Not ready to go yet? Take a little piece of the city home with you.
The perfect souvenir evokes a city's charms without shouting it from the rooftops. Some prefer mementos of the edible variety, made by a local artisan using only the best that the city has to offer. Others want a keepsake to remind themselves of where they've been. Depending on where your tastes lie, we've sourced some of the most unique, delicious, and notable souvenirs from Toronto, to remind you of the special metropolis long after you've left its vibrant embrace.
It's true, Canada is the number one producer of mustard seed in the world. A lot of it gets shipped to France, where it's turned into Dijon, but luckily, some of it stays put. And when it does, the fine folks at Kozlik's Canadian Mustard make quality mustards worthy of any gourmand's pantry, in more than 30 varieties. Purists will love the Triple Crunch, while the more adventurous may gravitate toward the Balsamic Figs and Dates.
A trip to Toronto wouldn't be complete without a stop to SOMA Chocolatemaker, where their Douglas Fir truffle will transport you to the heart of a Canadian pine forest. Or meander over to Kitten and The Bear for small batch preserves and jellies made onsite from mostly local, seasonal fruit, with a few tropical flourishes. The Black Plum and Earl Grey jam will elevate your toast; pair it with an exquisite cup of locally blended, organic Lemon Lily loose leaf tea. The green tea-based Cherry Blossom is tranquility in a cup.
Forget the "All I got was this lousy t-shirt" souvenir. Try a Tresnormale T-shirt on for size instead, depicting Toronto's iconographic "red rockets" (street cars), green commuter GoTrains with the CN Tower hovering in the distance, or wily raccoons perched atop one of the city's compostable bins. Cap it off with a city neighborhood hat, made from 100 percent Woolrich wool, to keep you cozy when the weather turns chilly.
Or pick up a snazzy pair of John Fluevog boots; the designer is a native Canuck. The 686 Newell men's brogue lace-up boot pays homage to the store on 686 Queen Street West. There's also he retro-chic 686 Dorothy, and open-heeled bootie in groovy shades, made of patent leather for her.
Others still may want an objet or keepsake. Consider a vintage repro print by Spacing of Toronto's subway lines or graphic neighborhood renditions to hang up in your living spaces. If you're an entertainer, laser-cut Birchwood Toronto coasters are stand-outs at a party, as are the cutting boards carved into the shape of the city's outline (we'd use this for a killer cheese plate with some well aged Canadian cheeses).
Mary Luz Mejia covers Toronto for Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter.