Hidden Gems of Thrift Shopping in Toronto: Uncovering the Best Thrift Stores and the Benefits of Shopping There

thrift stores toronto
thrift stores toronto

Toronto’s thrift stores offer awesome and unique stuff at unbelievably low prices. If you don’t want to just shop at Orfus Road, you can check out the thrift stores. They may be less curated than vintage clothing stores, but the racks and bins of these incredible and affordable stores are filled with budget-friendly items. Don’t worry, there’s something for everyone. In this post, we will talk about the best thrift stores in Toronto. These stores are among the great attractions of Toronto, especially if you ask the locals. However, before we get into the list of stores, let’s discuss why you should shop at a thrift store in the first place:

To Support Charitable Causes

Many thrift shops are operated by charitable or non-profit organizations. Local churches, hospitals, and private schools often have resale shops to support their causes.

We know that donating items to these organizations will help support them. We can shop at thrift stores and extend even more support. 

True, not all resale shops are associated with a non-profit organization. Some are actually for-profit businesses, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t use them. Many for-profit thrift stores do share some profits with local charities, and even if they don’t, they do prevent usable from going directly to the landfill.

To Save Money

Isn’t frugal living a good idea for everyone? Why should anyone pay more for something that they need, only because they can? Instead of paying full price or even a sale price for a new item, you might get the same or similar item at a resale shop for a steep discount.

To Reduce Waste and Help Save the Environment

According to definitions by the American Bureau of Labor Statistics, salespersons at thrift stores have “Green Jobs.” That’s right: These are environmentally friendly jobs since these stores collect and recycle items that would otherwise end up as waste.

When people buy items which others have donated, they are keeping these items out of a landfill. Everyone involved is helping the environment. The items purchased can be reused or new uses can be found for them.

You’ll Find Seldom Used or Never Used Bargains

A lot of people have confessed to donating items that are more or less brand new, sometimes even with their tags on them. 

There are countless stories of people buying high-end clothing or accessories at a resale shop at a fraction of the cost of buying new. You can get the luxurious item, without paying the luxurious price.

To Buy Items You May Not Use Much

Have you ever needed an item for a special day but didn’t want to buy it brand new? If you’re having a celebration and wish for a bowl or a couple of large platters, inspect the local resale shop before buying something brand new. 

At your local thrift shop, you may be able to pick up that item at a fraction of the cost of purchasing new or renting. When you are through with it, you can lend it to your neighbor or donate it back to the resale shop.

One Person’s Trash Is Another’s Treasure

People wish to browse at thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales, and auctions for hidden treasures. A crystal vase, a valuable painting, an expensive watch, or some other hidden gem could be hiding among all of the everyday items in the store. What the donor may not have recognized may be your chance to score a real treasure.

If You Forget Something on a Vacation

Ever go on vacation and forget to bring something? Maybe you got there and realized the weather was warmer or colder than you expected? Often, we’ll just run to the first store, any store, and purchase something we don’t really like, but have to buy it anyway. Something that’s of an ugly color, doesn’t really fit, or worse yet, isn’t on sale. Why not inspect a thrift store for that light jacket or sweater you didn’t bring? Need a dress or a blazer for a fancy dinner? Check a resale store before you buy something brand new.

To Find Unusual Items You May Not Find Near Home

Items which will not be common in your hometown might be common and cheap where you’re vacationing. Maybe you live in a warmer climate but would like to pick up a nice sweater or long sleeve shirt: Check out a resale shop the next time you travel in the north. 

Now that we have discussed the reasons why you should be shopping at thrift stores, let’s check out

The best thrift stores in Toronto:

#1. Lori’s Locker

Kicking off our best thrift stores in Toronto list is Lori’s Locker. It may only be open from Friday to Sunday, but this cozy Etobicoke staple on New Toronto Street is just too cheap to not hit up. Find bins and racks of clothes for as cheap as $2 with brand new deals being offered every week.

#2. Just Thrift

Next on the list of the best thrift stores in Toronto is Just Thrift. This Orfus Road gem can get messy, but it’s worth sifting through the racks, plus customer service is usually good here. There’s actually a decent chance of finding some high-end brands, just beware of possible fakes that might be in the mix.

#3. Double Take

Run by the Yonge Street Mission, this massive second-hand store in Cabbagetown serves the community by reselling high quality worn clothes at reduced prices. Prices have gone up over the years but all the proceeds go back to the Yonge Street Mission. So when you buy from here, you will also help the community. This definitely belongs on every “best thrift stores in Toronto’ list.

#4. Pegasus Thrift Store

Next on the list of the best thrift stores in Toronto is the Pegasus Thrift Store. This thrift store in the Upper Beaches is a volunteer-run project owned by the Pegasus, which offers services for adults with developmental disabilities. Here you will find lots of cheap items such as jeans and shoes which have been donated by the community. All proceeds from sales are given back to charity.

#5. Designer Fragrances Depot

This entrant on the best thrift stores in Toronto list may just be heaps and heaps of clothes running through the centre of the store, but it doesn’t get much cheaper at just $1 each. If you’re willing to select through the gigantic mounds of garments at this messy Orfus Road shop, you would easily find some great stuff. Shopping through this store is like looking for treasure, it’s definitely in there, but you have to do some serious digging to find it.

#6. National Thrift

There are three locations of this store across the town. Head to Keele St., Lawrence East, or Kingston Square West to browse through an extremely impressive selection of clothes that are usually sold at 50% off throughout the store. Definitely one of the best thrift stores in Toronto.

#7. Value Village

Next on the list of the best thrift stores in Toronto is Value Village. The prices over here have gone up significantly ever since this chain of used clothing stores rose to fame a few years back. Still, the choice doesn’t get far better than what’s available at Value Village. Avoid the extremely crowded and famous locations like the one at Lansdowne station and hit up the ones north of Eglinton instead.

#8. St. John’s Thrift Store

Next on the list of the best thrift stores in Toronto is the St. John’s Thrift Store. Not far from Woodbine station is this thrift endeavour run by St John’s Mission. If you don’t feel like trying your luck at the Value Village next door, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the stock of stuff in this little store, which offers great discounts now and then.

#9. Talize Thrift Store

Next on the list of the best thrift stores in Toronto is the Talize Thrift Store. This huge store on Dixie Road is definitely not as popular as Value Village, but its prices are arguably better and its selection of used stuff is just as large. It’s quite clean and the stuff on sale is generally in great condition.

#10. Plato’s Closet Scarborough

Rounding off our best thrift stores in Toronto list is Plato’s Closet, Scarborough. Specializing in gently used clothes for teens and young adults, you can find adult designer stuff that offers pieces that are up to 70 percent cheaper than the actual retail value. Since the thrift store always offers great deals, it tends to get quite crazy over here.  

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