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Like many knitters, I plan my travels around yarn stores—and that includes trips to my former hometown, Toronto.

These days, when I’m in the city, I’m on a whistle-stop tour, squeezing visits to my old haunts in between meals with old friends. Turns out that if you apply yourself, you can visit a surprising number of yarn stores in between massive breakfasts and ramen dinners.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of things for a fellow yarnophile to do in Toronto.

Note: Toronto is enormous, and full of yarn stores. I’ve highlighted my favorite downtown locations, easily accessible by transit and walking, but there are more to discover if you’re up for slightly more travel time.

Day One: Kensington Market and Bloorcourt

First stop: Kensington Market. From vintage clothes and haberdashery at Courage My Love, to cheese shops, delicious baked goods and indulgent chocolate, Kensington Market is full of delights.

Once you’ve indulged your taste buds, head over to Nassau Street and Yarns Untangled. Inside, find a carefully curated selection of yarn and notions (plus a comfy couch or two for the weary-footed). Speaking of feet, they’ve got a great selection of sock yarn—I rarely leave without at least one souvenir skein.

Bonus destination: head down the street and around the corner to Bookhou. It’s worth the walk. I covet the project bags and can’t wait for owner Arounna Khounnoraj’s new book about punch needling.

Now it’s time to head to EweKnit. This is a fiber lover’s paradise. If you can stitch with it, you’ll find it here.

The yarn selection practically glowed in the dark on the night I visited, and the selection of Liberty of London fabrics seemed to cover an entire wall.

You’ll also find embroidery supplies (from basic learn-to-embroider to advanced crewelwork and tapestry), sewing and quilting patterns, project bags and notions, and a selection of books. Plan to spend some serious time here.

Day Two: Queen St. West and Roncesvalles

Wakey wakey! Start your day with a hearty breakfast (Toronto loves its brunch) or stay in bed and eat that slice of cherry pie you stashed after yesterday’s trip to Wanda’s Pie in the Sky.

Once you’re duly fortified, it’s time to head west. Your first stop: Romni Wools. Photos don’t do this place justice. Plan to spend at least an hour, maybe two, exploring. (Don’t forget the basement!) Whether you’re looking for hard-to-find European sock yarns, hearty Canadian worsted weight for a snuggly sweater, or a tiny ball of cashmere for that special someone, you’ll find it here. (Don’t be afraid to ask for help tracking something down–the skeins are piled high.) Word to the wise: Romni is closed on Sunday.

Now it’s time to hop back on the westbound streetcar. Destination: The Workroom. Here you’ll find enticing displays of fabric, patterns and sewing notions, and a massive wall of buttons. I could spend hours poring over vintage treasures in The Button Dept., and I suspect you could, too.

The Workroom also offers a wide variety of classes. One of these days I’ll manage to sync up a trip with a weaving class. I’d love to spend an afternoon making one of these dishtowels. (Wouldn’t it pair perfectly with a brand new ball-band dishcloth?)

If you’re an MDK reader, you may also be a Bullet Journal enthusiast, and that means it’s worth a jaunt across the street to Paper Plus Cloth, a paradise for people who love notebooks, pens and washi tape.

Tired yet? If yes, head back to base, but if not, it’s back onto the streetcar for a trip to Roncesvalles, where you’ll find The Knit Café, which happens to be in the vicinity of great brownies, books, barbecue and ice cream. If you need a break from the city’s hustle and bustle, head across the street to High Park for some restorative nature time.

Day Three: Queen St. East/Leslieville

 For day three, you’re back to Queen Street, but this time, heading east. Before you hop on the streetcar, though, stop for the full Irish at George St. Diner.

Look familiar? This diner featured in the film What If (aka The F Word), starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan. Also playing a strong supporting role in that film was your next destination…

The Purple Purl. Walk through the door and you’ll be overwhelmed by rainbow upon rainbow of yarn.

From superfine lace for the finest of shawls to sweater quantities of Canadian-dyed sport and worsted weight to extra-chunky yarn perfect for arm-knitting, there’s something for everyone (and in every color)

The shop also offers a wide selection of classes. Time it right, and you could learn from expert, author, and Torontonian Kate Atherley.

Yarn bags bulging? Feeling hungry? Take a stroll back down the street, where you’ll find all sorts of options, from stick-to-your-ribs sandwiches at Completo, to fresh, healthy salads at Eadrey, to the sweetest-of-sweet cupcakes and treats at Bobbette & Belle, where the air is perfumed with sugar and vanilla.

That concludes your knitter’s weekend in Toronto. Don’t forget to wave to the CN Tower as you fly by!


