Posted by Alice Prendergast / SEPTEMBER 1, 2015
The top places for students to shop in Toronto will have you thriving on a budget. Once you’ve dropped most of your hard-earned dollars on tuition and textbooks, you’re going to need to find some places to accommodate you and your last few pennies. From tech accessories to furniture, these places have got you covered.
Here are my picks for the top places for students to shop in Toronto.
Chances are your new digs won’t have stainless steel kitchen complete with Kitchen Aid mixer and Vitamix, but that doesn’t mean you have to resort to cooking with plastic cutlery you stole from the closest McDonalds. Tap Phong sells restaurant-grade kitchen supplies, from cutlery to pots and pans, at a very reasonable prices. Also try the Kitchen Plus Stuff Outlet and Cayne’s for deals on essentials.
Once you’ve moved into your shoebox-sized dorm or apartment, you’ll probably want to make it look more homey. Umbra offers a ton of new student essentials, with all things you’ve never dreamed you’d need like hangable vanity organizers and shoe racks. If you’re on the hunt for bedding, Homesense and Beddington’salso offer some good deals on sheets, pillows, and duvets.
What is a student apartment without a LEIRVIK bedframe or KALLAX storage unit? The Swedish homeware giant is known for affordable furniture, and now that you’re out of the nest with a limited budget, it’s time to get yourself some of their cost-effective pieces. If you think having the same furniture as your neighbour is a faux pas, try Small Space Plus or rental company Livio Furnishing.
When you’ve got minimal space to work with, you have to stay organized. Binz (very aptly named) sells all the storage you need at a fair price. They also have a few kitchen pieces that will help you with food storage, like tupperware and water bottles. If you have a few extra bucks, MUJI also sells acrylic, plastic and linen storage pieces.
Essence of Life
Initially, you may find great pleasure in eating a solid diet of Kraft Dinner, but that’s bound to change down the line. Once you’ve reached your maximum intake of carbs, head to Essence of Life to find healthy alternatives for prices lower than Big Carrot. Other inexpensive grocery options include Grande Cheese Factory Outlet,Shasha, Peek Freans Cookie Outlet and Almost Perfect.
To succeed in school, you’re going to need the right tools. Luckily, the GTA is stocked with places catering for your technological needs. Apple tends to reign supreme in Toronto schools and they have deals that will get you add-ons (like Beats headphones) when you purchase your computer. If you’re a photography student, hit up Aden (it’s much cheaper than popular places like Henry’s).
Above Ground is an OCAD student’s dream, selling everything an artist could possibly need. From gesso to moulding clay, the stock seems almost unlimited – and lucky you, with a student card everything is 10% off. If you’re not in reach of Above Ground, there’s also Curry’s which offers the same discount to students, so you won’t have to pay full price for a paintbrush until graduation day.
Vidal Sassoon Academy
Often considered a period of self-discovery, you’re career as a student may bring your look to new heights. Maybe you want to buzz off your locks or die your whole head purple, regardless, there are plenty of salons with affordable pricing. Vidal Sassoon Academy is always looking for hair models and have very affordable rates. Alternately, try Parlour or Onyx for cuts (both offer student rates).
Kind Exchange will have you looking fashionable while keeping your wallet full. They offer buy, sell, trade and donate services, which means you can actually turn a profit off your old clothes or swap them in for something new. Other student clothing favourites include MEC, TOPSHOP (because who doesn’t love a 10% student discount), Winners, and the Banana Republic Factory Store.
Designer Shoe Warehouse
If there’s something you should never be without, it’s a nice pair of shoes. DSW offers endless options from Guess booties to Converse high tops at discounted rates. If you’re in the market for athletic shoes, try SVP Sports on Queen West, you’ll find Nikes, Adidas, and more for lower prices than at your average athletic store.