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Welcome, creatures of the night, to my Toronto Goth Shopping Guide! Whether you’re visiting the city, new to the area, or just looking for some outfit inspiration, I hope this helps you locate some cool new clothing, boots or other apparel.
An Introduction to Toronto Goth Shopping
Toronto has no shortage of shopping opportunities for anyone into mainstream fashion, from giant malls to indie boutiques to vintage resellers. In terms of goth clothing in Toronto, that requires a bit more of a hunt. Much has changed since the 1990s when Queen Street West was an alternative fashion runway almost any day of the week, with dedicated stores and clubs. Now, many local designers and shop-owners shifted to on-line only or even closed up shop.
So if I was going to do a list of Toronto stores that are exclusively catering to goths, it would be extremely short. So thisToronto Goth shopping guides includes places to find alternative apparel in general, carry certain goth-adjacent designers —or at least have good-quality, stylish and interesting items in black.
Read to the end and you’ll find a list of fantastic Toronto goth fashion designers you can support, too.
Best Goth Shopping Areas in Toronto
I’ve organized this list by neighbourhoods that have a cluster of shops and that are accessible via public transit from the downtown core.
Queen Street West and Parkdale
Vogue magazine once called Queen West one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world.
In the 1990s, it was Goth Central, with several dedicated clothing stores and clubs. Today it’s mostly an open-air mall, with chain fast fashion. But there remains a residue of alternative culture, and some independent designers and boutiques are holding out here, although rising rents have pushed many further west into Parkdale.
This section is presented in geographical order going west so if you are Toronto Goth shopping you can explore on a long walk.
What can you buy for $10 these days? A hilarious T-shirt at Black Market, one of the original Queen Street West second-hand shops, still kicking even if surrounded by chain stores. They have a huge collection of bootleg band shirts and other random vintage items in their packed basement location, all for under $10. Across the street you’ll find even more vintage picks. Neither location is accessible. 256 Queen Street West at John (underground) and 347 Queen Street West at John (second floor)
Responsible but funky shoes for corp goth life, here since the 1980s. Mostly European brands, including Fly London, Miz Mooz, Steve Madden, as well as their own designs. 311 Queen West at John
You can buy Docs all over town including the mall but come here for the best selection of adult and kids’ styles, including vegan, plus friendly service. 391 Queen Street at Peter
The only one-stop Goth Shoppe left in Toronto, Borderline Plus has been serving the community since the early 2000s and is one of the largest alternative clothing retailers in Canada. They stock most of the major North American mass market Gothic brands: Killstar, Tripp, Lip Service, Demonia footwear, plus UK faves like Alchemy Gothic jewelry. So this is where to come for the largest selection of goth dresses, jackets, pants, Tshirts, purses, big ass platform boots. They also have club wear and accessories like coloured contacts, Anemone backpacks, goggles, etc.
Locals often bemoan the high prices here. Yes, you will pay significantly more for some items than if you ordered directly online. They do have a sale rack with markdowns though. Personally, I am grateful we have an option in Toronto for in-person try-ons and shopping at the last minute.
I also appreciate the friendly Borderline Plus staff (including actual goths!). They can give you suggestions for events in the area, or check out flyers and posters in the shop. Back in my day this was the only way to find out about cool stuff in a new city and I’m glad there’s still a place in Toronto for that!
P.s. do not confuse the name for a plus-size store, they carry the standard sizes, up to about a 12/XL only. But if you need a hoodie with a skull on it or some wide-legged pants covered in chains, Borderline Plus is that spot. Accessibility note: downstairs in basement. 425 Queen St W at Spadina.
