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Pearson Goes Posh: the most luxurious new features at the airport Toronto loves to hate

Things to Do at Toronto Pearson Airport

Things to do at Toronto Pearson Airport (clockwise from top left): renderings of the duty-free shopping area, Vinifera, the new GoodLife Fitness club and Marathi (Images: Nuance, GTO, GoodLife)

Is Pearson airport officially swanky? YYZ has a new fitness centre, a luxury shopping space in the works, and a handful of restaurants serving food worthy of an Ossington hotspot. In other words, Canada’s busiest airport is finally transitioning from an if-only-I-could-nap-on-these-benches airport into an interesting place to pass the hours between flights. It’s unclear whether credit should go to Toronto’s increasingly upscale tastes, the need to compete with Billy Bishop’s free lattes, or sheer numbers (35 million people passed through Pearson Airport in 2012 alone). Whatever the motivation, here are our favourite new things to do at Toronto Pearson Airport.

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The Goods

Stores

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A massive new outlet mall west of Toronto will have the first ever Hudson’s Bay outlet store

Construction is well underway (Image: Premium Outlets)

Real estate giants Simon Property Group and Calloway Real Estate Investment Trust are opening a huge outlet mall on August 1 in Halton Hills, about an hour’s drive from downtown. Along with the first Hudson’s Bay outlet store, Toronto Premium Outlets will also have the first Canadian discount locations of several big-name brands, including Kate Spade New York, DKNY and Restoration Hardware.  In all, the mall will have about 85 stores, with plans for a second phase of construction when some of the luxury brands just now arriving in Canada are ready to open discount offshoots. Between Halton Hills and Tanger Factory Outlets’s plans to expand their Cookstown outlet centre, Torontonians could soon see the end of a long-standing tradition of cross-border shopping. Below, the full list of stores.

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The Look: Toronto’s stylish set becomes caped crusaders when the weather gets chilly

Caped Crusaders

For that transitional time between unbearable heat and unbearable cold, the city’s trendsetters are taking style cues from fairy tales. A cape is a romantic statement piece, the perfect thing to wear while leaves are underfoot and hot coffee is in hand.

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Another win for Yorkdale mall: Tory Burch is set to open a store

The words “Yorkdale mall” used to conjure images of too many teenagers hanging around the Rainforest Café, but the mall has been on a bender of adding chichi new retailers in the past few years—Canada’s first J. Crew, Michael Kors, Burberry, Tiffany and Co. In May, the mall will be home to Canada’s first Tory Burch store. Tory Burch is known for her preppy bohemian aesthetic and has earned a slew of accolades, including being named one of Forbes’ most powerful women in the world in 2010 and one of Glamour’s women of the year in 2011, and winning the CFDA award for accessory designer of the year in 2008. The new Yorkdale store will be a 2,500-square-foot space housing the breadth of Burch’s collection, including ready-to-wear pieces, shoes, handbags, eyewear, jewellery and small leather goods. There will even be a bookshelf with iPads for beleaguered boyfriends and husbands. Now we’ve got yet another reason to brave those intimidating teens—maybe we’ll just steer clear of the movie theatre.

The Goods

Stores

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Louis Vuitton and Burberry awarded $2.5 million in a record-setting settlement, courtesy of Canadian fake-makers

Those who want Louis Vuitton may have to actually go inside a store. (Image: zoetnet)

Back in March, we wrote about a case that was brewing between luxury brands—Louis Vuitton and Burberry— and manufacturers/importers of counterfeit handbags Altec Productions (Toronto-based), Carnation Fashion Co. and Singga Enterprises Inc. On Monday, Justice James Russell’s gavel came crashing down on the fake-makers, ordering Altec to pay $1.3 million, Singga $780,000 and Carnation Fashion Company $390,000. The settlement totalled $2.5 million and is officially the largest amount owed from a case of its kind, with the former record holder being a Burnaby woman who paid out $1 million. We figure most trendy shoppers will now have to settle for a much-less-expensive-and-much-more-unattractive real Coach wristlet these days, lest they end up in the middle of the next, bigger case (or worse, a drunk tank equivalent for knock-off owners). Sorry, “frugalistas.”

Firms fined $2.5 million for selling bogus goods [Vancouver Sun]

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Ron White opens a 3,000-square-foot flagship store in Yorkdale Mall

The new Ron White shop promotes the jet set life (Image: Ron White)

Yorkdale Mall announced another massive makeover at the beginning of this year, and on April 23, Canadian shoe retailer Ron White joined such names as Tiffany & Co., Burberry and Louis Vuitton. The 3,000-square-foot space is roughly double the size of the previous Ron White flagship at the Manulife Centre. It will offer a variety of new products, including two new designer collections and an entire section dedicated to Ron White’s “Signature” line, which debuted at the Golden Globes back in January.

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The Goods

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The Find: the perfect spring trench for the coolest girls

We know there’s still snow on the ground, but spring, believe it or not, is upon us, and we can’t wait to test out this knee-length Philip Sparks trench, available at Delphic. From the front, it is as classic as The Bell Jar and a breakup, but the goods are in the back. We love how the pleated flounce fans out in a peekaboo fashion. One of the best aspects: Sparks’s tailor-made clothes are all Canadian. Burberry who? $650.

Delphic, 706 Queen Street West, 416-603-3334

The Goods

Stores

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Yorkdale’s Thomas Sabo flagship may not be so charming

West Edmonton's Thomas Sabo location (Image: Supplied by Thomas Sabo)

Yorkdale continues its pursuit to become the luxury haven no one asked for. To recap: over the last year, the mall brought in big names like Burberry and Victoria’s Secret, and in January, it announced yet another multimillion-dollar expansion. We thought they might be onto something—that is, until this news reminded us how Yorkdale is the Vegas strip of malls: a Thomas Sabo flagship store is on its way.

