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Best of Toronto

The Best Toy Stores in Toronto

Posted by Rick McGinnis / November 29, 2012

toy stores torontoThe best toy stores in Toronto serve neighbourhoods where the children of Gen Y and late-breeding Gen X are being painstakingly raised by parents who've read the books and websites and strive to fill their nurseries and playrooms with toys that are sturdy, attractive and educational, in varying ratios. It's where the dolls come in every colour, the choking hazards are kept on the high shelves, and toy guns are nowhere to be seen.

These are toys for children who will never know a world without high speed internet and omnipresent wifi, won't remember broadcast television, and will have at least one teacher who was once arrested at an Occupy protest. Parents can, of course, shop for toys at any number of chains, from Toys R Us to Indigo Kids to Mastermind, but this list concentrates on independent toy shops that tend to respond to local tastes.

Here is the list of the best toy stores in Toronto.

See also:

The best kid (family) friendly restaurants in Toronto
The best baby stores in Toronto

Silly Goose Kids

Silly Goose Kids

This deceptively roomy shop on the Danforth has only been open since last year but it has drawn in loyal customers from across the city. On a recent weekend, they couldn’t keep scooters from flying out of the store, but say Playmobil is probably their bestseller. They stock Lego’s line of urban building sets, and feature a packed wardrobe of dress-up clothes by the back of the store. More »

Treasure Island Toys

Treasure Island Toys

This Greektown toy store does every day what the big department stores only do at Christmas, in a generous storefront organized around a big cartoon boat. Ample shelf space means they can stock big chunks of popular lines like Corolle’s dolls, while mechanically-inclined kids can find inspiring projects from makers like Automoblox and Meccano. More »

Kol Kid

Kol Kid

This West Queen West shop sells handmade and local kids’ clothes alongside a spectacular range of toys in wool and wood and felt. There are tiny metal cafe chairs to match the ones mom and dad paid a fortune for in Liberty Village, and more than one item that parents will want to display on a shelf long after the kids have moved on to texting and MRPG. More »

Scooter Girl

Scooter Girl

There probably isn’t a birthday party in the Roncy Village/High Park area that doesn’t feature a gift wrapped at Scooter Girl, the provisioner general for so many West End family toy needs. The staff is friendly and helpful, and the shelves are filled with everything from Plan’s sturdy European wooden toys, to baskets of goodies for birthday party swag bags, and even the occasional on-the-fly good behaviour bribe. More »

Toytown

Toytown

This big double storefront on Avenue north of Lawrence features toys with a purpose, focusing on crafts, science, and activity kits to stimulate those developing synapses and neurons. They say their mission is to keep kids busy, whether learning their alphabet by building a train with letters for cargo, or working on kits designed to demonstrate science and engineering principles. More »

Playful Minds

Playful Minds

This tiny Wychwood shop is literally packed to the ceiling with a concentrated greatest hits of modern toys. Schleich animals and fantasy figures, Cate & Levi puppets, Corolle dolls and Calico Critters – it’s all here, tucked tightly into the shelves, next to bead looms, tea sets, and Lego. More »

Kidding Awound Toys & Gifts

Kidding Awound Toys & Gifts

This Yorkville shop has been around under different names for almost three decades, and features as many toys for adults as toys for kids. There are vintage tin wind-ups and gag gifts, as well as a dashboard Jesus and Buddha, and the perennial bestseller of wind-up chattering teeth. Probably the best stocking stuffer destination in the city. More »

Little Peeps

Little Peeps

Out in Riverside, this neat shop is full of carefully-chosen selections from toy lines like Plan, Green Toys and Manhattan Toy, all in the best of taste and featuring the most scrupulously sourced materials. There’s also clothing from Appaman and Egg, so your child will look as good as what’s on the floor of their room. More »

The Swag Sisters

The Swag Sisters

The shop at Gerrard and Coxwell just opened this spring, but the Sisters have been online for years, selling custom gift bags for birthday parties. The store expands their line of notions and craft gifts to include puppets and developmental toys, and one of the best displays of Melissa & Doug’s hand-painted wooden toys in the city. Also, they have ice cream! More »

