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Hot Shopping: Swiss Army’s New Store

A company indelibly tied to Switzerland is spreading its wings in Toronto. Victorinox Swiss Army has opened its first North American store—and only its fourth in the world—in Yorkville. The expansive two-storey space, with oak walls, concrete floors and floor-to-ceiling windows, carries a vast selection of the company’s namesake products, including cutlery, travel gear, fragrance, apparel, and, of course, signature Swiss Army knives. Women’s clothing will be available here for the first time in Canada; much like the men’s line, expect versatile, travel-friendly pieces. Inspired by the New Zealand landscape, this year’s collection is awash in vibrant shades of green, yellow and orange, plus the brand’s trademark red, black and navy.

Where in Toronto: Springin’ Forward

Spend a sunny spring day exploring the Evergreen Brick Works (photo by Craig Moy)

This week, seemingly just as I had become comfortable using it, I left the sheltered PATH system in favour of my original ground-level route between Union Station and Where‘s offices on Queen Street. I traded my Ugg boots for flats, switched my winter coat for a light spring jacket and strutted up Yonge Street. With the sun in my face and the snow gone (or rather, averted), it seemed as though hibernation season had ended. Thermometers have already donned double-digit temperatures, after all—the sort of warmth we don’t typically feel until April; It’s only mid-March, but the timing is perfect to get a head start on spring.

What’s the first thing to do under these conditions?
Get out. Out of the house, the office, wherever. Just
get outside. We don’t get much time to spend outdoors, comfortably at least, so it’s best to take advantage of the few months we do get. And Toronto has a plethora of ways that city dwellers can enjoy
the pleasant weather. (more…)

Hot Shopping: More MK

If you can’t get enough of Michael Kors’ eponymous creations, you’re in luck. The prolific designer—whose namesake label is celebrating three decades this year—is setting up shop along Toronto’s Mink Mile. Scheduled to open on August 18, the much-anticipated store on Bloor Street West is set to carry an assortment of handbags, watches, leather goods, eyewear, perfume and ready-to-wear attire for women.

Hot Dining: French Flair at La Société

Photo by George Pimentel

Toronto’s tastemakers have been out in full force ever since La Société brought Parisian glamour back to the Bloor Street strip. The large bistro from hospitality impresario Charles Khabouth exudes easy-going sophistication in a second-floor space that’s dressed with a glowing bar, leather banquettes, bronze statuettes and a handcrafted stained-glass ceiling. French classics fill the menu with such offerings as duck confit ($28) and steak frites ($26), though fresh seafood and fish dishes are definitely highlighted. With summer in full swing, request a table on the terrace or street-level patio—adjacent to Toronto’s Cartier boutique, of course—for one of the city’s better people-watching experiences.

Yours to Discover: Day Six

Winter’s on its way out; it’s time to get a head start on exploring. Guide yourself with our specialized itineraries, or contact one of Toronto’s many tour operators to delve deeper into this multifaceted metropolis. And don’t forget to check out previous Yours to Discover posts, here: Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four.

Harry Rosen

Get kitted out and catwalk-ready in Toronto’s most fashion-forward locales.

CANUCK COUTURE The touring fashionista’s must-visit strip, Bloor Street West, between Yonge Street and Avenue Road, is home to a bevy of Canadian-owned retailers with global cachet, including Holt Renfrew—Toronto’s answer to Saks Fifth Avenue—fine menswear mecca Harry Rosen, and distinguished beaver-emblazoned brand Roots.

INTERNATIONAL ICONS Bloor Street also showcases standalone shops representing world-famous fashion houses, including French favourites Chanel, Hermès and Louis Vuitton, Italian labels like Gucci and Prada, as well as German stalwart Hugo Boss. Be sure to accessorize your new ensemble with baubles from Birks, Cartier or Tiffany & Co.


SINGULAR STYLE Moving north from Bloor into tony Yorkville ensures encounters with boutiques offering personalized service and unique, on-trend attire. Ladies are encouraged to try 119 Corbo, Eleven, Hugo Nicholson and the Pink Tartan store Seventy-Seven. Finery for fellows is found at Nicolas Men and Anti-Hero, among others.

INDEPENDENT SPIRIT On Queen Street, west of Bathurst, you’re sure to make a contemporary fashion “find.” For women, Robber is one of many inspired indie shops that curate new looks by emerging and established designers from Canada and abroad, while Preloved offers more relaxed garments made from reclaimed fabrics. Modish men stride into Green Shag for bespoke shirts and suits, and attention-grabbing stores like Ruins, which stock exclusive labels in gallery-like settings.

The professional image consultants of The Refinery offer a variety of weekly shopping tours that take you to chic boutiques throughout the city.

Hot Date: IceFest’s Chilly Reception

FEBRUARY 26 & 27 Bloor-Yorkville, one of Toronto’s premier shopping, dining and cultural districts, celebrates midwinter in style with its popular IceFest. This annual event takes artistic advantage of frosty temperatures to present an ice carving competition—see the intricate, crystalline sculptures in the Village of Yorkville Park and vote for your favourite. For a $5 donation, visitors can also have their picture taken with one of the large sculptures. Or, help raise funds while you shop—participating area boutiques will be giving a portion of their Saturday sales to charity.

Hot Shops: Bloor-Yorkville’s Local Spirit

NOVEMBER 20 TO JANUARY 1 The posh Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood is certain to sparkle this winter season, as its annual Holiday Magic event illuminates the locale with thousands of lights and a spectacular 30-foot Christmas tree. By day, stroll the streets and admire seasonal displays created by numerous stores, including Holt Renfrew and Harry Rosen on Bloor Street and The Guild Shop on Cumberland Street. But don’t just window shop—select Bloor-Yorkville businesses are offering discounts on everything from designer apparel to spa treatments all month long.

