ICYMI, shipping delays and supply chain issues are in no shortage this time of the year. But, holiday shopping doesn’t need to be that stressful, and it doesn’t even need to be online. And that’s why we decided to venture north of the 6ix and into neighbouring York.

And no, we don’t mean just Vaughan, Richmond Hill and Markham, we mean the whole of this water and farmland-dotted beauty. So, we teamed up with the York Region to find the best shopping spots in the region that are perfect for all your last-minute holiday shopping. So, here they are! 

Aurora Downtown

If you’ve so much as passed by Aurora downtown, you know it’s a cute little place with plenty of character. From classic homes-turned offices to boutique shops and cafes to the graffitied building, the place screams charming. And you’ll find some amazing gift options too- be it a bespoke basket from Uneek Gifting or gourmet cookware from Aurora’s Kitchen Accents or a custom jersey fan chair for an NFL fanatic from Best Seat in the House.

Main Street Schomberg in King

Sure, we’ve frequented King’s Main Street for quick escapes from the TO chaos, for fun fests and even for cycling our summers away. But this beautiful historic paradise happens to be a great place for a shopping escapade too during the holiday season. You’ll find plenty of boutique shops and cafes including The Millers Table for antiques, Le Maison Boutique for French country aesthetic, the Sugar and Spice Bakeshop for all things cake and many more sprawling the street. And, you’re going to love them all. 

Main Street Markham

While the skyscraper-clad Markham is the newer version, the Markham village is one of the oldest communities in the province. And part of this community is the bustling Main Street with shops, eateries and spas galore. This also happens to be a great place to discover some seriously amazing gifts no matter the occasion. While you’ll find several places to collect covetable junkets, our reco is to take advantage of the many amazing spas here. No gift like the gift of self-care, right?!

Main Street Newmarket

This is, by far, the most underrated of all the Main Streets. The 19th century façade with classic-meets-contemporary interiors is one of the best places for all kinds of shopping sprees- be it for the holidays or merely for a day out with the gals. Frankly, you’re going to want to go check out every store and café here but our top picks include Good Vibes on Main, Neon Flamingo Emporium & Café, Hempen Jewellers and Metropolis Mercantile + Café.

Malls in Richmond Hill

Hillcrest and Time Square sure are our all-time faves and need no intros whatsoever. But, there are plenty of other malls that you can check out, especially if you’re looking to escape the crowd. Shoppes of the Parkway and RioCan Elgin are particularly great for holiday gift shopping. From quality desserts to fashion-forward apparel and jewellery to that of self-care and décor, they’ve got you covered with everything.

Kleinburg Village in Vaughan

Here’s some more quant charm coming your way. Victorian vibe, inviting boutique store, tempting cafes and a lit art and cultural scene, the Kleinburg Village has it all. But you know what else it has? Local stores & eateries from Violets & Dahlias & Old Firehall Confectionery to Sugar Plum kids’ boutique with one-of-a-kind collections (and delectable) that’ll make you want to grab just about everything.

The Village of Stouffville


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In case you’re wondering where this is, it’s just a few minutes north of Markham and is part of the town of Whitchurch-Stouffville. Despite having all the convenience and comfort of a suburban town this close to TO, the community has managed to retain its charming small-town vibe and approach. The slew of heritage buildings here that house eccentric stores, restaurants and cafes work up the old-world magic. 

And if you’re looking to give your gifts a uniquely personal touch, venture over to The Village on Main Street where you’ll get some incredible finds. From Candlelight and Memories Gift Shop to Redefined Finds  you’re guaranteed to find something for everyone on your list at one of these local shops. 

East Gwillimbury Shopping Centres

East Gwillimbury has more to offer than just historic village vibes and a small-town charm. The fast-growing urbanity is home to all our fave stores at Green Lane Centre, only they are well-stocked here. Need a classy red? There’s The Wine Shop. Looking for the perfect gift for the fashionistas on your list? There’s Reitmans and Stitches. Want to upgrade a loved one’s home décor? Urban Barn’s at your service. Need we go on? Oh, and if you want to grab a grub, there are countless options on the opposite side at the Yonge Green Lane Common.

Local Stores in “Getaway Country”

We’ve all spent quite a bit of time relaxing at the beach, walking along the waterfront or hiking one of the many beautiful trails in Georgina. It’s “getaway country” for a reason after all. But the city also offers unique shopping experiences, especially around the holidays. From local artisan-designed décor and jewellery at Twigs and Co. to covetable treasures at the Whipple Tree Country Store to a fancy bottle from Fellini Fine Wines, you can find truly personal gifts here.

And when you’re done shopping on The Queensway S in Keswick and grabbing a scoop or 3 of your fave flavours at Scooby, head to Sutton. Then walk over to Village Traditions, Antiques on 48 and Butter & Soaps- absolute must-visits when hunting for exceptional gifts.

Hitting these local markets in York is the safest bet to cross off everything on your holiday shopping list in time. Plus, it’ll save you the whole ‘will it or won’t it arrive’ stress making your holidays truly holly and jolly. 

And if you’re looking for anything else to do this holiday season, make sure you check the York Festivals & Events page!