Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Shopping About Town: Bloor West Village

by Julie

I loathe malls and find shopping in them a chore. They're so stuffy and crowded. Each mall is the same as the next--I’d much rather shop in one of the city’s many neighbourhoods and make it a fun outing.

Bloor West Village is a great place to spend an afternoon. It is definitely a baby friendly neighbourhood (you will be negotiating your stroller around many others) and most of the shops are family friendly.

Start at Bloor and Jane at Smart Kids Toybox. Brands carried include Lamaze, Manhattan, Brio and Tiny Love. Let the kids play while the friendly staff help you find what you’re looking for.

Head East to Diaper-eez. More than cloth diapers, they have many useful items, clothing, and toys. In addition to everything you need for baby, they’ve started to stock items for older children too, including toys from Doug and Melissa (love them). They also have the hippest diaper bags for mom, including Skip Hop. The staff here are amazing and knowledgeable, and the store so welcoming: there is a comfy rocking chair provided for breastfeeding; a washroom; a change area. They have a promotion right now-if you bring in a picture of your child wearing or using something you purchased there, you’ll receive 10% off your next purchase.

Need some new duds? Stop at Trixie. With fashions from Guess, JLo, Jessie May, Dex, and House of Spy among others, the clothes are fun, wearable, and au courant. The prices are reasonable for the quality and the salespeople are helpful without being pushy.

Stop for lunch at Queen’s Pasta Café (east of Bloor and Jane). Tuck into a bowl of delicious fresh pasta and relax with a glass of wine. Or, pick up some crepes and fresh salads to take home at Max’s Market’s huge prepared foods counter.

I never visit Bloor West Village without stopping at the Green Thumb fruit market and stocking up on fruits and veggies at fabulous prices. Don’t be daunted by the long line—they are super-efficient and it moves very fast. Don’t mess with their system by fumbling around counting change.

There are many florists in Bloor West Village—pick up a sprig of something for your table. There is also an abundance of bakeries—I always pick up some Portuguese custard tarts when I’m there. They all have their windows filled with lovely treats to tempt you.

Finish your shopping at Write Impressions (Bloor and Runnymede) for beautiful gift-wrap and unique cards. They also carry lots of Umbra photo albums and frames (great gifts) as well as a wonderful selection of journals and fountain pens.

Happy Shopping!


Julie has a baby girl and is currently working in the home. She keeps busy finishing her undergrad (English), caring for her family, reading lots of books, writing, and trying to figure out what the heck to do next.

Contact Julie at metro_mama@hotmail.com.


Gabriella said...

Bloor West was one of my fav shopping places when I lived in Mississauga. I haven't been there yet with Samantha but I think when the warm weather starts I'll head down.
And portuguese custard tarts, mmmmmm...

penelopeto said...

We like to start at high park, wear bee out, let her nap in the stroller and stroll on up to bwv for some yummy food from max's and a good stroll.

MotherBumper said...

I used to work in the village years ago (preBumper) - now that I have the little lady it's nice to know where to go because I missed all the wonderful stores along Bloor.

Denguy said...

I'll be heading their in the morning for some new eye glasses.
I like to take the subway with Boyo to Jane and walk the street back to High Park.

Mom Ma'am Me said...

Ooh, I think I need to make a trip to Toronto sometime in the not-so-far future. Looks like a great place to visit!