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Get Outside Shoes
Are you a Converse person or a Vans person? This casual shoe store stocks both. Also Frye and Solovair boots and vegan choices like Matt and Nat. 437 Queen Street West at Spadina
Dresses. So many dresses! This is hyper-feminine central, so bright colours may blind you but if you dig there are some Goth/Glam/Rockabilly gems. Also shoes. So many shoes, including Irregular Choice, Lola Ramona and Melissa brands. They carry a large selection of Betsey Johnson and Vivienne Westwood jewelry and bags and for some reason never seem to put a thing on sale or rotate stock so you may find an older item you wanted here but you’ll never get a deal on it. Beware: super busy during prom season and the staff are…. unique. No refunds, no exchanges, everything is final sale. Good luck! 515 Queen St W at Augusta
A smaller outlet of this global thrifting empire that only carries clothing. Somewhat controversial for cherry picking the “good stuff” and marking it up —including cheap clothes priced almost at new price — but seems popular. You have to dig. But if you’re a bigger size, or just need something quick like a summer dress or a winter sweater, there’s a wide selection. Gives you a coupon if you drop off a donation. Note that shopping does not support any non-profits. 639 Queen St W at Bathurst
Rock and metal Tshirts and patches. 664 Queen St W at Bathurst
Pointy toes, lush velvets, crazy platforms, buckles…this Canadian designer creates unique bold and sexy shoes and boots including their famous Munsters and Grand National styles. Some seasons are more gothy than others, but they will usually have something to dazzle. Expect prices from $300+ up and watch for sales several times per year. Men’s, women’s and unisex styles, and they’ve recently adopted a more gender-neutral philosophy in the store displays. Vegan items available. The Queen Street West location has a fun photo op in what used to be a bank vault. On the East Side, a smaller selection is available in the chi-chi Distillery District. 686 Queen Street West and 4 Trinity Street
A shop for bikers that has all the associated leather gear you might need: jackets, chaps, vests, belts and boots, plus serious bullet belts, skull rings, etc. Speaking of skulls…. Doc’s is part store and part museum, with displays of vintage posters, motorcycle and military items in glass cases. Climb upstairs and find a whole other shop with taxidermy, animal bones and even human skulls. In a world of same-same, Doc’s rides to its own beat. 726 Queen Street West at Niagara
Designer clothing store with a stylish footwear selection that’s worth a look if you like brands such as Camper, Fly London, Melissa, Comme des Garçons. Lots of Docs. Vegan options. 1010 Queen West at Ossington
Couture corsets, exquisite bridal and special occasion pieces handmade in Toronto from designer Kate Mior. When you’re ready to invest in a proper corset, either for waist training or fashion, Bone and Busk is the best place in the city to go for a fitting. Ready-to-wear corsets are sometimes available, as are accessories like crowns, scarves, harnesses, etc. These are beautiful, wear-for-a-lifetime statement pieces. Kate is also active in the goth community and can be found DJing under the name Hate Mior. Visit her shop on the far edge of Queen West in Parkdale. Open only Thursdays to Saturdays, and check hours before going. 1616 Queen St. West
Kingi Carpenter is an OG punk and Toronto fashion visionary who has been upcycling long before it was in style. She creates bold silkscreened one-of-a-kind dresses, shirts and skirts from a storefront in Parkdale. And I know she has a Siouxsie silkscreen because I got a custom skirt printed with all the lady rockers I love, from Joan Jett and Siouxsie to Pussy Riot. You can browse what’s in stock or have something cool made just for you. 1694 Queen Street West at Roncesvalles
Tshirts, hoodies and other screen-printed apparel with the signature skull designs by street artist Stu Dead. 1696 Queen West at Roncesvalles
Curated vintage from the ‘40s to the ‘80s in this small shop. You may find a pretty dress or hat here. Very reasonable prices. Open Saturday and Sunday only. 1627 at Roncesvalles.
For lovers of vintage and seekers of thrift. Not to be confused with Kensington Market in London, UK, this neigbourhood is one of the most ungentrified in all of Toronto, with a genuine bohemian spirit. Historically a food market (you can snack for days here) it’s also home to many independent second-hand clothing stores, many in colourfully painted Victorian houses. You may be able to get a deal like “no tax” by paying in cash at some shops. You most certainly will meet colourful characters. Happy treasure hunting!
One of the larger vintage stores in Kensington Market, Exile organizes its inventory by decades or “costume” styles, making it easier to find gothy stuff. Head past all the denim and leather jackets to the back to browse their Little Black Dresses. They also have petticoats, lingerie and corsets, a glam/disco section, and many (new) wigs. Very popular in Halloween season when there is sometimes a line up. 60 Kensington Ave.
A Toronto institution since 1975, Courage My Love Beads specializes in accessories from all kinds of silver jewelry to vintage gloves, top hats, belly dance chains, and pieces from Mexico and Indonesia. A large section is devoted to beads and buttons for DIY projects, and my favourite feature are all the small wooden drawers filled with random deadstock and ephemera. You’ll also find some vintage clothing here, like dress shirts and sweaters, and lots of cowboy boots, all at reasonable prices. 4 Kensington Ave.
Get your Demonia boots here. This Black-owned business opened in 2022 and specializes in heels and formal shoes up to size 16. They also offer the lowest price for Demonia shoes and boots in the city. 35 Kensington Ave.
You know it. We have nine! True to the Hot Topic brand, most of them are in malls in the suburbs. So if you’re staying with relatives in Mississauga, Brampton or Vaughan and need a cheap studded wristband, that might be convenient. The location for downtown is within the Eaton Centre, our main shopping mall. At this point, Hot Topic is mostly branded blockbuster merch so it’s a roulette if you’ll find anything, but autumn is a good time to stock up on Nightmare Before Christmas stuff. 220 Yonge Street, at Dundas
Basic black clothing for women in plus sizes, 10 to 30. They sometimes have cute skull prints and Betsey Johnson collaborations. As with Hot Topic, more locations in the suburbs, with one at the Eaton Centre downtown. 200 Yonge Street, at Dundas
A year-round costume shop, if you need a superhero, horror or other themed get-up for a party. Good selection of wigs, coloured contact lenses, special effects make-up. 332 Yonge Street at Gerrard
Canada’s major department store, also known by its full name, Hudson’s Bay Company. They’ve been operating here since 1670 and used to run the entire North American fur trade. History-wise, it’s complicated. What’s left of their retail empire can be found in this flagship store stocking mainstream and designer brands that may suit, including Jeffery Campbell, Steve Madden, The Kooples, All Saints. 176 Yonge Street at Queen
More stores worth a visit for Toronto Goth shopping
This “girlie rock ‘n’ roll heaven” specializes in fun, flirty dresses and is my personal go-to when I want something that is not black, although they do carry brands like Katakomb and Hellbunny so little black dresses can also be found alongside the leopard prints, retro pencil skirts, bedazzled costume jewelry, etc. Many styles available in XL to 3XL and they have excellent customer service to help find you the perfect dress that makes you feel good, at any size. Co-owners Kelly Freeman and Rory Lindos are also designers (Damzels in this Dress is their own line, available exclusively here) and they understand the importance of pockets. Two locations on either side of the city. Note that Queen East shop in Leslieville is closed on Mondays. 394 Roncesvalles Avenue; 1122 Queen Street East.
