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The Bay

Shop the World in Toronto

The globe’s most coveted brands—and our own national favourites—are readily available right here in YYZ. Click any of the slideshow images below to view Where Toronto‘s favourite international items for the holiday season.

Styled images with colour backgrounds photographed by Luis Albuquerque. Off-figure styling by Daniel Onori/Plutino Group.

You Are Here: The PATH

The largest underground retail concourse in the world, Toronto’s PATH system travels beneath the Financial District with numerous entry and exit points. Many have been lured by its warmth in winter, plus shopping and sustenance. But it can be a bit confusing; follow our guide to ensure a smooth trip from one end to the other.

1. CENTRAL HUB One of the bigger, busier sections of PATH’s underground city is First Canadian Place. More than 120 shops, services and restaurants make it a popular destination for business people with a minute to spare. Top shops such as Harry Rosen, Tip Top Tailors and Birks ensure you’re well attired and accessorized, while respected restaurants including Vertical and Reds can satisfy any craving. This marketplace is as distinguished as its namesake skyscraper, which stands as the city’s second tallest building. 100 King St. W., 416-862-8138.

First Canadian Place's gleaming concourse

2. PRIME REAL ESTATE Near Bay and Wellington streets sits the cluster of Mies van der Rohe–designed towers of the Toronto-Dominion Centre. Beneath those buildings, the PATH’s green granite floors match TD Bank’s colour palette, and plush leather benches offer respite from the foot traffic. The retail range here offers Danier Leather and a Laura Secord chocolate boutique. Streetside, you’ll find the Design Exchange and popular restaurant Bymark. High flyers ascend even further—54 storeys, to be exact—to indulge in original Canadian cuisine at Canoe. 66 Wellington St. W., 416-869-1144.

3. ADDED VALUE If you find yourself surrounded by bright, white marble, you’ve arrived at the new Bay Adelaide Centre. This peaceful portion of PATH is home to a small but immaculate food court and some quick-stop shops; to the north it connects with the huge flagship location of The Bay. The futuristic feel of the underground matches the building that rises from it—the glass-walled building is the city’s first and only high-rise office tower to lay claim to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold Standard. 333 Bay St., 416-369-2300.

The exquisite vaulted ceiling of Commerce Court's CIBC bank building

4. SQUARE DEAL Commerce Court’s quadrants boast a food court, as well as healthy Four, an upscale restaurant where every dish is under 650 calories. Above ground, check out power-lunch favourite Far Niente plus the historic Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce headquarters—with its stunning Beaux Arts–style atrium—and the surrounding towers designed by I.M. Pei. 25 King St. W., 416-364-2281.

5. SPLENDID SITE Arguably the best-known southerly section of the PATH is Brookfield Place. Just a short walk from Union Station, its subterranean component has a food court and a few modest shops, but you’ll also find the entrance to the Hockey Hall of Fame—a shrine to Canada’s cherished pastime featuring exhibits, artifacts, trophies and more. Or, follow the sunlight up to street level, where soaring white buttresses and an arched glass ceiling create a futuristic cathedral-like effect in the Allen Lambert Galleria. 181 Bay St., 416-777-6480.

Hot Shop: Mimran Family Business

A sense of style clearly runs in the Mimran family: Joseph Mimran was behind the Alfred Sung brand and his wife Kimberly Newport-Mimran is the designer of Pink Tartan. Now brother Saul and his twin offspring Jordin and Tamara have debuted their first line, Moon, available at The Bay. The collection of separates, dresses and outerwear is a hybrid of two other successful Mimran family endeavours, fusing the urban aesthetics of Club Monaco with the affordability of Joe Fresh Style. The premiere pieces are heavy on black and grey, such as the bow cardigan ($59) and Georgette tiered skirt ($39) pictured at right.

Hot Shop: Jeanne Beker’s New Venture

Jeanne Beker

In Canada, the name Jeanne Beker is synonymous with couture. After 25 years of reporting from the runway as the host of Fashion Television—and as editor-in-chief of FQ Magazine from 2003 to 2009—the style-savy Beker is now putting her own unique flair into a new line of women’s apparel. Aptly named Edit, the 25-piece collection represents multi-functional separates every woman should have in her closet. Available exclusively at The Bay,
a selection of on-trend items are added each month to keep looks current, such as a white faux fur jacket ($150). Beker isn’t just absently lending her name either—she is involved at every stage “from sketch to stitch.” Even better, one need not pay runaway prices for these looks—everything ranges from $79.99 to $195.

