The top army surplus stores in Toronto don't just specialized in war memorabilia and uniforms: they're also the best places to get inexpensive camping gear, warm winter coats and boots, Swiss army knives, and cheap or long-lasting backpacks. Paintball fanatics in the city are also well-acquainted with these shops for camo gear and accessories for maximum protection on the field.
If you're into the outdoors - hunting, fishing, bird watching, hiking - our surplus stores carry all the necessary fixings for a good few nights spent roughing it in the woods.
Here are my picks for the top army surplus stores in Toronto.
AAA Army Surplus
This Kensington Market staple, located on Baldwin Street, has plenty of deals to go around for students looking for inexpensive canvas bags and clothing or outdoorsy folk in need of supplies. The interior may be a bit of a tight squeeze for shopping comfortably, but the product selection of warm winter apparel--parkas, pea coats, wool military tunics--leaves little to be desired.
Central Surplus is a must for hobbyists: anyone looking for rare military collectibles like pins, belts, and other clothing items are sure to find it here. Family owned and operated since 1961, Central Surplus knows its customers are families, too, and supplies its store with top-notch camping and hiking gear suitable for any age. (Take note for next year - they're also great for Halloween costumes.)
The Little Army Store
Among industrial buildings in East York sits The Little Army Store, a shop that isn't as little as it says it is. The warehouse stocks sturdy Coleman camping accessories - lamps, grills, coolers - and a number of streamlined, well-organized traditional uniforms, jackets, and other war memorabilia. They don't sell self-defense equipment, but The Little Army Store is certainly worth exploring for costumes and inexpensive outdoor gear.
Beavers Surplus Exchange
Beavers Surplus Exchange specializes in genuine military surplus from Canada and the U.S.. They're the place to go for magnum tactical police boots, clothing for cold arctic nights, and camouflage gear for hunting and bird watching. The Dufferin location (found just south of Yorkdale Mall) also buys, sells, and trades military gear. The store is organized into clothing and accessory products for police officers, security teams, firefighters, and outdoors enthusiasts.
ARK Army Surplus
Hunters and sports gun collectors should head to ARK Army Surplus on the corner of Wilson Avenue and Murray Road, where pellet air guns and airsoft guns come in
a number of desired shapes and styles. The store licenses firearms as well, although there are none available in store and viewings are made by appointment only. Besides weaponry, ARK stocks camping accessories, survival kits, emergency meals, and military clothing and footwear.
Wolf Army Surplus Fashion
Wolf Army Surplus Fashion, on Kingston Road (between Pickering Street and Beech Avenue), is well stocked with a selection of army clothing and boots. The location sells head-to-toe camo products and is an optimal location for paintball gear, both clothing and guns alike. Like any army surplus store, they provide camping tools and survival equipment, though are best known for their clothing (as the name suggests).
Did I miss any? Leave your favourite Toronto surplus store in the comments.
Photo of AAA Army Surplus by Jesse Milns.
by Alex Brown via blogTO