Spencer’s Duff Mall
When you need a Nightmare on Elm Street hoodie, a lava lamp and a vibrator in one stop. This is like head shop, but in a mall. They do sometimes have cheap skull and Satanic-themed clothing and lingerie for both men and women. Not a bad place for body jewelry in an emergency, they have a large selection. 900 Dufferin Street, at Bloor St. West.
Attention Kinksters: Northbound has been serving the LQBTQ+, leatherman and fetish communities since 1987. They design and manufacture high-quality goods you’ll wear for years, with prices that reflect that. Trenchcoats, chaps, corsets, catsuits, harnesses, restraints, are classics. And anything your dirty mind can imagine they can probably create. Small selection of latex and PVC clothing and non-leather corsets. Closed on Sundays. Look for their annual fetish parties and cruises with fashion shows. 117 Jefferson Avenue, in Liberty Village
Clocks and Colours
“Luxury Heavy Metal Goods” for men on the Ossington strip between Queen and Dundas. We’re talking serious silver rings, bracelets, chains and the like, designed in Toronto, crafted in Bali. Expect prices $300+up. For your Fields of the Nephilim vibes. 154 Ossington Avenue
Designer streetwear for men, just north of Queen Street West. Rick Owens, Comme des Garçons and the like. 310 Spadina Avenue.
Women’s clothing designed to fit all genders, a long-time private and safe shopping space for crossdressers, drag artists, and other gender benders. Large high heels from Pleaser to size 17, clip-on earrings, wigs, makeup, corsets, lingerie, fishnets and hosiery, gloves, high-quality silicone breastforms, and a variety of lacey, see-through, shiny things. Limited hours, Tuesday to Saturdays. One person in the store at a time so call ahead if you want to visit. 161 Gerrard St. East
Possibly Toronto’s best vintage store. Curated pieces and ephemera dating back as far as the 1800s up to the 1970s. Quality stuff, including designer jewelry. Maybe find your Victorian dream hat pin. 300 Queen St East
Local Independent Designers
These Toronto area designers do not have retail storefronts. But you can support local by ordering from them on-line! If you have a favourite designer that I’ve overlooked please let me know in the comments, as I’ll be expanding and updating this page regularly.
Club wear for the End Times. Anime and sci-fi inspired bold shapes and fabrics. Some vegan leather pieces. Makers of damned fine hoods.
High fashion latex: bras bodysuits, harnesses, gloves, collars, capes in lots of colourways. Custom made to order (takes several weeks but worth it) and you may be able to pick up in their studio on weekdays.
Vamptastic dark pinup and gothic dresses and other apparel with a retro flair. Quality fabrics and fit and affordable prices. Sizes to 3XL.
Gothic, Victorian, Lolita and other pretty things from artist Taeden Hall. Some items in sizes up to 6X.
Queer and spooky accessories. Get your pronoun patches and occult-themed merch here.
Rock ‘n’ roll, studded and leather wild styles in limited-edition collections by Sharon Ehman. Small sizing.
Morbid Outlook Jewellery
Handmade silver earrings and necklaces from Mistress McCutchan, a DJ, podcast host and all-around cool human.
Affordable latex basics for all genders including hoods and toys. Will deliver to you in the GTA.
Athleisure wear and special occasion couture dresses from this Indigenous designer. Some items up to 6X.
Plus-sized Japanese Lolita clothing made in Canada.
More pretty frilly things for the Lolitas.
Upcycled, customized and vintage pieces for goths, punks, rockers and headbangers. Small sizes.
Victorian-inspired, affordable chokers, neck corsets and earrings.
Alternative Fashion Events in Toronto
A few times a year, this alternative market gathers dozens of independent designers and artisans in one place for the day. A fantastic place to browse for new small treasures like jewelry, headpieces, harnesses, as well as housewares and art.
Tips for Visitors Shopping in Toronto
Unless otherwise noted, stores are generally open seven days a week. Hours vary, with most open by noon and closed by six, maybe a bit later on Fridays in the summer. It’s best to check Google, their Instagram or websites, or even call before making a special trip.
Most accept cash, credit and debit cards. If you’re American and have never shopped in Canada before, some shops downtown will accept US dollars at a fair exchange rate but your change will be in Canadian funds. This seems very obvious to me but you’d be surprised how many tourists don’t know.