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The Call of the Mall: Shopping in Mississauga

Visitors to Mississauga spend $835 million each year in retail shops alone. Little wonder, then, that the metropolis boasts some of the best one-stop-shopping destinations in the nation. From high-end wares at upscale boutiques to steals and deals at discount outlets to everything in between, you’ll find it all at the mall.

POLISHED PLACE: SHERWAY GARDENS

REASONS TO GO If a high-end shopping experience is what you’re looking for, Sherway Gardens is just the ticket. More than 200 sophisticated stores call Sherway home. Greenery and skylights in the concourse level lend a friendly, garden-inspired atmosphere to a shopping experience here. Upscale touches await you in one of two great places to take a break from it all: relax on a cushy black leather club chair in the spacious Mercedes-Benz Mississauga comfort zone next to Harry Rosen, or recharge in comfort while listening to Sirius Satellite Radio’s premium commercial-free music programming at the Sirius Listening Lounge, located near Door Three. If you need to get from one end of the shopping centre to the other in just a few minutes—or even from a specific store to the closest exit where you parked your car—simply flag down the unique in-mall shuttle, or inquire at the main customer information desk and they can locate it for you.

THE GOODS Here, find 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, including Toni Plus which stocks an extensive range of casual to dressy designer attire for plus sizes, and Ross Mayer noted for tailored suits in exquisite European fabrics. For the casually inclined, French retailer Lacoste 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. For kids, try Gymboree (416-622-8885) for clothing, and Olly Shoes for footwear. Rudsak has luxe leather accessories and garments; visit Apple for electronics. Yoga-friendly Lululemon Athletica offers togs to get zen; post-workout, visit hip clothier Abercrombie & Fitch (416-620-5882). Also find luxury accessories boutique Coach, Italian shoe purveyor Geox, cosmetics mecca MAC (416-695-2473), and designer-duds boutique Miss Sixty (416-621-7161).

WHAT’S NEW Recent openings include Honey (416-626-0040)—a women’s boutique stocking designer denim, plus gorgeous frocks and casualwear—and Abercrombie Kids, open summer 2008. Two stores benefitting from recent renos are Tommy Hilfiger (416-646-2322), which now also carries its European line of clothes and features runway fashions, and Roots, which has just been redesigned with an environmentally conscious concept.

WHERE IT’S AT 25 The West Mall (at The Queensway East), 416-621-1070. Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

ONTARIO’S BIGGEST: SQUARE ONE SHOPPING CENTRE

REASONS TO GO If you have time for only one shopping trip, let it be to Square One Shopping Centre, Ontario’s largest mall, where 1.8 million square feet of retail space houses more than 360 stores. An average of 23 million customers visit Square One each year—a testament to the retail centre’s drawing power! The mall is divided into three “neighbourhoods”: CentreWalk, CitySide and NorthSide. Each has its own colour theme and symbol—a purple tulip, an orange compass and a red clock, respectively—for easier navigation. Rest stops between the three sections get their decor inspiration from hotel lobbies and lend much-needed respite between purchasing bursts.

THE GOODS Four department stores anchor the shopping centre: The Bay, Sears, 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. “Big” is the key word here: find Ontario’s largest Old Navy (905-270-4841), and an expansive Wal-Mart on two floors covering 220,000 square feet. Fashionistas outfit themselves at Aritzia and Marciano, while dapper men enhance their wardrobes at Hugo Boss and Harry Rosen. Glamour pusses will appreciate the colourful M.A.C. cosmetics boutique and Sephora, 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. Consummate hosts “ooh” and “ahh” over the beautiful table settings at William Ashley China and the decorative crystals at Swarovski. For contemporary timepieces, set the right hand to Swatch (905-270-7085). And because you can never go wrong with jewellery, Canada’s own Birks offers an abundance of gems and watches for men and women, including exclusive designs by Esty, Marco Bicego, Di Modolo and Toni Cavelti. At Mappins find classic and contemporary fine jewellery and watches, with a collection of diamonds mined exclusively in the Northwest Territories. For shoes, visit Browns (905-566-0842), and the only Steve Madden (905-277-8160) location in Ontario. For exercise duds and loungewear, Lululemon Athletica will please yogis and sporty types alike.

WHAT’S NEW New stores here include Okaïdi (905-276-9494), a French clothier for girls and boys from 2 to 14 years old, and shoe giant Geox, an industry leader in a patented breathable shoe technology that now has clothing with the same function. Also find fashions for women at Bebe (905-275-3521) and, at Guess by Marciano (905-268-0993), men’s and women’s accessories with timeless and chic designs that combines a love for the American West with a European sensibility.