Weekend Roundup, November 19 to 21

The holiday season has begun in earnest in Toronto. Start getting into the spirit with a variety of fun (and in some cases, festive) events this weekend.

Friday: Indulge at the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo

Friday, November 19
The Gourmet Food and Wine Expo offers oenophiles, epicureans and bon vivants the opportunity to sample more than 1,500 wines, beers and spirits while enjoying food from Toronto’s top restaurants. The decadence is on all weekend at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

A mix of jazz, classical, pop and world music–inspired melodies fills Massey Hall tonight, as pop orchestra Pink Martini brings a bubbly show to Toronto in support of its latest album, Splendour in the Grass.

In its own unique fashion, the Bata Shoe Museum is currently celebrating 40 years of the Juno Awards! See the footwear sported by to Canadian musicians like Drake, Nelly Furtado, Avril Lavigne, and many other past Juno winners and nominees.

Saturday: Glimpse the lives of India's historical royalty through such artworks as "Procession of Raja Ram Singh II of Kota and His Son at Kota" (© Victoria & Albert Museum, London)

Saturday, November 20
It’s your last chance to see the National Ballet of Canada’s performance of Cinderella! The company’s James Kudelka–choreographed production at the Four Seasons Centre has received universal acclaim from critics and is certain to leave you and your family enchanted.

The posh Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood celebrates the season with its annual Holiday Magic festival. Join in the merriment tonight at the “flick the switch” lighting ceremony, featuring a performance by Juno winner Ivana Santilli, free hot beverages and colourful displays in local shop windows.

More than 200 extravagant artworks, furniture, jewellery and much more—all created for India’s royal court—are now on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s much anticipated Maharaja exhibition. You’ll be dazzled by this glimpse of royal life on the subcontinent.

Sunday: Welcome Santa and his reindeer friends to the city

Sunday, November 21
Santa Claus is coming to town! A tradition since 1905, the Santa Claus Parade officially heralds the holiday season in Toronto. Line Bloor Street West, University Avenue and Yonge Street this afternoon to see all the floats, marching bands and the big man himself.

If you’re still craving holiday cheer after the parade, head to the Harbourfront Centre for its annual Swedish Christmas Festival! See live performances, browse handmade crafts, enjoy Swedish sweets, and try a glass of the traditional mulled wine known as glögg!

Get ready to cheer—it’s the Major League Soccer Cup Final today at BMO Field! FC Dallas battles the Colorado Rapids at 8:30 p.m. in what’s sure to be an exciting match!

Essential to Toronto: Bloor-Yorkville’s Spa Sale

Jeanet Spa & Salon

OCTOBER 28 TO NOVEMBER 7 When high rollers come to Toronto in search of the royal treatment, they head to the Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood. This month, the tony district has prepared a premium pampering as part Beautylicious, which honours all things related to personal grooming and wellness. The second annual affair sees more than 50 participating spas, salons and health centres—including Jeanet Spa & Salon—offering superior services at prices ($25, $75 and $125) that would be unbelievable at any other time of year. Due to the popularity of this promotion, booking early is highly recommended. Call 416-928-3553 or click here for more information.

Frugal Faves: T.O. Tix and Festive Winter Windows

There’s so much to see and do in this city, but after a while, admission fees, restaurant bills and shopping sprees start to add up. Where Toronto’s weekly tips on discounted tickets, exclusive sales, free events and more help you get the most out of your trip without burning a hole in your pocket.

<i>Jersey Boys</i> swings it '60s style (photo by Joan Marcus).

Snatch up discounted tickets to Jersey Boys and other hot shows from T.O. Tix (photo by Joan Marcus).

Box-Office Bargains
Want to take in the hottest shows in the city without paying the hefty price?  The T.O. TIX outlet is your one stop shop for exclusive deals on tickets for stage performances around the city. If you’ve got a flexible schedule (all tickets are for same-day shows) visit the booth at Yonge-Dundas Square to purchase half-price and discounted tickets to popular shows like Jersey Boys and Medieval Times. You can also purchase seats for select shows online.

T.O. TIX accepts Visa, Mastercard, debit and cash, and is located on the southeast corner of Yonge and Dundas streets. Tuesday to Saturday, noon to 6:30 p.m; call 416-536-6468, ext. 40 or visit here for more details.

Check out the city's holiday window displays (photo by Jessica Napier).

Check out the city's holiday window displays (photo by Jessica Napier).

Take a Walk in a Window Wonderland
Get in the holiday spirit early by embarking on a self-guided tour of the festive window displays in and around downtown Toronto. At The Bay’s flagship store, Christmas creatures come to life alongside a working train and an animatronic Santa Clause in a series of Toyland vignettes. Explore the tony Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood and marvel at the dazzling high-fashion window decor at chic retailers like Holt Renfrew. And creative windows designed by retail management students at Ryerson University can be spotted at businesses throughout the Downtown Yonge area—you can even vote for your favourites online.

The Bay is located at 176 Yonge St., while Holt Renfrew resides at 50 Bloor St. W. To check out a map of Ryerson students’ holiday windows, click here.

You Are Here: Yorkville Avenue

Nestled in tony Bloor-Yorkville, this cobblestoned thoroughfare boasts a selection of upscale stores and restaurants.

Click on any map marker for more information on Where Toronto’s neighbourhood favourites.

View “You Are Here: Yorkville Avenue” in a larger map