Discussion

42 Comments

Simon Tarses / November 29, 2012 at 09:09 am
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For me,the Silver Snail and its fellow comic book shops would qualify as toy stores also, since they sell a lot of great space-based toys that kids also like to play with, as well as model kits (which kids also make and play with, although in not as great numbers as when I was a kid.)
Kid Cornish / November 29, 2012 at 09:15 am
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RIP...The Toy Shop...Cumberland.
Rick replying to a comment from Kid Cornish / November 29, 2012 at 09:41 am
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That place was great. They had a wonderful selection of wooden toys there.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Kid Cornish / November 29, 2012 at 09:43 am
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No way! For real, it's gone? I loved that places, and wanted to buy some toys from it for myself-when did it go out of business?
Kid Cornish replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / November 29, 2012 at 09:59 am
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Ya, it actually closed a couple years ago, without any fan fare which I was really surprised about. As a child growing up in Toronto in the 80s this place was amazing, especially around Christmas. Two floors of top quality toys and books. I used to spend hours there.
Rachel / November 29, 2012 at 10:04 am
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I love Swag Sisters! The owners are great and it's fantastic to see Gerrard and Coxwell picking up.
Liz / November 29, 2012 at 10:30 am
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Scooter Girl is the best. She has a great eye for toys kids will love playing with when other toy shops focus on the big brands or beautiful but useless toys. I found the perfect dinky toy type $3 garbage truck at Scooter Girl - that convinced me she knows kids.
Parker replying to a comment from Kid Cornish / November 29, 2012 at 11:02 am
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Ya, I miss The Toy Shoppe a lot. Also RIP: Science City, which qualified as a toy store as well. I really miss that place! I could buy for every kid on the list in one trip at Science City.
Charlie replying to a comment from Rachel / November 29, 2012 at 11:05 am
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Swag Sisters for the win!
Jason / November 29, 2012 at 11:19 am
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How is Mastermind not on this list?
DJ / November 29, 2012 at 11:24 am
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Have to agree with Scooter Girl, great selection and excellent staff. Love to support them. Also have to add in, and my daughter is 8 so it's not for everyone, but Magic Pony as they have awesome collectable KidRobot toys...
Big Fuckin Mega Boat / November 29, 2012 at 11:34 am
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Completely off topic, but any suggestions on what a three year old girl might like for Christmas? Dating someone with a little one, and I know nothing about children...
Leslie / November 29, 2012 at 11:43 am
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Wait -- what about the Toy Space at King & Bathurst?
Ariel / November 29, 2012 at 12:56 pm
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Can't stop looking at the MAP where all these stores are. They're so evenly and nicely spread out!! Nice!
Chris / November 29, 2012 at 01:28 pm
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Has to be Treasure Island Toys! Have been a huge fan of Treasure Island for years. Incredible service and staff is extremely knowledgeable.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Big Fuckin Mega Boat / November 29, 2012 at 02:24 pm
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Whatever she thinks is popular (or what she wants), is what you should be buying her. Of course, since she's only three, you can always get away with something of your own that you've brought for her, so I'll leave that up to you....
ToyGirl replying to a comment from Big Fuckin Mega Boat / November 29, 2012 at 02:52 pm
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Hi BFMG. 3 year old girls love role play and dress up. Pretend food, tea sets, dolls, very simple games, basic arts and crafts. At that age, you want them to feel a sense of accomplishment, or their interest won't last. When you go shopping, be mindful of the age suggestions. They are there for a reason. Come visit us at Toytown on Avenue Road, and we will be glad to help you out. If you don't live in our neighbourhood, check out your local, independent toy store. Thanks!
Big Fuckin Mega Boat replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / November 29, 2012 at 02:53 pm
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Yeah I tried asking. She said she wants a giraffe. I tried to explain to her a giraffe wouldn't fit well in mommy's 400 sq foot studio apartment, she said it can just sit down.

I see there's a stuffed one in the lead photo, perhaps she'd be happy with that.
Big Fuckin Mega Boat replying to a comment from ToyGirl / November 29, 2012 at 03:01 pm
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Thank you Toygirl and Simon, much appreciated. I may have to pop by one day and check it out :D
tk replying to a comment from Leslie / November 29, 2012 at 05:57 pm
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Sad to see that Toy Space at King and Bathurst is no more. Was my fave.
Jenny / November 29, 2012 at 05:58 pm
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I am glad my two favorite shops made the list. Treasure Island is one of the top toy stores in Toronto. I am not sure I would categorize Kidding Awound as Toy Store but it's the best place for weird and cool stocking stuffers. It's one stop shopping for everyone on the list. Too bad about The Toy Shop. RIP. It was good store with lots of history.
Heather / November 29, 2012 at 06:49 pm
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I actually love the AGO kid's shop! It's organized by recommended age group and there is so much fun stuff in there.
Kevin replying to a comment from tk / November 29, 2012 at 08:42 pm
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What?
What happened to them? I thought they were doing well.

