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Teeming crowds and designer discounts at Toronto’s newest and biggest outlet mall

Toronto Premium Outlets

Toronto Premium Outlets, the gleaming new outlet mall in Halton Hills, has the same global brands, low-slung architecture and miles of parking as a major U.S. outlet centre—and the same massive crowds. We stopped by to see whether it lives up to the hype. Here, a tally of the mall’s best stores and biggest disappointments, plus a slideshow of our top 12 deals.

Most Important Distinction: high-end steals versus made-for-outlet duds 
Unlike Ted Baker and Ports 1961, where we found steep discounts on high-end merchandise, other shops—including J.Crew, Brooks Brothers, Kate Spade, DKNY and Gap—were mostly crammed with diffusion lines (i.e. clothes made solely for outlet offshoots) with shabbier-looking products than we’re used to seeing from those brands. If you search extra-diligently you can sometimes find a clearance rack from the mainstream line.

Best Treasure Hunt: Hudson’s Bay Outlet
After some bewildered wandering through the vast outlet store–the first in Canada–we stumbled across a section near the cash registers devoted to The Room, the Bay’s high-end boutique. Jackpot: Alberta Ferreti, Armani, Balmain, Rodarte and Erdem, all between 70 and 90 per cent off.

Biggest Source of Toronto Pride: Ports 1961
Ports’s outlet boutique may not be as well-appointed as the the Bloor Street store that closed earlier this year, but it’s just as crammed with gorgeous garments from the Toronto-founded ready-to-wear label.

Most Common Complaint: U.S. versus Canada price comparisons
We heard several seasoned bargain hunters complaining that prices still don’t compare to American outlets—especially when you factor in the higher sales tax.

Most Confusing Addition: Ardene
The teen-centric store’s regular prices are already rock-bottom—so why does it need an outlet location?

Most Tempting Big-Ticket Items: Restoration Hardware
The furniture still isn’t cheap, but everything is at least 30 per cent off, and new items hit the floor all the time. It also offers a great excuse to sit on an overstuffed couch after a few hours of vigorous shopping.

Biggest Queue: Coach
The outlet mall mainstay has had a line-up outside nearly every day since it opened two weeks ago. If you’re not interested in waiting, the Hudson’s Bay Outlet also carries Coach bags and shoes.

Best Reason to Stay All Day: tons of amenities
While a day at an outlet mall will never be as relaxing as strolling in Yorkville or window shopping on Queen West, the developers have provided all kinds of conveniences, including free Wifi (for bored shopping buddies), clean washrooms, plenty of benches, stroller rentals and a play area for kids.

Biggest Barrier to Entry: lack of public transportation
There’s just one thing missing, but it’s a doozy: there’s no public transportation or shuttle buses out to the centre. Better sign up for that Zipcar account.

See our top deals »

Toronto Premium Outlets, M–Sa 10-9, Su 11–7, 13850 Steeles Ave. W., Halton Hills, torontopremiumoutlets.ca

  • Ulric Pereira

    Just what the world needs, another mall crammed with junk made in China.

  • Frank Black

    Just went. Nice place but sort of far from Toronto and the price is not that attractive. If you want to know how it looks like ,you can watch
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EbXF6bzkTg

  • guest

    Have to agree. The place has some nice brands (probably the best selection of high-end brands I have seen at a Canadian outlet mall), but the prices are not that great and it is a bit of a drive. Better deals can be found in US outlet malls. Also, you have to deal with horrible traffic planning and limited parking. Save your money and your time and shop in the GTA (time) or across the border ($). If you absolutely need to check it out, wait a few months until the traffic slows down.

  • Brooklin10

    Recently visited this new outlet mall. Huge disappointment.
    Hudson Bay outlet : their stores at the regular malls had better sales.
    Coach outlet – line ups for the same old thing.
    Variety of designer jeans at various stores – no great deals.
    Lots of clothes/shoes with SMALL DISCOUNTS.
    Restoration Hardware – nice to see, hopefully will have good discounts. Regular store – extremely overpriced.
    Parking – fair amount – but probably not enough for weekend traffic. I went on a week day and it was crazy.
    A number of stores weren’t open yet.
    I didn’t see anyone room for for future growth – new outlet stores.
    Food court – small/same old thing. .Could have used this opportunity to maybe do something different – foods of the world, etc.
    No coffee shops.
    No restaurants.
    Won’t be returning. U.S. versions – much better.

  • Kate

    I live in Georgetown and was finally able to go 13 days after
    their opening. Traffic had been so heavy but not today (AUG 13)
    Traffic was great, found
    parking , saw 3 coach buses at the bus parking which explains why it was so
    busy before 4:30pm
    Line up at 2 stores
    especially COACH which averaged 20 people in line – I never went in – not crazy
    about Coach purses but found my style at FOSSIL – and way better prices for
    leather. Did buy a leather wallet for under $34.00 including tax. Some styles of watches are 60% less than the retail store. I know because I bought these watches last Christmas for over $300.00 and here some were down to $135.00!!
    Banana Republic had good prices especially for men. Hugo Boss had dress shirts for under 119. Yes, I spent $200.00 on a shirt last Christmas. Tom’s Place have
    friendly staff.
    I liked the Hudson Bay outlet store – sort of their clearance center. If you don’t want to walk a lot just go there and everything is there clothing wise and purses galore – many
    brands.
    30% of store units not opened yet. Wear very comfortable shoes.
    I was there for nearly 4 hours and I only wanted to look at dishes
    from Corning but that store wasn’t worth it. Their products are tired and expensive.
    So I went to Think Kitchen and bought dishes for 8 settings. Great Customer service!
    At the end of the day I probably would have gotten better prices in the States
    At least the sales tax difference would have covered my gas
    but hey it’s practically down the street in my case, so I will return maybe November.

    All in all I was not disappointed.

  • milanista1

    This is located…where?
    Halton what? No thanks. Really not a fan of “Toronto” being in the name. It’s a bit misleading.

  • I know

    Have you been to a Target? cheap cheap cheap …

  • eToursTO

    Correction – Toronto Premium Outlets has daily shuttle service from Toronto’s Union Station. http://torontotours.ca/vip/

 

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