WHERE IT’S AT 100 City Centre Dr. (Highway 403 and Hurontario Street), 905-279-7467. Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. noon-6 p.m.

WEST-END CONVENIENCE: ERIN MILLS TOWN CENTRE

REASONS TO GO The 160-foot-tall clock tower marks the spot for Erin Mills Town Centre, where you’ll find more than 160 stores to meet all your shopping needs. The centre’s abundant space—more than 800,000 square feet—offers everything from apparel and jewellery to electronics and housewares to sporting goods and toys.

THE GOODS In an intimate setting, find anchor stores such as The Bay, Sears and Zellers (905-828-9975), as well as the tried-and-true favourites of mall shopping: fashion-forward Guess (905-569-9993) and the all-Canadian Roots. But truly distinctive are loose-leaf teas from Teopia and the Victorian-era-inspired linens at Vintage & Memories (905-820-8880). Canadian chocolate confectioner Purdy’s has been around for a hundred delicious years. Cassis (905-569-9142) carries fashionable womenswear, and Tall Girl stocks contemporary couture for taller women and juniors in sizes 6 to 22. Bling it up at Mappins mwith Canadian-mined diamonds and other beautiful baubles. Pure Med Spa (905-402-2405) is the place to go for a little well-deserved pampering—a range of services includes mani and pedis, peels, Botox, waxing, laser hair removal and much more. X stands for accessories (and shoes!) at Costa Blanca X (905-828-3494). RW & Co. (905-607-5023) outfits women with fashionable clothes. If the toddler is getting hairy, kid-friendly stylist Melonhead (905-276-0004) specializes in children’s cuts; your little one can ride a “pony” while a favourite TV show or movie plays in the background. If you’ve misplaced your specs, pick up a new pair at eyeglass specialist Pearle Vision (905-607-8276).

WHAT’S NEW Beloved teens’ clothing den Aéropostale (905-569-1826) is new to this mall, as is jeweller Charm Diamond Centre (905-828-6678).

WHERE IT’S AT 5100 Erin Mills Pkwy. (at Eglinton Avenue), 905-569-1981. Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

DISCOUNTS AND DEALS: DIXIE OUTLET MALL

REASONS TO GO Dixie Outlet Mall is our favourite kind of shopping destination—a discount outlet mall. Dixie boasts bargains galore—the 135 stores here offer discounts of 30 to 70 per cent off already discounted wares.

THE GOODS Among the brand-name outlets you’ll find are The Bombay Company, 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 Town Shoes (905-274-3861), Foot Locker Canada (905-278-2784) and Aldo Liquidation (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). A Nine West Outlet (905-271-6229) keeps shoe-aholics looking for their fave brand at reduced prices on their toes.

WHAT’S NEW For all your hat needs, head to Lids (905-274-6507), or visit E.B. Games (905-271-9266) for the latest in video games and accessories at outlet prices. At La Vie En Rose Aqua (905-891-6161), you’ll find bathing suits, cover-ups and swimwear.

WHERE IT’S AT 1250 South Service Rd. (at Dixie Road and the QEW), 905-278-7492. Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

BIG-BOX BONANZA: HEARTLAND TOWN CENTRE

REASONS TO GO 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.

THE GOODS Each quadrant has its own anchor store: for clothing, there’s a 40,000-square-foot Winners; for electronics and more, a Future Shop (905-567-0490) on one quadrant; and a Best Buy (905-361-8251) in another; for housewares, there’s a Home Outfitters (905-363-0433). Men’s fashions are a hit at Harry Rosen 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 everything you could need on the golf course, like clubs and accessories, at Golf Town, unisex apparel at Tommy Hilfiger (905-826-9645) and elegant ladies’ fashions at Nygård (905-501-7522) and BCBG Max Azria (905-366-0197). Make photography a snap at Vistek (905-593-1777), and pick up stylish walking shoes at Ecco. For women’s clothing, visit Jones New York (905-501-9406); for men’s duds, try Moores. For unisex clothes, head to Calvin Klein (905-507-0145).

WHAT’S NEW New stores include Kitchen Stuff Plus (905-890-8909) and a Wal-Mart (905-817-9688) supercentre, where you’ll find apparel, electronics and more for your home.

WHERE IT’S AT At Mavis Road and Britannia Road West. Most stores are open daily; call specific ones to verify hours.

—Viviane Kertész and Linda Luong

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