After much anticipation, the Quebec department store Maison Simons has secured its first GTA location. In Spring 2016, the upper-middle-end chain will open a 113,000-square-foot flagship store in Mississauga’s rapidly evolving Square One Shopping Centre, which already houses outlets of Hudson’s Bay, Target and Walmart. Simons is beloved among loyal Quebecers for its unique blend of high-low merchandise—think $20 tees from in-house line Twik sold alongside $1,200 3.1 Phillip Lim bags—and has been carrying out an ambitious Canada-wide expansion plan over the past year, beginning with an outpost in West Edmonton Mall in fall 2012. The Toronto launch will coincide with the opening of a new Holt Renfrew at the Mississauga mall, which, needless to say, is set to give Yorkdale and Sherway Gardens a run for their money. Or rather, your money.
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It’s Mitt Romney‘s former company.
Bain Capital, a private-equity firm co-founded by the Republicans’ losing 2012 presidential candidate (he left the company in 2002 to pursue his political career), is buying a majority stake in Canada Goose, the Toronto-based maker of ubiquitous, puffy winter jackets. Bain’s success at wringing profits from the companies it acquires has been mixed. Even so, it’s unlikely that the coat-buying public will notice much of a difference in the short term. The Post is reporting that Dani Reiss, Canada Goose’s heir and CEO, will remain in charge.
ToronTOpia, a new pop-up at Queen and Portland, specializes in patriotic gear. But unlike most city-centric shops, its wares aren’t exclusively red and white, or mountie-themed, or emblazoned with moose and maple leaves. The temporary store, which is a collaboration between Toronto-based publishers Coach House Books and Spacing magazine, stocks the kinds of things a loyal city-dweller might actually want to read, or wear, or throw up on their wall: Toronto-themed literature, vintage TTC posters, bold black-and-white maps from Toronto graphic designer Alexander Arvelo McQuaig, and retro pom-pom toques stitched with the names of Toronto neighbourhoods. For stocking-stuffers, miniature buttons stamped with subway designs and highway signs let wearers pin their pride to their lapels—or, in the case of the mayor-themed Shadenford set, their exasperation with the ongoing antics at city hall.
Dec. 4–Dec. 22, W-Th 12-7, F 12-9, Sat-Su 12-6, 558 Richmond St. W., spacing.ca
The One of a Kind Show may be over for another year, but that’s no reason to stop stockpiling crafts. Online marketplace Etsy provides year-round access to thousands of crafters, curators and artists selling troves of beautiful things: colourful prints, gorgeous textiles and delicate, handmade jewelry. We browsed the site and discovered a pool of impressive homegrown talent. Here, 10 Toronto-based Etsy sellers you should know about.
Eaton Centre Casanovas: So-called “pickup artists” are hitting the mall en masse to try and seduce women
The 2005 bestselling memoir The Game unmasked the world of pickup artists: self-proclaimed Casanovas obsessed with scoring with hot women—or at least ones insecure enough to fall for strategies like “negging” (backhanded compliments) and “kino” (casual touches that pave the way for later advances). Regrettably, the sub-culture is still alive and well. What’s more, it’s flourishing at the Eaton Centre.
On Reddit and other online forums, dozens of women report being approached while shopping by persistent young guys with oddly rehearsed-sounding pickup lines. It turns out that several PUAs, as they’re known, run paid workshops and events at the mall for socially awkward dudes who are eager to learn how to talk to “targets” (i.e. women). According to one local pickup coach, the mall is “one of the world’s most popular day game locations.”
Since there are so many women in the Eaton Centre you can easily warm up and get yourself into state within 20 minutes. Eaton Centre is therefore a great first stop on your day game iternary. [sic] Do a few approaches there and you can move to other venues which may have less women but better logistics (girls who are stationary).
What to Wear to Christmas Parties: tuxedo blazers, skater skirts and more top trends for the holiday season
The holiday season brings with it a certain set of headaches: wacky relatives coming to stay, panicked shopping trips, and the dilemma of what to wear to the onslaught of parties, tree-trimmings and dinners. We can help with the latter concern, at least. Here, a guide to the season’s most stylish trends—clothes you’ll look forward to wearing well into the new year.
