When it comes to shopping for your little ones, there are lots of options and big name stores in the city. And while those certainly offer most of what you’ll need, it’s always nice to support your local community and shop at a local, independent boutique.
Here are 10 of our favourite independent baby shops, all located inside Toronto’s city limits and all offering a range of must-haves, and more than a few nice-to-haves.
1. Ava’s Appletree
This “natural parenting store” offers a range of green products, including cloth diapering supplies, locally made diaper cream and Milkbarn’s range of adorable bamboo clothing. It also sells some truly gorgeous wooden toys that have the potential to last for generations. The store is also focused on developing a loyal customer base and offers its own reward program.
870 Kingston Rd
2. Baby on the Hip
Now located in family-packed Leslieville, this shop focuses on green products and “…carefully chooses each of our products based on guidelines of sustainability, non-toxicity, and overall quality.” Among the products it offers are Kyte sleep sacks, 3 Sprouts toy organizing solutions, and Ubbi diaper pails. It also offers a few just-for-mom products, including nursing bras.
969 Queen St E
3. bb Buggy
With three locations to choose from, including one found down in the PATH, this store is aimed at customers who are looking for stylish, on-trend baby products. Hip-but-functional furniture can be found in abundance here, as can all kinds of awesome toys and outfits, including maternity and post-partum clothing for mom.
1200 Castlefield, 10 Yorkville Ave & 200 Bay St, Unit 121
4. Ella + Elliot
Dreaming of a sleek, modern nursery for your little one? Then you’ll want to stop by this high-end baby store that offers some gorgeous furniture options and room décor and accessories. Also available are creative toys, a wide range of strollers and super-cute shoes and outfits. Be sure to check out the sales section, where you can score an amazing deal if you’re lucky.
188 Strachan Ave
5. Jill and the Beanstalk
This place is so much more than just a spot to pick up baby and kids gear (though you can do that too). It regularly offers workshops, special events and various parent and baby classes that cover everything from infant CPR to holiday photo shoots. There’s also a free drop-in play area that hosts a fun circle time. But arguably this shop’s best event is its clothing swap, which is held roughly every three months and is completely free to attend.
814 Dundas St W
While this shop is packed with all kinds of cute and colourful toys, it also offers plenty of practical items including Skip Hop diaper bags, Aden & Anais swaddling blankets and a wide variety of Minimoc shoes and adorable clothing options for kids newborn to school-age.
670 Queen St W
7. Li’l Niblets
Almost everything you need to prep for baby’s arrival can be found here, including a range of baby-proofing products such as gates and outlet covers. To help you sort through its wide selection, Li’l Niblets offers a list of its bestsellers. Looking to give a memorable baby or toddler gift? Then check out the shop’s range of personalized wooden stools and baby announcement canvas art.
526 Lawrence Ave
8. Love Me Do Baby & Maternity
Liberty Village has been undergoing quite the baby boom these past few years so it’s no surprise that it’s home to one of the city’s cutest baby shops. Here you’ll find all the essentials as well as some items that are trickier to find, like tubing for breast pumps. It also offers an impressive variety of maternity and nursing clothing, including items that you can try on in the store, as well as adorable baby clothing.
50 Williams St
Calling itself “Toronto’s original baby store,” Macklem’s has been serving Roncesvalles and area parents since 1945. It’s a small space but it’s packed with useful items including an impressive variety of strollers for you to test drive. The shop is also known for its stroller repair depot, which can officially fix up such brands as Uppa Baby, Peg Perego and Baby Jogger. Also available is a stroller cleaning service and a baby registry.
2223 Dundas St W
10. Marlene’s Just Babies
For over 40 years this shop has been offering some of the top names in baby gear. Nearly everything you need for your new addition can be found here, including the latest in stroller and car seat technology. The store’s owner, whose name really is Marlene, is a certified car seat tech, who can make sure that your newly purchased car seat is installed properly.
637 Dupont St