• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom

Toronto Eaton Centre

Hot Dining: New Menus at the Eaton Centre

The Eaton Centre location of Joey

Our city’s downtown retail epicentre, the Toronto Eaton Centre, offers two new, upscale-casual restaurants to satisfy hungry shoppers seeking more than food court fare. Rustic Italian classics are the specialty at Trattoria Mercatto, which serves up a range of antipasti, pizzas and pastas plus a complementary selection of wines from the old country. Nearby, Joey features a more cosmopolitan spread with options ranging from a lobster grilled cheese sandwich ($14.99) to Bombay butter chicken ($17.49), best enjoyed from a people-watching perch that overlooks Dundas Street West.

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 Shopping: A Second Stop for Scotch & Soda

Dutch label Scotch & Soda expands its international wings with its second Canadian shop opening at the Toronto Eaton Centre, which joins the previously opened boutique at Sherway Gardens. The Amsterdam-based fashion house was established in 1985 and a 2001 revitalization added three collections to the existing menswear line: Scotch Shrunk for boys, Maison Scotch for women, and R’Belle for girls. This past December, the company debuted Amsterdams Blauw, an all-denim line. Definitively casual in style, Scotch & Soda is known for its mix of vintage-inspired separates such as cargo pants, henleys, statement T-shirts, and eclectic accessories including felt bowler hats and bow ties. Set to open on August 21, the newest location will carry apparel for men and women. Open daily. Toronto Eaton Centre, 647-477-4095.

Hot Shopping: Smell Good Again

After shutting its Toronto Eaton Centre doors in December 2009, Fruits & Passion has opened a new location in the mall—on the third floor adjacent to Sears. The brightly lit space features the Canadian company’s scented home and body items, including the popular Cucina line of cleaning products.

Hot Shops: Lululemon’s Girl Power

Don’t fret about buying gifts for the tweens on your list. Lululemon Athletica has spawned a sister store called Ivivva Athletica (Toronto Eaton Centre, 416-596-0294), which carries eye-catching—think hot pink, lemon yellow and sky blue—active apparel to take girls from dance class to the movies. But move fast—the shop is open daily through to January 15 only.

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 Shop: Stuart Weitzman’s New Boutique

Stuart Weitzmas brings more fashionable footwear to Toronto

The Toronto Eaton Centre is a shoe-in destination for any gal looking for fab footwear. Here, famed American designer Stuart Weitzman takes another big step into the Canadian market with his first stand-alone shop in Ontario, and only his third in the country. The monochromatic decor scheme—a palette of white and barely-there grey dominates from floor to ceiling—is all the better to showcase more than 200 styles of fun and funky sandals, casual and evening-appropriate finery for the feet, plus a selection of coordinating handbags. Open daily. 220 Yonge St., 647-352-0550.

Hot Shopping: Kors, Of Course!

Charlton gold straw tote by Michael Kors

Prodigious designer Michael Kors continues his expansion into Canada, adding a fifth retail location to Ontario’s apparently MK-hungry market. The prolific American is a one-man empire with a trio of eponymous labels, each boasting its own selection of ready-to-wear apparel, handbags, jewellery, watches, shoes, fragrances and eyewear. After opening standalone stores at Sherway Gardens and the Shops at Don Mills last fall, the Project Runway judge is set to dominate the downtown core with a boutique at the Toronto Eaton Centre. Opening this month, the latest lifestyle store is a 1,700-square-foot paradise of casual but classic tailored looks and accessories such as the large MICHAEL Michael Kors Charlton gold straw tote ($295).

Hot Art: Pieces at Large

Norval Morrisseau's Tales of the Story Tree is one of a variety of works now displayed at the Elmwood Spa

Who says masterpieces live only in galleries? This month it’s easy to appreciate art in non-traditional spaces. Until April 23, guests enjoying a day of relaxation at the Elmwood Spa are treated to Copper Thunderbird: The Art of Norval Morrisseau, a private exhibition featuring Tales of the Story Tree and other vibrant paintings by one of this country’s most beloved Aboriginal artists. Nearby, diners at the Windsor Arms Hotel’s exclusive steakhouse, Prime, can strike up ample conversation about the Canadian pop-art works by Charles Pachter—from his Queen of Canada to famed depictions of the country’s flag—that hang on its walls. Of course, the city also has numerous public art installations that can be admired without ulterior motive. Michael Snow’s Toronto Eaton Centre geese piece, known as Flight Stop, is particularly notable.

Frugal Faves: The Bata Shoe Museum and Swarovski Crystal Wish Tree

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.

View these Spanish chopines and more at the Bata Shoe Museum.

View these Spanish chopines and more at the Bata Shoe Museum.

Shoes on a Shoestring
A hot deal is afoot at the Bata Shoe Museum. Footwear fetishists can admire can admire a range of historically significant slippers, clogs, moccasins and more for pay-what-you-can admission on Thursday evenings year-round. And as a bonus, entrance to the museum is free on November weekends when you donate a new pair of socks as part of the annual Warm the Sole charity sock drive. From ancient silk sandals to Renaissance chopines to today’s sexy stilettos, the museum displays hundreds of shoes spanning the centuries.

PWYC admission is in effect Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. Free weekend admission with socks donation runs now through November 29. Visit here or call 416-979-7799 for more information.

The Swarovski Crystal Wish Tree lights up the Eaton Centre.

The Swarovski Crystal Wish Tree lights up the Toronto Eaton Centre.

Sparkle and Song
Kick off the festive season this Thursday, November 19, as the one-of-a-kind Swarovski Crystal Wish Tree is unveiled at the Toronto Eaton Centre. Thirty-five feet tall and adorned with 20,000 crystals, this rotating tree creates a constant shimmering effect that is sure to dazzle. Prior to the big reveal is a free, special-guest performance by acclaimed vocal quartet the Canadian Tenors, singing seasonal hits from their recently released holiday album. Now in its fifth year, this shopping-centre holiday tradition helps benefit the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada through the sale of commemorative ornaments.

The Swarovski tree reveal is scheduled between 6 and 7 p.m., on the second level of the Toronto Eaton Centre, near Indigo.