Don't Miss These 13 Unique Places to Shop in Ontario

An old fashioned bell in the doorway of a shop

Don’t miss these thirteen unique places to shop in Ontario, from oddity stores to chocolate wonderlands and specialized retailers.

Some things to do may not be available due to COVID-19.

Many tourism experiences require advance bookings or have restrictions in place due to COVID 19. It is important to check directly with the business operator before you travel. Get the most up-to-date information now.

Curiosa

If you’re a fan of the creepy and unexplained, Curiosa is the place for you. This oddity shop proudly sells beautiful wares to decorate your home or give as a gift, all within the theme of dark, spooky and magical. Harry Potter fans will have plenty to peruse at Curiosa, including Hermione’s time-turner necklace, Gryffindor wax seals, Black family tapestry wallpaper and so much more.

Curiosa isn’t just for fantasy nerds. You’ll also find specialty items made with extreme care to match your witchy or vintage aesthetic, like compass hourglasses, tarot cards and journals to record your nightmares. A visit to Curiosa is a must-do on any visit to Toronto. And for book lovers, it’ll double as your bookstore visit since the shop has a wide selection of books to choose from.

Location320 Harbord Street, Toronto
 

Primitive Designs

This family owned business specializes in unique antiques and hand-crafted merchandise from around the world. From its location near Highway 28, it’s easy to identify the larger than life structures of science fiction creatures and robots at the entrance of this Northumberland gem. Around the 743 square metre (8,000 square feet) property you will see a gallery of additional gigantic and quirky displays. Many have been created out of recycled metal. Inside the store is full of sculptures, paintings, wooden crats and so much more.

Location: 2762 Northumberland County Road 28, Port Hope 
 

BeauChapeau Hat Shop

Looking for fedora that exudes debonair charm or perhaps a stylish fascinator that will turn heads? Among its extensive and diverse inventory of hats for all occasions, Beau Chapeau has a large collection of hats reminiscent of popular times in the early 20th century. Choose from collections that helped revolutionize the Great Gatsby era or the heyday of the iconic entertainment and fashion genres. There is also a vast assortment of well-known brands such as Tilley Hats, Kangols and Stetsons.

Location: 42 Queen Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake 
 

Spark Toys

Created by two women passionate about learning, Spark Toys strives to sell toys that engage kids and fosters many years of enjoyment playing with those toys. From babies to teens, there are countless toys and activities that will appeal to kids with various play preferences. Active kids will enjoy bubble creation kits, and various tools to spark their imagination. Older kids will want to solve the complicated puzzles and head scratching brain teaser activities. There are also a lot of great playful solutions to make road trips enjoyable for the kids (and parents).

Location: 30 King Street West, Cobourg
 

Likely General

Check out this community hub with a boutique and gallery that showcases the work of its diverse art community. The community-centric space offers regular workshops, events, book launches and exhibitions to bring Toronto together on the basis of art and expression. The shop is decidedly funky, but you’ll be hard pressed to walk out empty-handed since they sell everything from health and beauty products to books to one-of-a-kind artwork and more. You can really feel satisfied with your purchase, since Likely General prioritizes marginalized creators and donates to the community’s needs on a monthly basis. New products arrive often, so you’ll find something different upon each visit.

Location: 389 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto
 

Hershey’s Chocolate World

A visit to Hershey’s Chocolate World in Niagara Falls is sweet bliss. The store entrance doorway is adorned with a gigantic Hershey chocolate box and the doorways literally leads to candy land. The store is filled with all sorts of chocolates and candies. There are also signature products at the store’s café, like the Hershey milk shake topped with a single Hershey Kiss. You can also order baked goods. At this candy themed attraction, create a mix of your favourite chocolates, or pose for a picture with your favourite Hershey chocolate characters in the photo studio. The shop also has Hershey branded shirts and stuffed animals to keychains, beer mugs and souvenirs remember your trip.