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Stores

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Louis Vuitton and Burberry sue Canadian counterfeiters for fakes

The handbag equivalent of a James Frey novel, $45 (Image: Aidan)

Take a stroll down Spadina Avenue, peeking into Chinatown’s many nondescript knock-off handbag emporiums. But don’t look too closely, because luxury brands Louis Vuitton and Burberry are starting to fight back, and they’ve targeted Vancouver-based producers and distributors Singga Enterprises, Carnation Fashion Company and Toronto-based Altec Productions (likely names that no one has heard of until today).

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New on-line menswear store launches with Canada-U.S. price parity, PR gimmick

Mr. Porter, the new on-line luxury menswear store from the people behind Net-a-Porter, launches to the general public today. The site’s goal seems to be to serve as a cross between a style advisor and store: it offers a gratis personal shopping service (by phone or e-mail), and its weekly journal nudges readers toward purchasing items from its substantial catalogue. Expect big names like Burberry Prorsum, A.P.C. and J. Crew, as well as lesser-known brands, such as royal umbrella-maker Swaine Adeney Brigg and the work wear–inspired Margaret Howell.

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Stores

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Yorkdale announces yet another make-over

Yorkdale's swank new food court (Image: JPRA Architects)

Yorkdale, the mall version of Bloor Street, is taking a cue from the ladies-who-lunch crowd and getting a facelift. It was announced today that the shopping centre will be undergoing a $220-million renovation, scheduled to be completed by late 2012. This is far from its first reno—in 2005, the complex underwent $110 million in changes, paving the way for a boom in such high end brands as Burberry and Michael Kors, and Toronto’s first Victoria’s Secret moving into the space. Here’s what you can expect when the construction is finished:

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The Goods

Designers

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Nada Shepherd to present Canada’s first 3-D fashion show

From Nada's spring 2010 show (Image: Jenna Marie Wakani)

Like several other designers, Nada Shepherd is skipping Toronto’s official fashion week in order to do something more creative. This Wednesday, Shepherd will present her fall-winter collection with a 3-D film at the Scotiabank Theatre.

“I’m making a statement here. So much of fashion has become about celebrity, about being in the front row and getting there first,” she says. “We’ve lost the meaning behind shows, and we’re ignoring the clothing.” While this might be the case in New York, Toronto’s fashion week is hardly overrun with A-listers. Blame it on Avatar, then. Shepherd pitched the concept, a Canadian first—though Burberry did the same in London, streaming the video on-line—to the FDCC, which was excited about the idea but then decided to take her show out of the regular fashion week lineup. She didn’t want to have attendees crowding to see it.

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Golden Globe outfits trashed, Canada Goose parkas are like SUVs, Jersey Shore clothing line

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A Canada Goose parka

Dani Reiss, CEO of Canada Goose, compares his now-ubiquitous down parkas to SUVs—just as the Land Rover was not intended to be an urban status symbol (it was supposed to be an off-road vehicle), Canada Goose outerwear is made for barren northern climes. Instead, says Reiss, it’s turned into the affluent city slicker’s winter coat of choice. It’s true. People in Toronto aren’t trudging through snowdrifts, but it seems every third person is wearing a toasty Canada Goose. [Toronto Star]

• The outfits at the Golden Globes have received some pretty harsh criticism, but Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks, who plays Joan, is the target of most of the bashing. Andre Leon Talley, the larger-than-life Vogue editor-at-large, described her Christian Siriano strapless peach number as a “roadside-diner peach melba,” saying the ruffles on her frock “thudded like industrial tarp along her body.” Talley’s sentiments were shared by the New York Times’ Cathy Horyn, who called Hendricks’ outfit an “exploding ruffle dress” and agreed with a stylist who said, “You don’t put a big girl in a big dress. That’s rule number one.” [Vogue]

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Yorkdale is not without its charms

Yorkdale-ltd-edition-charmIt got Burberry before Bloor Street earlier this year, and now Yorkdale Shopping Centre has its own Tiffany bracelet. The sterling silver chain-link piece has a charm bearing the latitude and longitude of the mall, along with a grid map of the area. It’s on sale tomorrow (November 19) only, for $295, with the SickKids Foundation receiving a $34,000 donation from the proceeds. Watch out, Yorkville—with this news and plenty of parking spots, Yorkdale might be the new luxury goods hot spot for holiday shopping this winter.

Yorkdale charm bracelet, $295 at the Yorkdale customer service station. Yorkdale Shopping Centre, 3401 Dufferin St., 416-789-3261.

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Miss J. has a son, the Serena cut is the new Rachel, Jimmy Choo for H&M hits Toronto

Crocs

Is it the rainbow of colours that makes Crocs so enticing? Don't ask us (Photo by Rupert Ganzer)

• The Serena is the new Rachel. Stylists across New York are being inundated with requests for Blake Lively’s tousled tresses. One salon owner in Manhattan calls it “aspirational hair” and offers extensions to get the look for $1,200 to $1,500. Don’t blow the mortgage payment yet: another stylist says that the look flatters only tall, slim women. [New York Times]

Burberry fêted its flagship Toronto store on Bloor Street last week with a gala that drew celebs Ali Larter (of Heroes and Varsity Blues fame), as well as the inseparable After Show duo Dan Levy and Jessi Cruickshank. Meanwhile, Prince Charles and Camilla were partying with Dalton McGuinty at the Carlu, mere blocks away. Too bad the royal couple didn’t pop into the storied British store to lend star power to the guest list. [WWD]

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