The ten best Toronto store openings of 2016

The ten best Toronto store openings of 2016

This year was a big one for Toronto’s shopping scene, with an unprecedented number of mega-retailers(Saks, Nordstrom, Uniqlo) making their mark, and loads of local brands (Canada Goose, Peace Collective) launching flagships. In order to stand out, stores piled on the extras, whether it was an in-house ice cream bar or back-of-house barbershop. Now, the city’s a veritable shopping haven, full of luxe designer gear, affordable basics and one-of-a-kind trinkets. Here, 10 of the best store openings of 2016:

(Image: Jenna Marie Wakani) (Image: Jenna Marie Wakani)
 
Saks Fifth Avenue

Opened in March
2016 kicked off strong with the arrival of Saks Fifth Avenue, a 25,000-square-foot emporium that instantly made the Eaton Centre much swankier, with fancy in-store boutiques (Piaget, Celine, Givenchy), luxurious personal shopping suites and a hidden jewellery-viewing area.

(Image: Jenna Marie Wakani) (Image: Jenna Marie Wakani)
 
Mellah

Opened in April
Mellah is a dreamy west-end destination for anyone obsessed with vintage Moroccan rugs. The College West store is piled high with Beni Ourain rugs, Azilal tribal carpets and Boucherouite rag rugs—all of which are sourced by Miriam Zittell and John Honeyman (above) in person during travels to Marrakesh.

Tuck Shop David Cyr (Image: David Cyr)
 
Tuck Shop Trading Company

Opened in June
In just a few years, Tuck Shop has grown from a tiny tuque peddler into a prominent Canadiana brand, and its new Yonge Street flagship does a great job of curating a collection of rustic local labels—all in a space that feels more like the wilds of Muskoka than the heart of Rosedale.

(Image: Jenna Marie Wakani) (Image: Jenna Marie Wakani)
 
Drake General Store

Opened in July
The Drake General Store’s new three-floor flagship—with a café serving cold-brew coffee, a Crow’s Nest barbershop and rotating pop-up shops—is a massive upgrade from its previous digs adjacent to the restaurant (and over twice the size).

(Image: Jenna Marie Wakani) (Image: Jenna Marie Wakani)
 
Shinola

Opened in July
Detroit-based Shinola, maker of watches, leather goods, jewellery and bikes, snagged a prime corner plot at Queen and Ossington this summer, bringing high-end gifting and a bespoke watch bar to the strip.

(Image: Jenna Marie Wakani) (Image: Jenna Marie Wakani)
 
Warby Parker

Opened in August
At Warby Parker‘s library-themed flagship, local followers of the cult eyewear brand can finally try on their trendy, affordably priced shades and specs in person.

(Image: Jenna Marie Wakani) (Image: Jenna Marie Wakani)
 
Nordstrom

Opened in September
This fall, Nordstrom opened in the Eaton Centre and instantly upped the city’s customer service standards with a 24-hour emergency shopping service, mobile stylists and free delivery in under two hours. Plus, the retailer finally brought Madewell to Canada.

(Image: Courtesy of Peace Collective) (Image: Courtesy of Peace Collective)
 
Peace Collective

Opened in September
With its new Ossington flagship, local label Peace Collective has become the ultimate place for anyone looking to rep their Toronto pride—whether it’s with their Blue Jays line or a “Canadian Bae” lingerie collab with local designer Mary Young.

(Image: Kayla Rocca) (Image: Kayla Rocca)
 
Uniqlo

Opened in September
One of the most-hyped store openings this year was Japanese retailer Uniqlo, which opened in the Eaton Centre just in time for Torontonians to load up on its lightweight down jackets, cozy cashmere sweaters and fleece hoodies for the cold weather ahead.

(Image: Kayla Rocca) (Image: Kayla Rocca)
 
Canada Goose

Opened in October
Until this fall, Canada Goose’s apparel was only sold online or in other retailers. Its first flagship, in Yorkdale, offers the biggest selection of Canada Goose styles in the world and plays up the brand’s heritage with iconic pieces from its past on display.