Yorkdale, 55 years as Canada’s favourite retail destinationMarch 1, 2019
When Yorkdale Shopping Centre opened its doors on February 26, 1964 it was one of the largest shopping centres in the world, and the first Canadian mall to include two major department stores (Canadian heritage brands, Eaton’s and Simpsons) under one roof. It was at the forefront of the Toronto retail scene then, and today, more than half a century later, it’s still going strong. While some folks may be worried that bricks and mortar shops are slowly fading away, and others may be lamenting the ease of same-day Amazon delivery, one look at Yorkdale is all it takes to see why Canadians are still keen to visit the mall.
NORTH AMERICAN FIRSTS
Throughout its history, Yorkdale has been the destination of choice for many first-to-market luxury brands. According to a recent CBRE study, in 2017 Toronto was the #1 choice for 40 new international retailers (more than double New York City’s 15), and many of them set their sights on Yorkdale as a place to call home.
The mall was where Apple chose to land when it first arrived in Canada, in 2005. Crate & Barrel followed suit in 2008, quickly paving the way for Tiffany & Co. (2009), J.Crew (2011), Kate Spade New York (2012), Tesla Motors (2012), David Yurman (2013), Christian Louboutin (2013), Ferragamo (2013) – the list goes on and on.
Today, more than 270 stores occupy the two million square feet of retail space, brands like Burberry, Van Cleef & Arpels, Nordstrom, Saint Laurent, Chanel, Longchamp, and the recently opened Bottega Veneta. The Toronto Star called Yorkdale “Canada’s unlikely new church of luxury shopping” and 18 million ‘worshippers’ arrive at the altar each year.
Image courtesy of Urban Toronto.
MORE THAN JUST SHOPPING
Of course, Yorkdale is more than just an amazing place to shop. Mall walkers make excellent use of almost two kilometres of corridors (aka indoor hiking trails), staying warm during cold winter days and shaded from summer’s blazing sun.
With more than 50 tempting eateries, the mall is also a place to satisfy every craving, from Canada’s first Cheesecake Factory to Paris’ famous Ladurée patisserie. For something extra special, visitors should head to Restoration Hardware’s four-storey, 70,000 square foot gallery space that includes a main floor espresso bar; an ivy-covered restaurant serving truffled grilled cheese under heritage olive trees and 19th-century Rococo crystal chandeliers; and a rooftop “conservatory and park” brimming with stone fountains, sparkling lights, Himalayan birch trees, and banana palms. It’s safe to say this isn’t your typical shopping centre food court; Yorkdale takes the retail experience to sophisticated new heights.
THE NEIGHBOURHOOD SPOT
For residents at Tretti, the latest contemporary community in the Collecdev portfolio, Yorkdale will feel like an extension of home. In just a few minutes, you’ll have access to a luxury destination that rivals the country’s chicest shopping streets. Whether you’re on the hunt for a limited release design from a world-class luxury brand, or just window-shopping for the latest styles, a visit to Canada’s ‘Centre of Style’ will fit the bill and quickly become your new favourite neighbourhood spot.