These are physical Judaica stores in either Toronto proper or York Region. There are a whole bunch of quality online options, many of which I have personally patronized. However, there are times when you need to get something right away, whether it be a Siddur, Tallit, Ketubah, Bar Mitzvah gift or something else. The first section will include “brick and motar” options while the online links will be found below.
Most stores are centered around the Bathurst Street corridor, an area of the city that also serves as the heart of the Toronto Jewish community. In terms of the highest concentration of Jewish residence, the boundaries would be Elgin Mills (Richmond Hill) and Eglinton Mid-town Toronto. While the community has spread out quite a bit (Innisfil or Ajax, anyone?), there are few Jewish establishments located outside of this zone.
While many synagogues have Judaica stores on-site, they tend to be limited in both selection and access. This list deals with full-service retail operations, making in-store shopping possible six days a week. If you are not Jewish-but looking for a gift for someone who is-feel free to reach out either the clerk or the attending manager. Jews are super friendly people and we welcome anyone with an interest in either our people or religion.
What is Judaica?
Jewish life is multifaceted, encompassing a whole array of religious, cultural and community practices. In order to fulfil these Mitzvot (or religious Commandments), some require “equiptment”, “clothing” or “tools”.
For example, Jewish men are required to wear a special undershirt under their regular clothes. Known as “tzitzit” in Hebrew, they are braided-strings connected to the main garment. This is rooted in the Torah, with the application clarified in the Talmud. Furthermore, male-Jews (post Bar Mitzvah) are required to lay Tefillin, a special combination of Scripture (written by hand on scrolls), leather straps and container boxes. Ranging in price from $400-4000, this is among the most important gifts that one can receive.
Common Judaica items include (but are not limited to):
- Kiddush cups
- Shabbat candles
- Havdala sets
- Prayer books (Siddurim, Mahzors, Shunchan Aruch)
- Kippot (yarmulke)
- Israeli gear
- Seder plates
Why Would You Need a Judaica Store?
- You are a parent looking to get things for your child’s B. Mitzvah
- There is a birthday coming up
- You are a Zionist and want to buy some Israeli flags
- You want to read Hebrew books to your children (or grandchildren)
- You prefer material that celebrates Jewish history and identity
- You want to become more religious, spending more time in our “spiritual backpack”
- You care about someone religious and want to encourage them with a gift
- Someone important has died and you want to buy candles and say Kaddish
- You prefer to support the Jewish community in every way, including economically
- You have really good taste!
With that being said, here is a list of Judaica stores in the Toronto area.
Trusted Online Judaica Sources
- Chabad Store
- JRCC (Russian) Bookstore