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Toronto is undoubtedly Canada's shopping capital, offering top international labels and enterprising local brands. Its most famous mall is the Eaton Centre, which brims with brand stores, restaurants and entertainment all under one roof.

But visitors are far better off seeking out local stores that are unique to the city. Lovers of haute couture should try Canadian labels such as Ross Mayer and Linda Lundstrom. St Lawrence Market has an amazing array of local arts and crafts, and excellent food. Kensington Market is the place to go for vintage clothing and other eccentric paraphernalia, while the Heritage Antique Market has an amazing selection of retro items.

Queen West, which has the best that young and trendy Toronto has to offer, is an essential stroll for serious shoppers. Bathurst Street has small, independent art galleries, where discerning buyers can pick up a souvenir or two, while Yorkville, along Bloor Street, is the city's most exclusive retail district and is home to boutiques and jewellers from Milan, Paris and London.

For travellers on the hunt for mementos, the obvious choices are some good Toronto maple syrup or gifts emblazoned with Mounties or maple leafs. Alternative choices would be Native American art, dream catchers or moccasins.

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