The new Yorkdale Shopping Centre: Kate Spade, Loft and Ted Baker open at the 145,000 square foot expansion
“My mom went to Yorkdale and all she got me was olive oil.” That’s what my twenty-month old son might say, if he could talk. But jokes aside, the $185 million expansion to Yorkdale Shopping Centre, complete with heavy hitter nation-wide firsts, is enough to cause serious shopper anxiety: Too much choice.
New to Canada, and Yorkdale, are Kate Spade, Loft, Microsoft, Ted Baker and Tesla Motors (yes, THE car dealer). More familiar retailers sharing the 145,000 square foot addition include Diesel, Ann Taylor, Hugo Boss and Wilfred to name a very few. Holt Renfrew will unveil its new digs in the new year.
Thursday night’s cocktail reception and preview at the Canadian shopping landmark began with an informal roundtable featuring key retail representatives who touched on why Yorkdale was chosen to house their brand, as well as design decisions factored into individual stores. Then, as champagne bottles popped, glasses were raised, a round of indoor fireworks rung through the new southwest wing. Loud enough to halt the clucking of those in attendance and symbolically of course, the shoppers were ‘off to the races’.
Rumblings of “where next?” could be heard as the curious traipsed into boutiques, careful to collect gift bags ‘trick or treat’ style. Club Monaco unveiled a new warm, lifestyle environment with separate men’s area, a sharp contrast to the brand’s traditionally trim, clean space. Hand massages could be had from the comfort of a barbershop chair at the well appointed l’Occitane location, while Toronto fashion bloggers were tasked with window dressing the new Diesel location using looks from the brand’s Spring 2013 collection. Goddesses waited at the doors of Papyrus with offerings of stationary, as mason jars of Pimms, and fish and chips were passed about Ted Baker. Kate Spade, located deep away from the opening frenzy, was oh-so demure and achingly pretty. The doors to Vancouver-bred restaurant chain Joey allowed guests to mingle and eat into the night.
Sliding back into our chauffeured car to be returned downtown, I reflected on my relationship with Yorkdale. It’s still where I go when “on a mission” to buy, it’s where I spent many a weekend working in retail as a kid. The organic olive oil purchased at Ta-ze is not the beginning. It’s just the latest in a longstanding affair.
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