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The Bay

Hot Shopping

By Suzanne Rent



Lovers of local art will enjoy the offerings at The Dart Gallery on Portland Street in Dartmouth. Owner Jane MacDougald sources local artwork such as paintings, pottery, jewelry, and collectibles. The gallery also hosts art shows. Art consultation services, installation, and lease-to-purchase financing options available.


Mic Mac Mall

Mic Mac Mall

• With more than 120 stores, Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth offers a variety of high-end retailers and special services perfect for seasonal shopping, anchored by iconic department store The Bay. Three floors of shops includes American Eagle Outfitters, Bath and Bodyworks, Lush, and Forever 21.
• Situated in the West End, Halifax Shopping Centre is the city’s largest shopping mall with 160 stores and services. Shop for a winter wardrobe at Banana Republic, American Eagle Outfitters, or Cleo. Find matching shoes and handbag at Aldo, Naturalizer, or Coach. One-stop-holiday shopping for everyone on your gift list.


Jennifer's of Nova Scotia

Jennifer’s of Nova Scotia

P’lovers, with locations on South Park Street in Halifax and Queen Street in Dartmouth, is the perfect destination for the shopper who likes to make purchases that are sensitive to the Earth. The product line includes eco-friendly art, clothing, books, stationary, home décor, jewelry, and items for the outdoors.
• Since 1978, Jennifer’s of Nova Scotia on Spring Garden Road has been a big supporter of Atlantic Canadian artisans who make unique gifts and works of art. The selection includes pottery, glass, wood, pewter, jewelry, and food; you’re sure to find something special for everyone on your holiday shopping list.




Woozles on Birmingham Street is Canada’s oldest children’s bookstore. It boasts shelves of books that inspire any imagination. Titles include those for baby’s first year of reading to those for young adults. Beyond books, Woozles hosts Battle of the Books, book clubs, book fairs, and more.
• For comic lovers, Strange Adventures, Comics and Curiosities on Prince Street in Halifax is a treasure trove of new and old comics, games, clothing, toys, and more. The award-winning comic book store also hosts Free Comic Book Day.


Liquid Gold

Liquid Gold

For the foodie on your shopping list, find savoury gifts of olive oil and vinegars at Liquid Gold in The Hydrostone and Sunnyside Mall in Bedford. All of the oils in store are ultra premium and made with the best crops in any season. The balsamic vinegars are made in a family-owned facility in Moderna, Italy. Pestos, tapenades, mustards, and confits will help finish off the shopping for any choosy cook.

EDITOR’S CHOICEFreak-Lunchbox-Exterior-South-2-resized

For gifts for those with a sweet tooth and a huge sense of fun, visit Freak Lunchbox at its Barrington Street location in Halifax or in Sunnyside Mall in Bedford. This colourful store is bursting with nostalgic novelties such as Pez and Pop Shoppe. Grab a bag of bulk candies in myriad varieties or check out the bobbleheads of cultural icons.


50 Perfect Presents In Our One-Stop Christmas Gift Guide


Something for everyone at a one-stop location! Photo: Jason Dziver

Something for everyone at a one-stop location! Photo: Jason Dziver

While Christmas shopping is a passion for some, it’s a chore for others. We’ll bet you’re into getting it done easily and quickly, whichever type of gift-giver you are. With expedience and your pre-Xmas peace of mind in mind, Where Calgary visited Chinook Centre, a short drive south of the city’s downtown, carefully selecting suitably sweet somethings for everyone on your list.

Chinook Centre, 6455 Macleod Trail SW, 403-259-2022, www.chinookcentre.com Maps and Reviews

Hot Shopping: Lady Gaga Offers Black Magic

No stranger to controversy—some might say she actively courts it—Lady Gaga has debuted a dark-hued fragrance called Fame, which the pop songstress says “smells like an expensive hooker.” Wondering what exactly that scent entails? Well, the opaque liquid, which becomes translucent when sprayed, is composed of belladonna, saffron, honey, apricot nectar, crushed tiger orchid and jasmine sambac for a floral and fruity scent. Inhale the aroma for yourself; pick up a bottle, $89 for 100 mL, at The Bay.

Hot Shopping: The Perfect Gift for Fido

Only the finest for Fido. Photo: Adele Brunnhofer.

We are loving these cute dog bowls from The Bay’s HBC Dog Collection. Available in small, medium and large sizes, the Silhouette bowls retail from $24 to $25, while the striped bowls run from $20 to $28.

Available at The Bay’s five Calgary locations at Chinook Centre, Southcentre, Market Mall, Sunridge Mall and downtown in The Core. 

Hot Shopping: Right as Rain

"Birdcage" from Fulton Umbrellas

Feel like royalty when you sport a Fulton Umbrella, the official umbrella brand of the Royal Family. From the classic “Birdcage” style that covers both head and shoulders (featured here in red, $30) to the lively prints and compact size of the “Tiny-2” designs, these umbrellas are flexible yet durable with a wind resistant frame. So anytime you encounter a summer shower, you’ll be ready (and posh). Available at The Bay, 73 Rideau St., 613-241-7511.


Hot Shopping: Toni Plus Celebrates 20 Years of Style

Toni Plus founder Toni Tiraborelli

In an industry whose unspoken mantra is “thinner is better,” Toni Plus is a successful standout. The plus-size label, which this month marks its 20th anniversary, embraces curves and style for women in sizes 14 to 22. Like many memorable concepts, the branchild of founder Toni Tiraborelli began with a simple wish: to provide quality, on-trend wardrobe options for full-figured women. The first store opened in 1992 at Bayview Village Shopping Centre—the mall’s then-owner, Ori Fidani, was Tiraborelli’s biggest champion—followed by five more boutiques and, most recently, a shop-in-shop at The Bay’s Queen Street location. Bright shades prevail for this spring’s collection, whether in colour blocking for a graphic look or punches of coral and mango for a bold burst of hue; or go wild with tribal prints, garden or paisley.

Hot Shopping: Navigate Toronto Malls During the Holiday Rush

Malls like the Toronto Eaton Centre go all out for the holiday season (photo by Rasheed Clarke)

Have you finished your holiday shopping yet? We know, finding gifts for everyone
on your list can be a daunting task. If you’re inclined to get all your shopping done in
one shot, the city’s premier malls and department stores offer multiple ways
to ease the experience.

Downtown’s largest shopping centre has cranked up its seasonal cheer with oversized snowflakes and giant silvery reindeer sculptures. The crowning gem is the Swarovski Christmas Wish Tree alight with more than 44,000 Swarovski crystal ornaments. In sight of this monolith, children can register to create their own holiday ornaments. Santa’s out in full force, too: bring your child to hear Saint Nick read a story, or schedule a 10-minute at-home Skype session with the jolly old man. Gift wrapping is available for a $5 donation benefitting the Children’s Wish Foundation. And when all your gifts are safely boxed and bagged, why not view the nearby Church of the Holy Trinity’s production of The Christmas Story? iPhone users can download the Toronto Eaton Centre’s mobile app to streamline their shopping experience.

Holiday stress often begins with packed mall parking lots. Yorkdale offers a remedy. The only shopping centre in the GTA to offer a mobile app for parking, which offers updates on your best parking bets every 15 minutes, plus streaming video of the mall’s upper deck lot. Yorkdale’s parking entrances are even equipped with electronic tabulators that note the number of spaces available, and valet parking is complimentary for MasterCard World cardholders. If you prefer public transit, visit with your TTC Family Day Pass and receive a $10 gift card when you spend $50 or more in the mall. Other bonuses include a complimentary coat check, Santa sightings, and a gift-wrap service.


Where in Toronto: Bright Lights, Big Reindeer

The Swarovski tree and giant reindeer at the Toronto Eaton Centre (photo by Rasheed Clarke)

Each week, our intrepid interns reflect on life and times in the big city.

It’s amazing how Toronto residents go nuts at the first sight of snow. All it took was a few flakes falling yesterday morning for #snow to become a local trending topic on Twitter. That dusting didn’t really stick around, but the imminent arrival of the white stuff (along with the much-maligned early sunset) means it’s the time of year to test the power grid with millions of twinkling lights at the city’s festive displays. (more…)

Hot Dining: A Canadian Connection at Bannock

photo by Allison Woo

It’s hard to think of a more apt pairing than that of the nation’s oldest department store, The Bay, and its new restaurant, Bannock. Named for the flatbreads brought here by Scottish explorers—and adapted by Aboriginal peoples—this Canadian-casual eatery is at home within The Bay’s flagship Queen Street location, and offers both dine-in and take-out menus for a busy downtown clientele. Bannock ($12 to $14), of course, is a featured dish, alongside robust regional fare such as venison chuck chili ($15), wild sockeye salmon ($19) and pulled-pork tourtière ($16). If you’re in a rush, grab a gourmet sandwich to go, but do take a moment to admire the warm, woody surroundings, highlighted by pine and hemlock reclaimed from a more than 100-year-old wharf.

Hot Shopping: Cool Canadian Fashion

Ooh la la, a cashmere travel set from the HBC Collection.

Show off your Canadian pride (whether you’re Canadian or not) with the HBC Collection. This signature line from the Hudson’s Bay Company offers a range of high-end items that boast the multi­coloured stripes synonymous with the brand (we love this cashmere travel set, $350). The collection also features collaborations with a variety of designers, such as Smythe, Steven Alan, Caroline Fur, and Harry Barker, for products that range from apparel to fur accessories to pet products. The Bay, Rideau Centre, 73 Rideau St., 613-241-7511, and St. Laurent Centre, 1200 St. Laurent Blvd., 613-748-6105.

30 Things We Love About Toronto This October

3. Medieval Times

1. The wonder of liquid nitrogen ice cream from Colborne Lane prepared tableside.

2. Catching a live performance by the iconic Liza—with a z—Minnelli on October 28.

3. Jousting knights on horseback at Medieval Times.

4. Seeing the city on two wheels with the rental of Bixi Bikes; return them to many conveniently located docking stations in the downtown core.

5. Serpentine sculptures handmade by Native Canadian artists from Eskimo Art Gallery. (more…)

You Are Here: Queen Street West

The downtown segment of what is arguably Toronto’s coolest street becomes an even cooler destination as winter arrives.
View You Are Here: Queen Street West in a larger map

Kids can learn about animation in the NFB's winter wonderland workshop

HOLIDAY MOVIEHOUSE Edging into the Entertainment District you’ll find the National Film Board’s Toronto Mediatheque, an education centre and library of Canadian flicks that can be watched for free at one of many digital viewing stations. Like what you see? Sign up for a Winter Wonderland workshop, where kids (ages 6 to 13) can create animated films of their own.

DESIGN DEN Just north of Queen West is the distinctive facade of the Umbra Concept Store, the design company’s only standalone location in the world. Not only does this retail space feature the firm’s entire line of modern, affordable home products, it also showcases designers at work. For the holidays, nearly 100 brand-new items are on offer—perfect for stocking stuffers.

Chef David Lee oversees the action at Nota Bene (photo by Nikki Leigh McKean)

BOUNTIFUL BITE Nota Bene stands out on a section of Queen Street otherwise stocked with bars and Indian buffets. The stylish yet casual restaurant provides the perfect atmosphere for both intimate dinners and larger, more boisterous celebrations. For a winter warm-up, be sure to try chef David Lee’s Yucatan hot and sour soup, or pasta with hearty rabbit ragu.

MUSICAL GEM Home to some of the city’s top operatic and dance productions—including the National Ballet’s The Nutcracker, opening December 11—the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts is a local landmark. From street level it strikes a staid stance, but inside it’s a marvel of design. Take a docent-led tour on most Saturdays to learn more about the building’s architecture and incredible acoustics.

Marvel at The Bay's detailed holiday window displays

WINDOW SHOPPING Massive department store The Bay has eight floors of fashion, furniture, fragrances and more—something for everyone on your holiday gift list. As Canada’s oldest corporation, this store is an iconic part of our national history. The flagship location continues a Toronto tradition, too: each year its Queen Street frontage features intricate window displays with seasonal scenes.

GATHERING PLACE City Hall’s two curving towers overlook Nathan Phillips Square, an outdoor hub for concerts and cultural events. The multipurpose site offers something to look forward to when temperatures drop, as its reflecting pool turns into a public skating rink. Even in winter the square is bustling—the annual Citytv New Year’s Eve bash is just one can’t-miss activity.