The Best Toronto Greeting Cards
Written by Jean-Paul Michael
When it comes to greeting card stores in Toronto, we are somewhat fortunate to have a fair amount, from small, independent retailers to large chains with numerous outlets. For this blog post, I wanted to share with you the best Toronto greeting cards, so my favourite stores in the city, which includes both these independent ones and chains, to help you with regards your in-store purchases of cards while out and about in Toronto. Some of these brick and mortar stores sell additional items, either their own lines or otherwise, but they all have a common factor and that's that they all have quality cards on sale to the general public.
Blue Banana Market, 250 Augusta Avenue, Toronto, M5T 2L7
A laidback Kensington Market staple since 2008, Blue Banana Market on Augusta sells awesome greeting cards for every occasion and has a variety of gifts to please even the most discerning recipient. The cards are the reason I visit this store often, though sometimes I get caught up in everything else they have on offer, as there are several aisles brimming with items for both gift-hunters and souvenir-collectors.
Blue Banana Market is a great name for a great retailer who will surely remain in my favourites list for a long time to come.
Juxtapose Cards & Gifts, 430 Bloor Street West, Toronto, M5S 1X5
Juxtapose Cards & Gifts on Bloor St West has been in the heart of the Annex in downtown Toronto since 1992. They have a great range of cards and a huge array of gifts in-store - everything from novelty socks to cupcake-flavoured toothpaste and celebrity altar candles featuring the likes of Bill Murray, Dolly Parton and Beyonce!
I love browsing the cards, which are often quirky, unique or thoughtful - or even all of the above. Juxtapose is my go-to card shop when I'm in the Annex but it's also an excellent place to pick up something out of the ordinary for a birthday or Christmas gift.
Kid Icarus, 205 Augusta Avenue, Toronto, M5T 2L4
In the heart of Toronto’s Kensington Market, you'll find Kid Icarus, which doubles as a retail shop and print studio. True to eclectic Kensington form, inside the shop they sell unique items including their own greeting cards, wrapping paper and items that they have hand-printed themselves, as well as other handmade Canadian products from all over the country.
It's a diamond in the rough and does actually look rough on the outside and could do with some work. However, this contemporary shop is still one of my clear favourites, and not just because they represent Canada and buying local. They have some gorgeous items on sale and it's an open environment where you can even watch their screen-printing craft come to life. Many other Toronto shops could learn a thing or two from Kid Icarus.
Outer Layer, 577 Queen St West, Toronto, M5V 2B6
Did you know that Queen West was once voted by Vogue Magazine as one of the world's coolest neighbourhoods? Outer Layer is one of the reasons why, I'm sure. They have all kinds of cool, kitsch and funny gifts on sale and they will do a perfect job wrapping them if you need too, but it's my stop in this area if I'm looking for greeting cards.
There's a neat selection and I have found myself laughing out loud at some of the funnier ones in Outer Layer on more than one occasion.
Papyrus, Scotia Plaza, 40 King St W, Toronto, M5H 3Y2
Papyrus was founded in 1950 and is the flagship brand of the Schurman Retail Group. In addition to selling some gorgeous greeting cards, this upscale chain also sells various items in-store, including gifts, notecards, stationery and gift bags, as well as entertaining products. There are seven Papyrus stores in Toronto alone, including one in the revamped Yonge Eglinton Centre. My personal favourite, however, is at Scotia Plaza on King St West.
It's a really expansive store with amazing lighting and a vast assortment of cards. However, you can most certainly feel the corporate vibe of the international conglomerate Schurman Retail Group, which is a part of American Greetings, of which Recycled Paper Greetings is a division, along with various corporate brands including Carlton Cards. For expensive albeit high-quality cards for just about any occasion, Papyrus is a great choice.
Queenie's Cards, 698 Coxwell Ave, Toronto, M4C 3B9
I wrote about Queenie's Cards in an earlier blog, My Ultimate Guide to Canadian Greeting Card Publishers. I love their super-cute, pun-filled cards which often feature Canada-related artwork (a talking maple leaf and a good old Canadian beaver, for example). While you can browse their products online, Queenie's Cards opened their own little gift shop on Coxwell Avenue in 2017 and their range is just as adorable in person.
In addition to their fun and colourful cards, they sell their own pin badges and cushions, as well as collectible mainstream items like Pusheen and Hello Kitty. If you walk by Queenie's, you won't be able to resist going in. I know I can't!
Scout, 405 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, M6R 2N1
Scout has two locations and my favourite is an enchanting, high-end independent gift shop that opened in the west end of Toronto in Roncesvalles Village in 2011. They focus on Canadian, artisan and handmade goods and there's something for everyone, as they sell gifts for all ages.
They have a great selection of greeting cards here too, which is why this store made my list, and I can't help but pop in to Scout each time I'm in the area, as it seems they are always adding new stock.
The Paper Moon, 3349 Yonge St, Toronto, M4N 2M6
The Paper Moon is family-owned and run and has been since 1983. They specialize in cards, gifts, homeware and jewellery, and the store on Yonge Street is just jam-packed with all kinds of treasures for all types of occasions. In terms of cards, there's a nice selection and lots of humorous ones, so I can't help but visit when I'm in the area but it's so easy to get sidetracked with all of the shelves and tables bulging with sparkly gifts.
While it may look like a hoarder's dream come true, The Paper Moon is so much more, and though it's only a small store, you'll get lost in there, spending hours browsing and then leaving with multiple impulse buys. Just don't forget to get the card you went in for...
The Papery, 124 Cumberland Street, Toronto, M5R 1A6
The Papery has two locations in Toronto - Yonge Street and Cumberland Street - but my favourite is the latter, a cute underground store in the Yorkville neighbourhood.
They have a good selection of cards and personalized stationery, and also plenty of card-making supplies, so it's somewhat of a paper lover's dream shop. You'll find some real wonders at The Papery in terms of greeting cards.
The prices of the cards can be at the high end but you'll no doubt find what you're looking for and it'll likely be much more unique than if you'd chosen a cheaper alternative.
TOWN, 1187 Bloor Street West, Toronto, M6H 1M9
When it comes to superior, quirky and funny greeting cards, TOWN in Bloordale offers a great selection but you'll likely end up browsing their other products for hours on end too.
This cute store on Bloor St West also sells postcards, wrapping paper, note cards and so much more, and while it's one of the pricier places to shop for cards and lovely little gifts in the area, it's quality stuff and the service is top-notch. I'm sure you'll love TOWN as much as I do.
Jean-Paul Michael has spent his entire adult life in the greeting card industry. He co-founded Northern Cards when he was 18 years old and over the last 3 decades, he has held many varying positions in the company. Today, he is proud to be Northern Cards' Publisher and a lifelong greeting card geek.