You Are Here: Entertainment and Shopping
on Yonge Street

Toronto’s best-known thoroughfare stretches from Lake Ontario to locales far north of the city. Its main strip, of course, runs through the downtown core and offers lots to see and do. Strut along the street for some serious shopping, or find a seat at one of three historic theatres to witness unforgettable entertainment.
View You Are Here: Yonge Street in a larger map

Panasonic Theatre

MODERN CLASSIC Built almost a century ago, what is now the Panasonic Theatre began life as a private residence. Soon after it became a cinema and went on to serve as a primary venue for the Toronto International Film Festival, during that event’s infancy. Since undergoing renovations in 2005, the theatre has been a state-of-the-art home for a variety of live shows, from an 18-month engagement by Blue Man Group to the recently acclaimed production Love, Loss and What I Wore. 651 Yonge St., 416-872-1212.

PUBLIC PLAZA The unofficial centre of downtown Toronto, bustling Yonge-Dundas Square is a year-round gathering place and host to concerts, cultural celebrations, film screenings and many other events, many of which are free. This month, do a bit of early holiday shopping at the Arts at the Heart marketplace (October 2, 9, 10, 23 and 24) and be serenaded by such Canadian bands as Woodpigeon (October 6). Southeast corner of Yonge and Dundas streets, 416-979-9960.

Canon Theatre

SPLENDID SITE When the venue now known as the Canon Theatre opened as a moviehouse in 1920, its 3,373 seats made it the largest cinema in Canada. Since then it has survived scandal, numerous ownership changes and a spell in legal limbo to become a premier facility for live theatre. Opulently outfitted with huge chandeliers and a sweeping lobby staircase, the Canon welcomes theatregoers to Cirque du Soleil’s Banana Shpeel (to October 10) and the popular Tony Award-winning musical Wicked, which opens October 20. 244 Victoria St., 416-872-1212.

MALL STOP Spanning two full blocks, the Toronto Eaton Centre is the city’s largest and most heavily trafficked shopping spot. More than 230 retailers, from Harry Rosen and Michael Kors to Williams-Sonoma and Apple, sell their sought-after wares here—for anyone seeking to spend, this mall is a one-stop shop. The domed-glass ceiling ensures a bright and airy ambience in which to ponder your purchases. 220 Yonge St., 416-598-8560.

Winter Garden Theatre

DRAMATIC DUO The only double-decker theatre operating in the world, the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre is truly a local landmark. Restored to its early-20th century majesty, the former vaudeville playhouse and cinema now hosts musical and theatrical productions, including Opera Atelier’s Acis and Galatea, opening October 30. Weekly tours offer behind-the-scenes insight about the Elgin’s damask and gilded plaster detailing and the upper-level Winter Garden’s garden murals and beech-leaf canopy. 189 Yonge St., 416-314-2901.

ALL IN ONE The flagship location of Canada’s oldest department store, The Bay, is an eight-storey mecca with goods to satisfy any shopper’s desires. The main attractions are apparel and accessories for men, women and children from respected Canadian and international brands—ladies, in particular, have the run of The Room, which features high-end designer fashions—but space is also made for housewares, electronics, eateries and much more. 176 Yonge St., 416-861-9111.

Hot Shop: Endorsements Aplenty

Scarlet Johansson fronts for Mango

These days many famous faces moonlight in advertising campaigns for noted brands. Think Kiera Knightley for Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle or Jonathan Rhys Meyers for Hugo Boss’s fragrance Hugo Element. Scarlett Johansson once again represents Mango for its fall/winter 2010-2011 collection. And most recently, Julia Roberts’s first campaign with French brand Lancôme was revealed. The Pretty Woman star bats her lashes to promote Définicils Precious Cells mascara ($34), which any Erin Brokovich wannabe can pick up at The Bay.

Hot Shopping: Oh, Canada!

On July 1 our home and native land marks its 143rd birthday. Even if you’re just adopting Canada for the day, these red and white products help you show some patriotic pride.

Clockwise from top left:
>> 100 Photos That Changed Canada book by Mark Reid, $45, Indigo.

>> Maple leaf key holder, $63, Swarovski.

>> Canadian Shield T-shirt, $32.50, Red Canoe.

>> Village Bag International, $158, Roots.

>> xcase Nation carry-on suitcase, $99.97, The Bay.

You Are Here: Bloor Street West

Named for entrepreneur Joseph Bloor, this tony thoroughfare is the city’s chicest spot for shopping. Dubbed the “Mink Mile” for the many designer retailers who call this stretch between Yonge Street and Avenue Road home, the fashionable district is where you’ll find both visiting celebrities and Toronto’s upper echelon.

