The most enjoyable part of any trip has to be shopping in a new city—finding that unique souvenir for friends and family, and a little something for you, too. Mississauga’s selection is mighty impressive and all-under-one-roof shopping reigns supreme with malls and outlets that carry the world’s best brands, innovative Canadian fashion designers, must-have products and one-of-a-kind items. So put on your most comfy walking shoes, grab your credit cards and hit the mall!
SQUARE ONE SHOPPING CENTRE
WHY: If you have time for only one shopping trip, then make it to Square One Shopping Centre, Ontario’s largest and most popular mall, where 1.8 million square feet of retail space houses more than 360 stores. An average of 21 million customers visit Square One each year—a testament to the retail centre’s drawing power.
WHAT: Four department stores anchor the shopping centre: The Bay (905-270-7600), Sears (905-270-8111), Zellers (905-273-6500) and Wal-Mart (905-270-9300). Between these four points, find a vast selection of clothing, jewellery, footwear, electronics and toy stores. A recently completed $33-million reno and expansion divides the mall into three distinctive “neighbourhoods”: CentreWalk, CitySide and NorthSide. Colour themes and symbols—a purple tulip, an orange compass and a red clock—provide visual links to each area and make it easier to navigate the vast shopping mall or find a particular store. Transition areas between the three sections are inspired by hotel lobbies and provide comfortable rest stops with cushy seating for much-needed respite between purchasing bursts.
“Big” is the key word here: find Ontario’s largest Old Navy (905-270-4841), and the expansive Wal-Mart here is located on two floors covering 220,000 square feet, which means that if what you’re looking for isn’t here, it likely isn’t anywhere.
Fashionistas outfit themselves at Aritzia (905-949-0600) and Marciano (905-361-0881), while dapper men enhance their wardrobes at Hugo Boss (905-896-1103) and Harry Rosen (905-896-1103)—the company’s flagship store in the Greater Toronto Area.
Glamour pusses will appreciate the stand-alone M.A.C. Cosmetics (905-272-0790) boutique and Sephora (905-279-4400), the candy shop equivalent for women, which carries makeup brands like Stila and Cargo. Environmentally friendly but sweet-smelling shampoos, conditioners, lotions, makeup and candles are at Aveda (905-306-7067).
Consummate hosts “ooh” and “ahh” over the beautiful table settings at William Ashley China and the decorative crystals at Swarovski (905-290-8193). For contemporary timepieces, set the right hand to Fossil (905-270-9338) and Swatch (905-270-7085). And because you can never go wrong with jewellery, Canada’s own Birks (905-275-1344) offers an abundance of gems and watches for men and women, including exclusive designs by Esty, Michele della Valle and Toni Cavelti. The jewellery selection at Mappins is extensive, and includes diamonds mined exclusively in the Northwest Territories.
New stores include shoe giants Browns (905-566-0842), women’s footwear specialists Bandolino (905-896-1300) and the only Steve Madden (905-277-8160) location in Ontario. The beach crew flocks to Ron Jon Surf Shop (905-804-1800) to stock up on sand-and-sun gear. For exercise togs and loungewear, recent addition Lululemon Athletica (905-949-0220) will please yogis and other sporty types alike.
WHERE & WHEN: Square One Shopping Centre is at 100 City Centre Dr. (Highway 403 and Hurontario Street). Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. noon-6 p.m. Call 905-279-7467 or visit www.shopsquareone.com for more information.
WHY: If a high-end shopping experience is what you’re looking for, Sherway Gardens has got it all. More than 200 haute couture stores call Sherway home, including Canada’s über department store Holt Renfrew, which carries apparel and accessories by Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Prada and Michael Kors among others. Some of the country’s most renowned womenswear designers also have boutiques here, such as and Ross Mayer (416-622-9282), noted for his tailored suits in exquisite European fabrics.
WHAT: For the casually inclined, French retailer Lacoste (416-620-1414) rules. Cookware emporium Williams-Sonoma (416-621-9005) and Ta-Ze (416-626-6553), which carries olive oils, vinegars and spices, are a must for gastronomes. And on Fridays until the growing season ends in October, the north parking lot even has fresh produce at the Sherway Farmers’ Market, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine.
Visit Apple (416-646-8489) for electronics; for kids, try Gymboree for clothing (416-622-8885) and Olly Shoes (416-622-6522) for footwear. New store additions include Rudsak (416-620-1555) for leather accessories and garments, plus yoga-friendly Lululemon Athletica (416-620-6518) and women’s clothier Cassis (416-621-4435). The newly renovated Toni Plus (416-622-0784) stocks an extensive range of casual to dressy designer attire for plus sizes.
WHERE & WHEN: Sherway Gardens is located at 25 The West Mall (at Queensway East). Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 416-621-1070 or visit www.sherwaygardens.ca for more information.
