Japanese brand Uniqlo is officially setting up shop in Toronto. Rumours have been flying for the past few years (remember when it was maybe going to open inside The Bay?), and today the popular international retailer beloved by regular folk and fashion plates alike finally confirmed that it will open two colourful flagships in the fall of 2016: a 28,000-square-foot store at the north end of the Eaton Centre, and a 24,000-square-foot location in Yorkdale, both carrying the label’s full line of affordable-yet-stylish apparel for men, women and children eager to stock up on cozy cashmere sweaters and clean, structured essentials like this tuxedo coat.
On Saturday, Justin Bieber strolled through the Eaton Centre with on-again, off-again girlfriend Selena Gomez. Three beefy security guards flanked the couple as a crowd of tweens converged to snap photos of The Biebs’s waning career (and Brett Lawrie jersey). No word yet on whether Gomez has been diagnosed with Stockholm Syndrome—why else would the starlet be caught kissing Bieber in the cosmetics section of what sure looks like The Bay?
You can find where your favourite A-lister was spotted on our TIFF celebrity map. See someone famous around town yourself? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet with the hashtag #TIFF14spotted.
Nostalgia is more than just the latest internet meme. It taps into a primal and powerful part of our collective identity. The web’s latest deluge of look-back content got us sharing memories here at Toronto Life. It wasn’t long before we had pages and pages of notes about how our city once was, and the experiences that determined our sense of civic pride and shame. (In ten years, there will a post like this heavily featuring Rob Ford). We’ve compiled our favourites from the decade of huge hair, 1050 CHUM and Art Eggleton. Here, 15 signs you grew up in Toronto in the 1980s.
The old Spadina 77 buses seemed to come every five seconds, yet they were always sweaty, crammed and infuriating (unlike today’s modern TTC). You could get through it by singing the Shuffle Demons’ delightful “Spadina Bus”—a surprise top-40 hit from 1986. The 77 route was eliminated in the ’90s when Spadina Avenue was revamped to reinstate the 510 streetcar. And the fate of the Shuffle Demons? One of them is running for mayor. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s a tale of potentially shady restaurant employers getting their comeuppance. The Star reports that on January 7, Ontario’s labour board ruled that Richtree Market, a chain restaurant in the Eaton Centre, violated labour laws by laying off 50 unionized workers. Richtree let the employees go last January when it closed its market-style lunch counter in the mall’s food court. The chain then went and opened a new, renovated outlet about 50 feet away from the old one—and hired all-new, non-union staff. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
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).
After much speculation, Sears Canada has struck a $400-million deal with its landlords to sell back five of its most valuable leases—including the lease on its Eaton Centre store. (Locations in Sherway Gardens, Markham’s Markville Shopping Centre, London and Richmond, B.C. are also slated to close over the next 18 months.) The rampant rumours about who will take over the prime real estate in the centrally-located mall have already begun. The top contender seems to be Nordstrom, which is already planning stores in Sherway Gardens and Yorkdale but hasn’t yet secured space downtown. However, it’s a safe bet that several other retailers are also salivating over the 800,000-square-foot space. Let the games begin.
The third level of the Eaton Centre has become the location of choice for global labels catering to trend-conscious working women. The latest to land: a second Canadian store from Loft, the affordable brand owned by the same parent company as Ann Taylor. Similar in size to Loft’s Yorkdale location, the Eaton Centre store has a large petites section and carries a full range of clothing, accessories and footwear, most of which come in under $100. The brand’s move into the downtown mall is part of the same expansion campaign that saw the launch of Canadian online shopping earlier this spring. Conquering the suburbs is next, with Loft stores set to open in Lime Ridge Mall in Hamilton in July, Markville Shopping Centre in Markham in August and Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga in October.