Toronto Tips and Tricks

–There’s one thing you need to know to survive Toronto: when it comes to escalators, walk on the left and stand on the right. Ignore this advice at your peril.

–When in doubt, start with “Sorry.” It’s a Canadian stereotype for a reason! You’ll soon learn there are about 1,000 shades of meaning, some of which don’t involve being sorry at all, but hey—it works. Especially if you just got yelled at for standing on the wrong side of the escalator.

–Hungry? Get a hotdog from street vendor. No, really, even the New York Times was impressed.

About A Knitter’s Weekend

Each piece in our series A Knitter’s Weekend is written by a knitter with local knowledge and a personal point of view. If you have additional places or information you’d like to share, we’d love to hear it—please leave a comment. And if you think you might get to visit Toronto, here’how to save this article in your MDK account with one click.


About The Author

Austen Gilliland is a writer, editor and toddler wrangler who dreams of having spare time to fill with knitting. She has a passion for English murder mysteries, puns and ice-cream cones, and spends her weekends searching out the best yarn—and beaches!—that Nova Scotia has to offer.


  • Oh, how I wish I had been with you! What a lovely trip! Very excited about the new punch needle book, already pre-ordered it. BTW, I’ve got the exact same BuJo for this year. Thanks for sharing!

    • Doesn’t that book look fantastic? I can’t wait to read it.

  • Advise from the best knitter’s tour guide around.

    • Advice, oops.

      • Aw, thanks Julie! Plans for a future epic knitter’s road trip? 🙂

  • I was lost at the buttons. OMG what I would give for an hour or two with the buttons and all the sweaters I have knit that never had the exactly right buttons. Scheduling a trip to Toronto NOW. Thanks.

    • The buttons are SO good. And if you’re a ribbon enthusiast, a visit to Mokuba Ribbon & Trim is also a must!

  • Oh my goodness, I want to go!! An LYS tour with food! Thank you for the wonderful article.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  • You’ve captured how lucky we are here in Toronto!

    • SO lucky! But then again, Toronto is lucky to have you. 🙂

      • Wow! Four of us travelled from NYC, California, Ottawa and Waterloo to meet up and do this tour on our own. We hit Yarns Untangled and Bookhou, had a fabulous dumpling lunch at Mothers Dumpling House and then hoofed it to Eweknit. After a quick bite at Nordstrom we saw the award-winning Come From Away musical– amazing. Day 2 we went to the One Of A Kind show, Paper Plus Cloth and the Workroom, ate fabulous ramen noodles at Miso Ya. Then off to Romni. Day 3 we took the streetcar to Knit Cafe, ate a hearty and rocking lunch in the 1943 George Street Diner, then more shopping at the Purple Purl. We were warmly welcomed everywhere, yarn shops were inviting, helpful friendly staff, great vibe, wonderful yarn and we happily added to our stash and couldn’t wait to cast on. Only disappointment was Eweknit where service was indifferent, bathroom access denied and no where to sit. Thanks to Austen for the great advice!!! We would do it again!!!

  • I have lived in Toronto all my life and you mentioned places I didn’t know. The Purple Purl and Romni are my usual stops for yarn but I will definitely be visiting The Workroom and Eweknit for buttons and Liberty Fabric. Thank you so much for this article. What a great way to start the day.

    • Cathy – how have you missed Ewe Knit!? It’s def the best yarn shop in TO and it’s got a lot of fabric and all the gizmos one needs to knit and sew. Knitomatic is also good (but can’t compete on the yarn stock).

      • She didn’t mis it. Ewe Knit is there!

    • Oh yay! I’m so glad. It’s worth the trip west!

  • Great thing that I live outside the city and can make day trips in on the GO Train. I knew of many of these haunts but not all. I’ll definitely check them out. And Romi Wools is AMAZING!

    • Ah, lucky you! (If only the Lakeshore East line extended all the way to Halifax….) Have fun on your next adventure!

  • Such a timely article! We’re headed to Toronto next week. While I knew some of the places mentioned, I’ll put the new ones on my list! Thanks!

    • Oh, wonderful! Have a fantastic time in the Big Smoke!

  • I love to go to TO! And I just learned a lot of new reasons to do so. Thank you. I love to see Tafelmusik or Opera Atelier (world class baroque, original/authentic instruments) when I’m in Toronto and travelers might want to check if they are performing during their visit.

    • Ooh, excellent suggestion! 🙂

  • Some of these are my favourite places to visit as well when I head up to visit friends. I usually drive up a few weekends a year (usually try to hit one of the One of A Kind shows). Always good to hear about new places to visit! (I usually stick to west of downtown and downtown).