ERIN MILLS TOWN CENTRE
WHY: The 160-foot-tall clock tower marks the spot for Erin Mills Town Centre, where you’ll find 160 stores to meet all your shopping needs. The centre’s abundant 799,000 square feet offers everything from apparel, electronics and housewares, to jewellery, sporting goods and toys.
WHAT: In an intimate setting, find anchor stores such as The Bay (905-820-8300), Sears (905-607-2300) and Zellers (905-828-9975), as well as the tried-and-true favourites of mall shopping: fashion-forward Guess? (905-569-9993), and all-Canadian Roots (905-569-3988). But truly distinctive are loose-leaf teas from Teopia and the Victorian-era-inspired linens at Vintage & Memories (905-820-8880).
New additions include Inglot (905-607-1853), a makeup store offering a veritable beauty buffet of colours for lips, eyes and cheeks. Canadian chocolate confectioner Purdy’s (905-608-8822) has been around for a hundred delicious years, or if you get hungry for a meal, try Thai fare at Spring Rolls (905-607-7655). Cassis (905-569-9142) carries fashionable women’s wear, and Tall Girl (905-569-0892) stocks contemporary couture for taller women and juniors in sizes 6 to 22.
Bling it up at Mappins (905-607-6884) with Canadian-mined diamonds and other beautiful baubles. Pure Med Spa (905-402-2405) is the place to go for a little pampering—a range of services includes mani and pedis, peels, Botox, waxing, laser hair removal and much more. If the toddler needs a haircut, kid-friendly Melonhead (905-276-0004) specializes in children’s cuts up to age 6; your little one can pick a really cool chair while a favourite TV show or movie plays in the background.
WHERE & WHEN: Erin Mills Town Centre is located at 5100 Erin Mills Pkwy. (at Eglinton Avenue). Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 905-569-1981 or visit www.erinmills.ca for more info.
DIXIE OUTLET MALL
WHY: Dixie Outlet Mall is our favourite kind of shopping destination—a discount outlet mall. Dixie offers bargains galore—the 135 stores here offer discounts of 30 to 50 per cent off already-discounted wares. Legions of shoppers have taken the short trip off the QEW between Toronto and Buffalo to find the best deals at its great stops.
WHAT: Among the brand name retail- and manufacturer-outlet stores you’ll find are The Bombay Company (905-278-5259), Tabi International (905-271-7143), and The Royal Doulton Outlet (905-278-6100). Find fabulous seasonal casualwear and winter outerwear at Mark’s Work Wearhouse (905-271-9033). Shoes are always a steal at footwear emporiums like The Shoe Company (905-274-3861), Foot Locker Canada (905-278-2784) and Aldo For Less (905-891-0773).
A shopping experience unto itself, perusing the wares at Winners (905-278-0030) is sure to bring thrills at the end of your hunt. And teens will love the city-stylin’ togs at Urban Behavior (905-271-3055) and Urban Planet (905-274-9984).
WHERE & WHEN: Dixie Outlet Mall is located at 1250 South Service Rd. (at Dixie Road and the QEW). Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. noon-6 p.m. Call 905-278-7492 or visit www.dixieoutletmall.com for more information.
HEARTLAND TOWN CENTRE
WHY: Heartland Town Centre is the epicentre of big-box shopping in Mississauga. This 1.9-million-square-foot power centre’s four quadrants are home to more than 125 stores, ranging from apparel and footwear to sporting equipment and home electronics.
WHAT: Each quadrant has its own anchor store: for clothing, there’s a 40,000-square-foot Winners (905-712-4555); for electronics and so much more, a Future Shop (905-567-0490) and on another quadrant, a Best Buy (905-361-8251); for housewares, there’s a Home Outfitters (905-363-0433). Men’s fashion is a hit at Harry Rosen (905-890-3100) and, for larger lads, George Richards Big and Tall (905-602-8464). Motherhood Maternity (905-501-9817) has got it all if you’re expecting.
Find clubs and accessories at Golf Town (905-567-9647), fine crystal at Mikasa> (905-890-0240), brand-name cookware and bakeware at Golda’s Kitchen (905-712-1475), unisex apparel at Tommy Hilfiger (905-826-9645) and elegant ladies’ fashions at Nygård (905-501-7522). Nosh on award-winning ribs and so much more at Bâton Rouge (905-567-1190), sample tasty offerings from the menu at Milestones (905-507-4118), or enjoy Italian cuisine at EastSide Mario’s (905-502-6600). For dessert, sample delectable donuts at Krispy Kreme (905-826-2166) to re-energize before you pound the pavement in search of more serendipitous finds!
WHERE & WHEN: Heartland Town Centre is at Mavis Road and Britannia Road West. Most stores are open daily; call specific ones to verify hours, or visit www.heartlandtown.com.
—Linda Luong and Viviane Kertész