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

View You Are Here: Bloor Street West in a larger map

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December Editor’s Picks: Shopping

The Room at The Bay

The Room at The Bay

1. A fixture of the city’s fashion scene since its conception in the 1930s, the St. Regis Room at the flagship Queen Street location of The Bay has been overhauled and relaunched. Though now simply called The Room, this expansive 21,500-square-foot space still caters to the city’s pedigreed denizens. Nestled on the third floor, this luxury boutique—designed by modern gurus Yabu Pushelberg—treats women’s fashion like fine art. Jackets, dresses, shoes and handbags by the likes of Ungaro, Balmain, Erdem, Herve Leger and Matthew Williamson are among the nearly 70 designers showcased in this softly-lit environ accented with Lucite chairs and a sculptural mobile. For the crème de la crème, there is a VIP platinum suite, as well as a makeup bar, lounge and complimentary concierge service.

3 Sprouts hooded towels

3 Sprouts hooded towels


2.
The One of a Kind Show and Sale is on through to December 6, with more than 800 exhibitors from across Canada brandishing their creative wares. The 35th anniversary installment of this much-anticipated artisan event carries the gamut of goods from jewellery, toys and ceramics to photography, stationery and food. Pick up a unique gift for someone special—an organic hooded towel ($35) from 3 Sprouts, wool mittens ($26 to $35) made from recycled materials by SLO, or handmade notebooks, organizers and photo albums ($20 to $85) from Double Happiness.

Kensington Hamper Petit from Crabtree & Evelyn

Kensington Hamper Petit from Crabtree & Evelyn


3.
If you’re in search of a few last-minute presents, try a pre-packaged set that is ready to go. Even better—there’s no wrapping required. Among the seasonally inspired options are a set of spiced chestnut essential-oil hand soap, lotion and dish soap ($49.95) from Williams-Sonoma, and a Merry Cranberry Celebrations bath set ($15) from The Body Shop. Or pick up the Kensington Hamper Petit ($80) at Crabtree & Evelyn—it’s packed with tea, marmalade, cookies, preserves and a jam pot.

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: Downtown Queen & Yonge

The city’s cultural hub boasts top theatres, restaurants and shopping—plus the fun, fast-paced feeling of being at the centre of it all.

Click on any map marker for more information on Where’s neighbourhood favourites.
View You Are Here: Downtown Queen & Yonge in a larger map

October Editor’s Picks: Shopping

Tod's driving shoe ($498)

Tod's driving shoe

1. Men’s style emporium Harry Rosen adds another notch to its belt with the inclusion of a new shop-in-shop. Tod’s, the distinguished Italian footwear and leather goods company, lays down tracks with a 200 square-foot space, the first of its kind in Canada. Nestled on the second floor of Harry Rosen’s Bloor Street West flagship shop—alongside such other pre-eminent brands as Armani Collezioni and Dolce & Gabbana—the modern masculine showroom bedecked in polished metal and leather boasts a commanding back wall featuring Tod’s illustrious shoes, such as the popular driving shoe ($498). Other small leather products as well as supple bags are also on display.

Guerlain's latest perfume, Idylle

Guerlain's Idylle perfume

2. Venerable perfumery Guerlain shakes up its stately image with the debut of a new fragrance aimed at younger customers. Established in 1828, the French company gives its century-old formula an update with Idylle ($82 to $148), a scent named to suggest languid afternoons of daydreaming. A subtle bouquet of freesia, lilac, peony, jasmine, lily of the valley, chypre—containing patchouli and white musk—and Bulgarian roses, the perfume has serious contemporary cachet. Not only is it represented by rising French starlet Nora Arnezeder, its teardrop-shaped bottle was created by hipster designer Ora Ïto, who is known for his product parodies of items from Louis Vuitton and Apple.

Think Pink bath bomb from Lush

Think Pink bath bomb from Lush

3. Shop guilt-free and for charity with these pink picks for breast cancer awareness month. Proceeds from the purchase of each item support breast cancer research.

>> Model, actress and Estée Lauder spokesperson Elizabeth Hurley hand-picked a lip shade collection ($30)—composed of a lipstick, gloss and pencil that fits in a mirrored compact; available at Holt Renfrew and The Bay.

>> Bath time gets a boost with a Think Pink bath bomb ($5.95) from Lush, which fizzles in the water as it unleashes heart-shaped confetti.

>> Write for a good cause with BIC Sheaffer’s brushed stainless steel pen and pencil duo ($27), available at Grand & Toy (College Park, 777 Bay St., 416-977-5100).