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Green Shopping in Toronto: 11 Eco-friendly options

Notorious for their long, frigid winters, you might think that Canadians would look forward to a little dose of global warming. On the contrary, Canadians are among the most environmentally conscious citizens on earth. Climate change might allow them a few extra days of balmy t-shirt weather in the spring and fall, but it could wreak havoc on their pristine landscapes and precious polar bear habitat. And as a nation of immigrants, the Canadians tend to have a more global consciousness when it comes to worldly affairs.

No surprise then that Toronto, the nation’s largest city, would have an excellent variety of eco-conscious shopping venues, not only for organic health food, but also natural-fiber clothing and zero-waste dry goods. Doing the right thing for the planet sometimes means making small compromises on your own personal convenience. So to make your eco-conscious lifestyle just a wee bit easier, we’ve compiled this list of fantastic green stores you can support in the Greater Toronto Area.

Health food stores for organic eating

Karma Co-op Food Store: Founded in 1972, Karma is a member-owned, democratically run co-operative. They specialize in organic, local, fair trade and zero waste products. They carry over 400 bulk items, organic produce fresh from dozens of Ontario farms, health supplements and the highest quality, eco-friendly, packaged goods, making Karma a “one-stop” shop for the conscious consumer.

739 Palmerston Avenue Toronto ON M6G 2R3

(416) 534-1470

The Big Carrot Community Market: For natural food customer and those curious about becoming natural food customers, The Big Carrot provides complete one-stop shopping, by offering high quality products, friendly and informed service, competitive prices and ongoing public education to make natural food selection easy. They support the development of a healthy and sustainable food system by purchasing from small local, organic producers whenever possible and by ensuring that each product meets a set of rigourous standards. All of this is supported by providing their team satisfying employment in a fair and productive workplace.

With multiple locations in the Toronto area.

Noah’s Natural Foods: A Canadian-owned health food store with 38 years of history. Noah’s is committed to providing customers access to high-quality supplement, grocery, and cosmetic items, and they go out of their way to ensure that every product meets or exceeds their strictest standards. They also strive to work with local Canadian suppliers and small brands. Each Noah’s location offers an appealing selection of non-GMO, organic and local products, from chicken broth to body butter and everything in between!

With multiple locations in the Toronto area.

Essence of Life: Essence of Life was established in 1998, with the main goal of introducing healthier and organic food to the community. Since then, they’ve pioneered the natural food industry by making organic food accessible and affordable to everyone. Jean and Frank immigrated to Canada with a strong work ethic and big aspirations. A former midwife and health nut, Jean pursued her dream of opening a health food store. It was the perfect marriage of business and passion, as Frank was formerly an importer and exporter by trade.

50 Kensington Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M5T 2G1

(416) 506-0345

Also check out our article on Toronto’s best restaurants, which includes a short list of vegetarian options.

Natural Fiber Boutiques

ecoexistence: By making small changes, we can make a big impact and preserve our environment. That’s why ecoexistence is here. Their selection of sustainable lifestyle products empowers you to make more environmentally friendly choices – for yourself, your home, and for your loved ones. The store offers an extensive collection of housewares for the kitchen, bed and bath, made from more thoughtful natural materials like bamboo and organic cotton, and natural skin care products made without petroleum and animal testing.

766 St. Clair Avenue West at Arlington Avenue, Toronto, ON M6C 1B5

(416) 652-0808

Ecotique is green gift and lifestyle shop in Roncesvalles Village. Their goal is to provide greener alternatives for living and giving. They believe that each green choice we make, however small, can positively affect the quality of the world we live in. Their carefully selected products are made from sustainable materials in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. From locally crafted gifts, recycled glassware and jewelry to natural beauty and home care products, they’re not only green but gorgeous too.

191 Roncesvalles Ave., Toronto, Ontario

(416) 516-2234

Ava’s Apple Tree: From their website

Growing up in Germany taught me to be more aware of our environment. Due to higher energy prices there has been more public demand for environmentally-friendly products and in that progressive atmosphere, demand for healthier, natural and organic products also grew.

I immigrated to Canada in 2005 and a few years later, after my children were born, I was motivated to raise them in a earth and health conscious environment. However, I was disappointed by most of the disposable children’s products and toys that I found at the major retailers, where quantity usually counts over quality. I was happy to discover though that there are many smaller manufacturers in Canada and the United States making wonderful natural and organic baby and children’s products, and that there are many other moms that feel just as I do. Most of these products are both healthier and better for the environment, and crafted with obvious care.

We have opened Ava’s Appletree to share our passion for natural baby and children’s products and to make the products we’ve found and love available to more families throughout Canada, the beautiful country that I’m happy to call home.

870 Kingston Rd., Toronto, ON, M4E1S3

(416) 515-0808

Logan & Finley: Logan & Finley is an eco-conscious general store that focuses on solutions for living a more sustainable lifestyle. Each product has been thoughtfully chosen, purposeful, useful and well made. The store is a warm and welcoming environment and the customer experience is our priority.  Sustainability is central to Logan & Finley’s conscious lifestyle philosophy, and we love helping our customers find options that suit their every day needs. We focus on quality over quantity and offer products that are unique, effective and just luxurious enough that you enjoy using them every day.

670 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON

(416) 769-9732

Susan Harris Design is a Toronto-based clothing and accessories company specializing up-cycled creations made from recycled wool. They also carry a variety of eco-friendly products and toiletry items.

55 Mill St., Distillery District, Toronto

(647) 300-0609

Zero Waste Refill Stores — Bring your own container!

Eco & Amor: They’ve partnered with some of the coolest eco-conscious brands to offer shoppers in the GTA, to provide a sustainable, refillable beauty, self-care and home care shopping experience. Zero waste. Packaging free.

30 Bertrand Ave. Unit C9, Scarborough, ON M1L 2P5

(647) 948-9084

Saponetti: Toronto’s first and only soap delivery company offering premium, Canadian-made, environmentally friendly and hypoallergenic, soaps and detergents for home and personal care. They bulk-buy all their products and deliver them to you in reusable glass mason jars. Saponetti started for people who want the convenience and savings of purchasing fabulous soaps in bulk, without the throwaway factor.

615c Brock Avenue, Toronto, ON  M6H 3P1

(647) 344-1875

Further Reading

Check out these other articles to learn more about the city of Toronto.

About the Author:

Fred Hornaday took a road trip from California to Wisconsin for his first birthday party. Since then, his itch to travel has led him on numerous cross country and transcontinental adventures throughout North America and Europe. He met his wife in Germany, got married in Denmark, and honeymooned in Colombia. He knows a thing or two about international travel and relocation.

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