Mississauga’s Square One Centre has mostly kept out of the ongoing battle among GTA malls, but Oxford Properties Group, which owns Square One, has shown signs in recent weeks that it’s about to enter the fray. According to Retail Insider, October will see Topshop and Topman opening on the main floor of Hudson’s Bay there, while the Globe and Mail reported earlier this month that Oxford was trying to lure Holt Renfrew away from Cadillac Fairview’s Sherway Gardens (Holt Renfrew says it’s sticking with its long-term lease at Sherway). Square One also landed a Target location, which opened today, and is undertaking an $84-million renovation to the common areas and food court, which should be completed by August. All of which may not challenge fellow Oxford property Yorkdale Mall’s position atop the suburban mall hierarchy—but it should at least help Square One to stay in the game.
Yesterday, Topshop cut the ribbon on its grand new home at The Bay’s flagship at Yonge and Queen, a 19,000-square-foot store-within-a-store. (Until now, Topshop had given downtowners a bit of a snub, treating Yorkdale to a 15,000-square-foot space, while The Bay on Queen had little more than a wall of Topshop merch—which we celebrated nonetheless.) The new digs are on the second and third levels of the department store and include a vastly enlarged selection from the trend-centric British brand, including a large section of Topman menswear. The capsule collections have also begun to arrive: six exuberantly colourful pieces by of-the-moment Scottish designer Louise Gray are already available in store.
The Bay announced today that it will be opening up two new Topshop and Topman locations in Vancouver and Toronto in October—Vancouver’s shops are going to occupy a staggering 33,000 square feet of the Granville Street location, while Toronto’s new shop-in-shops will be hosted at the Bay on Queen, filling a much humbler 19,000 square feet of space. We spoke to a Topshop rep who says given the typical Queen West shopper, there’s a good likelihood that The Bay on Queen will be stocking some of Topshop’s edgier pieces. Perhaps that means Toronto will face a push for sequined Aztec leggings and, um, whatever this is.
This week marked the opening of Topshop and Topman at Yorkdale, which we’re certain is already yesterday’s news. Frankly, as hosts Bonnie Brooks and Sir Philip Green would agree (they both mentioned it in their speeches), this was a move on The Bay’s part that has been years in the making (and as such, we’ve been hearing about the acquisition for what feels like years as well). To celebrate, Sir Philip Green, Brooks and other Topshop dignitaries—like brand director for Topman David Shepherd, Topshop managing director Mary Homer, Topshop creative director Kate Phelan and Topman design and development director Gordon Richardson—hosted a dinner at One restaurant that brought together model Coco Rocha and fashion plates like Fashion’s Susie Sheffman and Bernadette Morra, Flare’s Liz Cabral, Sharp magazine’s Jeremy Freed, National Post society columnist Shinan Govani, Suzanne Boyd, MuchMusic’s Sarah Taylor, writer Sarah Nicole Prickett, the Globe and Mail’s Tiyana Grulovic, Men’s Fashion’s David Livingston and the Kills’ Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince. Check out the scene after the jump.
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Topshop prepares for a big British celebration for the store’s official launch at Yorkdale on October 5
Topshop is opening the doors to its flagship location at Yorkdale with a big two-day British-style celebration that will feature two U.K. bands: an invite-only concert on October 4 by indie duo The Kills at the Hoxton (69 Bathurst St.) and a free public show on October 5 by pop-electro outfit Friendly Fires at Yorkdale’s Topman. On opening day, the store will offer beauty makeovers and a photo booth, and there will be lemonade and sweet treats for power shoppers to consume. There’s no word yet on whether friends of the brand—like Kate Moss and Sienna Miller—will be in attendance, but given that there’s an opportunity to peruse and purchase exclusive items (some pieces are one of a kind—once they’re gone, they’re gone) at the store on October 5, we think we’d prefer fewer people trying to rob us of the opportunity to buy clothes we may or may not need. After we check out the new digs, we’ll be heading over to the Friendly Fires concert to catch some of front man Ed Macfarlane’s outrageous dance moves.
(Images: Courtesy of Topshop)
1. ST. LAWRENCE MARKET STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL (FREE!)
It’s berry season in Ontario, and St. Lawrence Market is celebrating with its annual strawberry-focused fest. The morning’s events are split between how-to sessions (making strawberry-mint jam with Bumpercrop, say, or a cooking demo with celeb chefs Massimo Capra and Michael Bonacini) and taste tests (chocolate-covered strawberries, chocolate strawberry shortcake and strawberry lemonade). You really can’t go wrong. June 18. St. Lawrence Market, 92-95 Front St. E., stlawrencemarket.com.
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In recent years, NXNE has really expanded its offerings to become something of a cultural event. (Hello, film fest and digital media conference.) But it’s also the same gigantic, new music-focused fest we’ve loved for the past 17 years—that would be the seven days and seven nights of shows and parties bit—with a lineup that includes Devo, The Pharcyde, Fucked Up, Diamond Rings, the Dum Dum Girls and Braids. To June 19. Five-day wristband $50; events at Yonge-Dundas Square free. Various locations, 416-863-6963, nxne.com.
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The Bay has announced that U.K. imports Topshop and Topman will arrive at Yorkdale this September. Topshop will be joining others like J. Crew (slated to open this summer), and Victoria’s Secret and Burberry, which also opened their first Canadian outposts at the out-of-downtown mall.
Downtowners needn’t despair though; The Bay has planned a pop-up shop next weekend from June 17 to 19 at Queen and Soho, and a capsule collection of Topshop favourites curated by Toronto’s Tommy Ton opening June 30 at the Queen Street Bay flagship. Who would have guessed Toronto’s hottest place to get fashion-forward duds would be where we watched our first R-rated movie and overstayed our welcome at the Rainforest Café?