Location: 5701 Falls Avenue, Niagara Falls
 

Bay Street Video

Dust off your DVD and Blu-ray players and make room on your shelf to add more DVD or Blue-ray titles. Bay Street Video rents and sells every movie and show you can imagine and has the largest collection of DVDs and Blu-rays in Toronto. With an extensive inventory ranging from primetime TV to lesser-known foreign films, there is bound to be something new and exciting to add to your next movie playlist. It’s well worth a visit regardless of whether you plan to rent or purchase for movie night.

Location: 1172 Bay Street, Toronto
 

Della Terra Tasting Bar

If you want to savour something exquisite, check out Della Terra Tasting Bar. Don’t expect a whiskey or a wine, though — Della Terra is home to the world’s finest olive oils and balsamic vinegars. The tasting is an enriching experience. You’ll learn where your olive oil is from, how it was made and what makes it taste so delicious. You’ll also see the fresh bottling process right in front of you.

Location: 211 Martindale Road, St. Catharines
 

Chickadee Kids Company

Located in central Burlington, this store sells quality toys and books that are fun and educational for kids 6 years and under. Purchase toys that will engage them to learn and appreciate the outdoors, such as building and painting a bird house or unique ways make learning fun like an interactive map to learn geography, and so many other creative and innovative activities that foster positive growth and development.

Location: 2178 Mountain Grove Avenue, Burlington
 

Ward 14

Come for the food, stay for the wacky consignment shop. At Ward 14 in downtown Ottawa, you can find everything from the perfect burger to that retro toy you’ve always wanted. This restaurant/consignment shop hybrid is a truly entertaining pitstop on your visit to Ottawa.

Ward 14 prides itself on excellent cocktails, like the local favourite Bytown Boulevardier made with whiskey, campari and vermouth. They also have a selection of quality craft beers and ciders, like the Collective Arts Blood Orange Cider. You can even get a spritzer or choose from the daily selection of wine. When it comes to food, choices range from egg rolls to grilled cheese to burgers and more, we recommend the tot poutine.

During your visit, don’t forget to check out the selection of games to play while you’re waiting for your food to arrive. You can also browse the quirky consignment collection, which includes vintage clothing, rare books, old toys and so much more.

Location: 139 Preston Street, Ottawa
 

Blue Banana Market

If you’re looking to purchase a souvenir or gift that is purely unconventional, stop by the Blue Banana in Toronto’s bohemian Kensington Market. In addition to carrying familiar brands, they have products from local artisans and independent producers. The selections in the store run the gamut from light-hearted and off-the-wall humour to warm and sentimental. Purchase gifts that showcase Canadian love like a Hockey Night in Canada Bottle Opener, and Not Sorry socks and tote bag. There’s also a large section of delicious food such as sauces, decadent chocolates and gourmet products.

Location: 250 Augusta Avenue, Toronto
 

Trousdale’s General Store

Be sure to visit Canada’s oldest general store if you are in the South Frontenac County area.  Located in the Village of Sydenham, Trousdale’s General Store has been in the Trousdale family since the early 1800s. This gift store has a wide selection of products for all walks of life. Products range from fashion apparels, gourmet foods, kid and baby selections, pet care and even home hardware. Brands include Barefoot Venus, vegan friendly Ragwear and more. You can also grab a coffee or dessert at the café or cool off on a hot day with a scoop of irresistibly delicious Kawartha Dairy ice cream from the parlour.

Location: 4395 Mill Street, Sydenham 
 

Grumblin’ Grannys

You’ll find all sorts of distinct and well-crafted goods from around the world at this family owned business, with two locations in Campbellville and Barry's Bay. Buy something small and sentimental like jewellery or crystals to bigger purchase such as furniture and paintings. There are also unique craft, wood carvings waiting for you to add as decoration to any room inside your home, or perhaps as an accent in your garden. At the Barrys Bay store there is a spacious courtyard that is open to peruse many of the items available to sell. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what’s available and you may fall in love with more than one item.

Locations: 50 Main Street, Campbellville and 19478 Hwy 60, Barry’s Bay
 

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