Did You Know That Canada Is One Of The Best Places For Retail Therapy?
From ritzy streets with exclusive boutiques to some of the classiest mega malls in the world, Canada has exciting options when it comes to shopping. Over and above an impressive number of esteemed home-grown names like Harry Rosen, Arc’teryx Veilance, Raif Adelberg and Herschel, this destination is home to an increasing number of international luxury brands like Jimmy Choo, Bulgari, David Yurman and Salvatore Ferragamo, alongside smaller avant-garde labels that are tastefully on trend. So the next time you’re touring the country, supplement the nature tripping and food trails with a spot of indulgence at one of these upmarket haunts.
Possibly Canada’s most posh shopping district, this serene neighbourhood is shielded from the clamour of downtown Toronto. Explore the numerous designer offerings lining Bloor Street, especially within the stretch known as the Mink Mile. The location is so called because of the astonishingly high concentration of luxury labels like Chanel, Gucci and Hermès. So whether you’re perusing or purchasing, you’re certain to be surrounded by the crème de la crème as you admire endless selections of extravagant goods. For a taste of New York’s Saks Fifth Avenue or London’s Harrods, Holt Renfrew — with its four floors of retail area — is a great place to hop from Giorgio Armani and Louis Vuitton to Dolce & Gabbana and Hugo Boss. The quieter Yorkville Avenue hosts smaller boutiques like Betsey Johnson and Jeanne Lottie, while the Yorkville Village shopping centre offers one-of-a-kind fashion and lifestyle brands, some of which are even exclusive to Toronto.
As far as ambience goes, it doesn’t get any better than walking through antique gates and being transported to another time within the walls of one of the continent’s oldest cities. Famously referred to by locals as ‘Europe without the jet lag’, Old Québec is a UNESCO World Heritage site that offers Inuit art, fashion, charming boutiques, a back lane covered with quaint drawings of the city by local artists, and the legendary Simons department store, which opened all the way back in 1840.
A recent study pronounced this street in Vancouver as Canada’s second most robust upscale shopping area. The abundance of high-end designer stores, from Tory Burch and De Beers to Hermès and Victoria’s Secret, makes it a luxury zone without a doubt. Flanked by ‘see and be seen at’ restaurants, it also has the Thierry chocolaterie and cafe, and JJ Bean Coffee Roasters, for those much-needed breaks from browsing.
Once a wasteland of warehouses and rail yards, this style hub in Vancouver was transformed — by the wave of development that accompanied Expo 86 — into one of the trendiest spots in the city. The historical district presents a range of luxury fashion and home decor options, and now hosts a community and arts centre. The surrounding streets are lined with great patios, boutiques, and speciality shops, which are quirky and modish — think designer pet clothing, modern bathtubs and vintage hats. Kostuik Gallery exhibits works by contemporary abstract artists and surrealists, Modpod Art Gallery designs custom-made art for homes or offices, and other local art galleries put special emphasis on emerging multicultural artists. The city’s sea wall runs right along the water in this neighbourhood, connecting two of the biggest green spaces: David Lam Park and George Wainborn Park. Shoppers can take a relaxing stroll, followed by a bistro meal or evening at a local pub.
Boasting over 250 stores, including many flagship spaces, this premier Calgary destination is the city’s largest indoor mall. Besides stores like Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma and Tory Burch, visitors can spend time at the top-notch multiplex theatres and the first ever stand-alone Tiffany & Co. boutique outside Vancouver and Toronto.
A district in the borough of Quebec’s La Cité, this is a must-visit for its unconventional designer offerings and gourmet food. The area has been recently revamped and the contemporary setting is as hip as it gets. The former working-class neighbourhood is now home to a superb garden, called Jardin de Saint-Roch, which regularly sees events and festivals, while Rue Saint-Joseph offers a vibrant mix of boutiques, delis, home decor stores, and even a tea room. Here you will also find the famous Benjo — one of the best toy stores in the province — and an enchanting light path, from early December to late February, as well as the tallest Christmas tree in town. Holiday shopping, anyone?
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