It's so sad that many specialty stores are being replaced by ugly big retailers. I am all for supporting local businesses instead of minimum wage paying mass market stores.
momOftwo replying to a comment from Big Fuckin Mega Boat / November 29, 2012 at 09:51 pm
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It's a crime that someone with a name so vulgar as yours, what is a big ###### mega boat?, is allowed to be around children or society in the first place. do the world a favor and jump off the cn tower. thats the best gift u can give to a child this year asshole
Me / November 29, 2012 at 10:16 pm
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You actually think that's his real name?
Donna / November 29, 2012 at 10:23 pm
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DOLLARSTORE!!!!!!!!!
Big Fuckin Mega Boat replying to a comment from momOftwo / November 30, 2012 at 11:53 am
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Ouch. I'm taking a beating in the comments section lately...
Savanna / November 30, 2012 at 12:11 pm
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I am so surprised you didn't include Magic Pony! They have tons of great toys (and toy making workshops) for kids and adults!
D replying to a comment from Big Fuckin Mega Boat / December 1, 2012 at 11:07 am
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They like dress-up wear at that age and they just start getting into making beaded necklaces. There are beautiful Melissa & Doug wood beading kits in a range of prices.
Catherine / December 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm
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Treasure Island Toys has to be the best Toy store in the city. Always something going on there with the best selection of toys for all ages and our kids love playing at all the great play areas! The staff is so friendly and helpful! Love, love love it!
Mark / December 4, 2012 at 01:06 pm
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I'm really glad that Little Peeps made the list! I go there all the time. They often have toys and gifts that are hard to find anywhere else. I know that the owner makes an effort to try and support local and Canadian supplies/business as well. She also make quite the effort to try and source ethical and non-toxic/sustainable products. Great and safe for kids!
Jamie / December 19, 2012 at 08:15 pm
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Paid a visit to a great new comic and comic strip-related collectors' item shop at 1590 Queen Street West ... only opened yesterday! West End Comics ... an absolute must for some really unique items!
Mark replying to a comment from momOftwo / December 22, 2012 at 02:48 pm
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Far more more offensive that a "Momoftwo" tells someone to commit suicide over an internet name! Relax!
Bettie replying to a comment from Big Fuckin Mega Boat / December 24, 2012 at 04:33 pm
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The minds of those who would criticize you for your internet handle are too narrow to worry about, Big Fuckin Mega Boat. Just relax and inspire us by simply (and defiantly) being true to yourself.
Bec Perkins / March 8, 2013 at 05:19 am
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Now a days, people like to buy the Mindful Games for their kids. Kids like to solve the challenging Games.
toy stores perth / May 1, 2013 at 10:16 pm
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Great information. I got lucky and found your site from a random Google search. Fortunately for me, this topic just happens to be something that I’ve been trying to find more info on for research purpose. Keep us the great and thanks a lot.
Hulya Bayras / May 15, 2013 at 11:08 am
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Peek-a-boo Natural Toys offers organic, chemical-free, heirloom, one of a kinds toys for all ages. We care about our world and aim to leave zero foot-print. We invite all parents to check our Eco-friendly toys from www.peekaboonaturaltoys.com and enjoy our exquisite toys from all around the world.

Naturally yours,
Hulya Bayras replying to a comment from Hulya Bayras / May 15, 2013 at 11:10 am
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Located in Ottawa served online to Canada and USA.
Funky Gadgets / June 28, 2013 at 02:34 am
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awesomeeee ............it looks so cool nn sweet ..
Every child love this ....Great post
Rob / August 6, 2013 at 11:58 am
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There's a card and vintage toy show coming up in Toronto this weekend..should be fun! Sun Aug 11th 10am-4pm , Toronto Plaza Hotel 1677 Wilson Ave. See you there!
toys / April 15, 2014 at 12:43 pm
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The Dinorobot is a good toy for a child who is mad for
robot dinosaurs, or for giving as a gift on birthdays or other occasions.
The biggest factor that needs to be kept in mind is the
quality. Planet Happy Kids has a wide selection of highly-rated non toxic toys
for babies and children.
adulla / April 17, 2014 at 06:25 pm
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where i can find Teletubbies toys in toronto please !!

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