After launching two hugely successful stores in Vancouver earlier this year, the country’s largest online eyewear retailer has opened its first Toronto shop. Clearly Contacts’ new Queen West space features an on-site optometrist, brand name frames (including Dior, Balenciaga and Ray-Ban), in-house lines like Derek Cardigan, and prescription swimming goggles and sport glasses. While the store’s 700 frame styles represent a fraction of the 30,000-plus options available online, the shop does offer one very tangible benefit: the chance to test your frames in person instead of relying on the site’s webcam try-on tool.
317 Queen St. W., 416-205-9161, clearlycontacts.ca
Watch out, Holts: another luxury department store is staking its claim on the Mink Mile. Saks Fifth Avenue—which was recently snapped up by Hudson’s Bay Company— is planning to hoist their Canadian flagship at Yonge and Bloor Streets. Saks will be replacing the concrete-clad Bay location, which has been looking a little neglected while HBC poured love into its Queen West store. The mammoth space—Hudson’s Bay CEO was quick to point out to ROB that it’s “double the size of Holt’s”—will make it the world’s second largest Saks after the one on its namesake avenue in New York. The new owners are expecting to transform the space quickly, both inside and out, giving it a white façade with large glass sheets facing the street. No opening date is set, but we’re hoping that December 2014′s Christmas window showdown is going to be off the (gold) chain. [Report on Business]
Toronto has countless furniture stores, art galleries and showrooms selling everything from custom light fixtures to handmade rugs. With near-limitless choices, how does anyone choose what to bring home? We enlisted six of the city’s most discerning design experts—an interior designer, an architect, a textile designer, two retailers and a landscape architect—to share their favourite stores and top decor inspirations. Think of it as a shortcut to impeccable style.
As a PR executive for Holt Renfrew, Wright owns an envious collection of Céline and Hermès—pieces of art in and of themselves—and Wilson, founder and president of Photostar, has many of his own photographs exhibited in their Wychwood Park house. There’s no question this is a stylish couple. But the real stars are their kids, eight-year-old Max and six-year-old Henry, whose toys and artwork are everywhere. The couple’s favourite piece? A 30-foot-long installation by their kids on white computer paper that runs the length of a living room wall, which they refer to as their Guernica.
Burstyn-Fritz, a director at Knot PR, and Smith, a commercial real estate broker, met 12 years ago as sweaty, awkward teenagers at the Annex’s Brunswick House. They just got married last spring. When they moved in to their Summerhill condo in 2009, they wanted to design a space that reflected both of their personalities and styles: Burstyn-Fritz is all flash and colour, whereas Smith is clean-lined and functional.
The semi-annual One Of A Kind lands back at Exhibition Place later this week. At the one-stop gift mecca, 800 artisans from across the country peddle handcrafted clothing, art, gourmet cooking oils, jewellery, knick-knacks, toys and more. It’s the easiest way to power-shop your way through your Christmas list in a single day—if you can navigate the hundreds of booths. To help, here’s a shortlist of our favourite products.
Nov. 28 –Dec. 8, M-Sa 10-9, Su 10-6. Tickets $14. Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition place, 100 Princes’ Blvd., 416-960-3680, oneofakindshow.com
Carly and her husband, Jesse, are professionally laid-back. They started a line of high-end sweats and hoodies in 2007 before founding their current venture, Tkees flip-flops. Their sandals are favoured by celebs like Angelina Jolie and Beyoncé. The pair got together after a friend asked Jesse to pick up Carly en route to a party one night in 2004; they married six years later. Last year, they moved in to their large Forest Hill apartment where they live with their two kids, three-year-old Jensen and one-year-old Sienna.
In the era of e-tail, Yorkdale and Sherway Gardens, two of Toronto’s chi-chiest cathedrals of consumption, are preparing for battle. They’re undergoing colossal renos, dropping huge wads of cash and amping up the pamper factor in an effort to coax us off the couch and back into their stores. Here’s how the projects stack up.
Yorkdale: $331 million to add 298,000 square feet to the existing 1.6 million over two years.
Sherway: $335 million to add 210,000 square feet to the existing 988,000 over three and a half years.
Eight years ago, when gallery owner Daniel Faria set foot inside a crumbling Victorian in Little Portugal, it was love at first sight—even if the former rooming house needed some work before he could move in. Faria, now 37, lives there with his partner, Rui Amaral, the 25-year-old Scrap Metal Gallery curator. The space is completely whitewashed to resemble a fantasy Parisian apartment, with dark wood floors and lots of artwork—especially by one of the couple’s favourite artists, Douglas Coupland (whom Faria also represents).