I dislike malls (although for full disclosure, I admit that I often make a point of visiting malls whenever I travel to cities abroad, because they paint an interesting picture of local norms. So to avoid being a hypocrite, I suppose I will point you towards the Eaton Centre or Yorkdale Mall, if you are interested in doing the same).
That said, I really prefer shopping at thrift or consignment shops if I can help it. The thrill of the find, playing a part (however small) in reducing waste by avoiding new production, and paying less rather than more are all great reasons to shop consignment. One such shop that has become a regular destination for me is the Common Sort.
Common Sort has three locations: one at 800 Queen St E in Riverside (pictured), one at 1414 Queen St W in Parkdale, and a new one at 444 Bloor St W in the Annex. I haven’t yet been to the one in the Annex, but I prefer the one in the Riverside over the Parkdale location. The store has a nice atmosphere, is well-organized and thoughtfully curated (as opposed to being a hot mess like the typical thrift store that will accept literally anything), and I’ve found plenty of unique pieces for work and play at totally reasonable prices. And it’s just a cool, community-oriented space in a chilled-out neighbourhood that is worth a walkabout in and of itself.