The new discount spinoff from Holt Renfrew has not one packed rack of last season’s rejects. Instead, you’ll find 25,000 square feet of current-season merch from upscale brands and designer’s diffusion lines. Learn more »
1 Bass Pro Mills Drive, Vaughan, 905-886-2427, holtrenfrew.com
The Yorkville shop has some truly beautiful handcrafted shoes for men from designers like Saint Crispin’s, Carmina and Gaziano & Girling. Shoes can be made to order, and leather accessories are also available. Learn more »
24 Bellair St. Unit 7, 416-967-3668, leatherfoot.com
The hordes of shoppers at the Eaton Centre are a study in Toronto sociology: a utterly heterogeneous mix of loitering teens, buttoned-down office workers, gawking tourists and commuters just trying to get into the subway. Here, our favourite looks from a recent trip to the mega-mall.
Condo developers aren’t the only ones salivating over Toronto’s buoyant economy. A raft of international retailers set up shop this year, hoping to capitalize on the city’s boom times. They flocked to malls and retail strips, and every month brought another announcement of a big brand heading this way (with Nordstrom and Target also slated to open Toronto outposts, the trend isn’t showing signs of slowing). Below, a roundup of the most high-profile stores that opened in the last 12 months.
With American Thanksgiving nearly here, it’s time to brace for rampant, riot-like shopping. Yes, November 23 is Black Friday, the infamous American sale event when crazed holiday shoppers buy enough merchandise to put retailers “in the black” for the year. In recent years, the idea has migrated north, giving Canadians a chance to cash in on the often ridiculous discounts. Stores frequently try to keep the details of the sales hush-hush until the big day, but we’ve rounded up some of the spots in the city where you should be able to score a sale. Here, the best Black Friday deals in Toronto.
Introducing: Ann Taylor at the Eaton Centre, the first international store from the women’s office-wear brand
Women’s office-wear retailers are battling it out on the third floor of the Eaton Centre: international chains J.Crew and Massimo Dutti both recently opened outposts there, and U.S. retailer Ann Taylor launched its first international store along the same corridor early last month (that’s in addition to the existing Club Monaco and Banana Republic locations). Ann Taylor is generally thought to be stodgier than the other two new brands, which probably compete more directly with its more casual spinoff, Ann Taylor Loft. However, the the well-constructed suits, separates, accessories and shoes are hipper—and the clientele younger—than its reputation would suggest.
Reaction Roundup: Oxford’s $3-billion development proposal for Front Street (which includes a casino)
The city’s councillors and columnists are now debating the benefits and drawbacks of the second downtown mega-plan to be unveiled in as many weeks. On Friday, Oxford Properties unveiled a (previously leaked) proposal for a $3-billion revamp of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre that would add two office/residential towers, a hotel, a new Eaton Centre–esque retail space and a strip of parkland. Of course, the entire plan is contingent on Oxford getting the go-ahead to build an on-site casino—a crucial detail we imagine is meant to put pressure on casino opponents (and to position Oxford as the logical choice to build it). Unsurprisingly, politicians and pundits jumped at the fresh opportunity to weigh in on the casino debate.
J.Crew isn’t the only high-profile international brand to recently open in the Eaton Centre—Massimo Dutti, a Spanish chain from the same parent company as Zara, has launched its first North American store on the third level of the mall (it already has locations in more than 50 countries around the world). The clothing for both sexes is slightly more expensive than it is at Zara, and features more tailored shapes and higher-quality materials than the fast-fashion brand (though the font on the price tags is strangely familiar). Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
Toronto’s male preppy set was dismayed when J.Crew opted to sell only womenswear at its Yorkdale Mall store, meaning they’d still have to to go online (or trek to Buffalo) for Cape Cod-style basics. Happily, the retailer’s second Toronto location, which opened yesterday in the Eaton Centre, has enough room for a substantial menswear section with a separate entrance. All told, the new store occupies nearly 9,000 square feet, compared to Yorkdale’s 5,000. (Don’t expect the controversial pricing to change, though—the Canadian prices are still marked up over their American counterparts.)