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 760 Queen St E in Riverside, one at 1414 Queen St W in Parkdale, and 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 pretty much 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.