SHOPPING ICON The city’s central shopping hub, the Toronto Eaton Centre marks its 30th anniversary this year, and with more than 285 stores, there’s a lot to celebrate. Find such retail favourites as Zara, Godiva, Harry Rosen and Eddie Bauer. Coach and Lacoste are the latest additions to the mall’s lineup. Open daily. 220 Yonge St., 416-598-8560.
MILE OF MINK Regarded as one of Toronto’s trendiest—and most expensive—neighbourhoods, Bloor-Yorkville is home to many posh shops like Gucci, Chanel, Plaza Escada and Louis Vuitton. Those looking to add to their jewellery box should visit the likes of Cartier, Tiffany & Co., and Royal de Versailles for all things diamond, pearl and platinum. The intimate Hazelton Lanes complex offers a vast selection including home decor goods at Teatro Verde, women’s apparel at Andrew’s and gourmet edibles at Whole Foods Market. Open daily. 55 & 87 Avenue Rd., 416-968-8602.
DESIGNER EMPORIUM Canada’s prestigious Holt Renfrew is a two-storey haven of exclusive brands and designers such as Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, Etro and Burberry. A revamped shoe boutique that opened earlier this spring stocks the best names in designer footwear—Jimmy Choo, Paul Smith and Barker Black and more—while the selection of furs is the perfect antidote for cold winters. Open daily. 50 Bloor St. W., 416-922-2333.
LAKESIDE RESPITE Lake Ontario is the backdrop for Queen’s Quay Terminal, providing visitors a picturesque view as they shop ’til they drop. Canadian retailers rule here, from women’s apparel at Tabi to travel clothing and accessories at Tilley Endurables and the Canadian Naturalist (416-203-0365). For Inuit art and sculptures, try Arctic Nunavut, which carries jewellery and books. Open daily. 207 Queens Quay W., 416-203-0510.
CANADA’S HISTORIC RETAILER Founded in 1670 during the height of the fur trade, The Bay is now one of the largest retailers in Canada and North America’s oldest department store. Find housewares, designer apparel, fragrances and cosmetics from the likes of Kenneth Cole, Valentino, Juicy Couture, Yves Saint Laurent and Stella McCartney. The Bay’s Yonge Street location is a multi-storey destination with entire floors devoted to mens’ or ladies’ fashions. Open daily. 176 Yonge St., 416-861-9111; plus other locations.
HIGH-TECH TOYS Since 1946, Bay Bloor Radio has been the city’s one-stop shop for home theatre systems and personal audio goods. Boasting one of Toronto’s most extensive selections of headphones, the store also stocks home theatre systems and mobile audio from such reputable brands such as Bose, Denon, Yamaha and Apple. Open Monday to Saturday. 55 Bloor St W., 416-967-1122.
ONE-OF-A-KIND Hit Queen Street West and West Queen West for independent stores carrying apparel, accessories, footwear and home decor by local designers. The style here runs the gamut from grunge to urban-sophisticate. Check out the vintage apparel at 69 Vintage, hard-to-find international labels such as Ozwald Boateng and Cop-Copine at Kama Kazi Boutique, and men’s and women’s apparel by Canadian brands like Jason Matlo, Juma and Nada at Boutique Le Trou (940 Queen St. W., 416-516-7122). Queen Street West from Bathurst Street to Yonge Street; West Queen West from Bathurst Street to Niagara Street.
UNDERGROUND SHOPPING Toronto’s PATH system is the largest underground shopping network in the world. Stretching approximately 27 km, PATH is home to more than 1,200 shops below the city. Union Station, the Toronto Eaton Centre, Brookfield Place, Scotia Plaza and First Canadian Place are along the route. Retailers are open early, most from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday. From the Toronto Coach Terminal (at Dundas and Bay streets) to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre South Building (222 Bremner Blvd.).
BIGGER IS BETTER One-stop shopping starts at Mississauga’s Square One Shopping Centre. Ontario’s largest mall boasts more than 360 stores, including 17 jewellery stores such as Birks and Mappins, 21 footwear stores including Browns and Steve Madden, and apparel boutiques for men, women and children like French Connection and Harry Rosen. The Bay and Sears anchor this massive complex, offering many designer labels from Lacoste and Calvin Klein to Ralph Lauren and Hugo Boss. Open daily. 100 City Centre Dr., Mississauga, 905-279-SHOP.
NEW SHOPPING STOMPING GROUNDS Vaughan Mills Shopping Center is Ontario’s newest shopping destination—the first enclosed retail centre to be built in Canada in 16 years. Canada’s only Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Store is here, which carries fishing, camping and other outdoor apparel. The country’s largest Tommy Hilfiger and Toys “R” Us also feature prominently here, alongside other designer outlets such as Lacoste and Oakley. Open daily. 1 Bass Pro Mills Dr., 905-879-2110.
For more holiday shopping stories, please see the following:
The Gift List
All That Glitters
Home Sweet Home
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