I assume the same at the Duff.

TREASURE ISLAND TOYS Pape and Danforth area. Mainly a toy store but at the back there's a small section for Babies. Staff has always ALWAYS been awesome. One of the few place I never regret paying full price.

FAB BAY GEAR - Danforth - Snobs. Over Priced. I ALWAYS ALWAYS feel judged there. Unless you have manicure hands and feet with an Uppababy or Bugaboo and designer diaper bag, they will not even look at you, doesn't even matter if you're buying a $50 plus tax teething toy necklace. All the prices seemed to be rounded up. For example, if everywhere else sells the identical item for $27, they will hit you up for $30.

Other on-line stores:

SNUGGLE BUGZ - Although physically located in Burlington or Oakville you can still shop on line. Great selection. Speedy (not as fast as Walmart). Sometimes great deals when thinbgs are on sale. They have this cool one day deal that's way cool.

WELL.CA - not bad for formulas n such. They seem to have other cool things the others may not carry. Worth a look. Best prices so far at the moment on Earth Mama Baby Angel products.

DEARBORN BABY - Never been to the store in North Toronto. Best "sale prices" they seem to always have the lowest prices when they mark something down.

SAFETY SUPERSTORE _ Located in Mississauga, please DO NOT mistaken it for some other grubby store in Mississauga with a similar name like I did. Have not tried them yet but they seem ok.

ORGANIC BABY JOY - Impressed so far. Think they may need more merchandise.

Hope this was helpful
Mooney / September 20, 2013 at 10:43 pm
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NEVER purchase anything at canabee baby in markham!! Worst customer service ever. Don't admit to mistakes and tell you you are trying to "trick" them even when you have a receipt. Funny and sad all at the same time. Please do not shop there! You will be disappointed!
Alexandra / January 16, 2014 at 06:52 pm
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Ava's Appletree - Natural Parenting Store has a retail location in the Beach now.
www.avasappletree.ca
Alena / March 12, 2014 at 03:50 pm
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BabyRama is awesome! They are actually selling some products on DealSmart right now. You can check it out, great discounts and amazing products.

http://dealsmart.com/products/
Pauline / June 2, 2014 at 11:25 pm
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DearBorn Baby in North Toronto has the best baby registry!!

Unlike big box stores who just hand you a scanner and off you go, DearBorn offers you a personalized expert to help you put together your registry and the staff really know their stuff, great at matching my needs to the right products. PLUS they offer FREE DELIVERY so my long distance friends and family can order online from my baby registry and Dearborn will deliver all my stuff to my house for free!!!! I LOVE THAT!!!!
Oh yeah, and they have a huge selection of products, many you can not find at Babies R Us. Highly recommend them for baby stuff and a baby registry. www.dearbornbaby.com

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