    • It’s worth the trip east! Happy adventuring. 🙂

  • Don’t miss a visit to our newest offering, The Knitting Loft. Accessible by transit and lots of parking. I’m still pinching myself that this is my LYS. The selection of yarn is astonishing. The welcome is warm and the coffee is hot. Don’t worry if the comfy seating is full, they will pull up a chair for you. You’ll need a break before you head downstairs

    • Thank you so much for the recommendation Wilma! xo
      – Maria

    • Ooh, I’ll have to add that to my list! Thanks for the suggestion. 🙂

  • I am often at Romni and Eweknit and agree with just about everything, but must say no to the street meat, unless you are happy burping that flavour all afternoon.
    And you did miss Knitomatic on Bathurst. Small and not as snooty as some. Sorry, just had to add that.

    • Knitomatic! I haven’t been there in ages – I’ve got a parrot phobia, and at the time (10+ years ago) there was a shop bird. Glad to hear they’re still around. 🙂

      • The bird is still there…

  • This is delightful! I love Toronto and am happy to have my next adventure plotted out for me 🙂

    • I am so jealous of all the delicious treats (and yarn) in your future! So glad you enjoyed the article.

  • My family lives in Toronto and whenever they want to send something special to me (for Christmas, for example) they go and see Jennifer at The Purple Purl. When I’m in Toronto next ( I hope it will be soon) I’ll be making a trip to Leslieville and now I have lots more places to drag my Mom to! Will be saving this great article for sure! Thank you!

  • What a terrific travelogue! You’ve hit all my favourites and reminded me of the lovely people who look after the yarn there. I no longer live in Toronto, but love to visit. Thanks!

  • Envy and glad that you both had a wonderful time

  • Toronto is just a fantastic city. It’s a great place to visit. I was there a few years ago, and I can’t wait to go back.

  • I’d love to write a guide to my hometown for MDK. Austin, Texas, is a fast-growing, bustling city with great weather, great food, a funky vibe–and 21 yarn shops to participate in our local yarn crawl. I’m a writer, editor, and knitting instructor who’d welcome the chance to play tour guide for our fabulous town. Thanks for considering turning your spotlight on Central Texas!

  • We were in Toronto last August and I managed to get to Knitomatic which was so lovely. Don’t remember any birds. Ironically we walked right by Romni but I was with a somewhat irritable teenager who was not going to tolerate an hour of me babbling about and touching yarn. Next time!

  • Makes me want to go right now! Thanks.

    • Hooray!

  • Hello from Toronto!
    Thanks for the guide to our city. Yes we definitely have our problems (one example – no idea how tourists are to manage the public transit Presto card system which requires a credit card, computer registration and waiting 24 hours for the account to be updated) but the yarn stores and coffee shops are good.
    That Romni Queen St basement is _always_ worth a look. A few doors west of Romni is Soufi’s, purveyor of Syrian made-to-order flatbreads plus desserts.
    Ideal Coffee, beside Yarns Untangled, is one of my favourite coffee roasters.
    Courage My Love has beads and buttons as well as other vintage finds.
    If one is wandering from Kensington Market to Eweknit, one could stop at College/Bathurst for Manic Coffee or Bar Raval’s Spanish-style savoury/sweet snacks (and their fantastic wood interior). The second-hand bookstore Balfour Books, at the same intersection, often has good knitting books. Just a bit west at College/Clinton is the new location of Wonderpens – purveyors of fountain pens, notebooks and more (letter writing club one Thursday evening each month). Eweknit is a nice (best in spring/fall) walk north from there.
    If you are here on a weekend and planning to take public transit, subway stations currently sell a paper “day pass” which is good for unlimited travel for two adults all day Saturday or Sunday.

    • Great tips, Lisa, thank you! You’ve expanded my to-do list for the next time I’m home. 🙂

  • I have to second the mention of The Knitting Loft. Too bad it missed this review. They just opened in fall of 2018 but much of their gorgeous selection of yarns can’t be found in the other shops in Toronto, so they’re definitely a must-visit yarn shop. I went there specifically to buy a couple of balls of lovely Rauma Finullgarn for some mittens this winter and wanted to buy everything in the shop! My next sweater’s quantity will definitely be coming from there!

  • I wish had been with you the trip sounded lovely. One of these days I hope to learn how to knit.

  • I have only just come across your website,, I love all the different stores and countries , have you done one about Britain?

  • Sadly, The Purple Purl closed permanently last year.

  • The Ottawa Knitting Guild would do a weekend in Ottawa, Canada.

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