#HillcrestGlowUp | Inside the new and improved Hillcrest
There’s now Japanese cheesecake and a giant Homesense/Marshalls
This fall, there are more reasons than ever for Torontonians to stop by Hillcrest in Richmond Hill. The neighbourhood institution, which has been around since 1974, has been under construction since 2014 and finally revealed its stunning new look last week. Now the space is a shopper’s paradise: the flooring is sleek porcelain tile, the bright white ceilings are cavernous and coffered, and a towering atrium and skylights galore flood the space with tons of natural light.
Best of all, the centre has welcomed some seriously sought-after tenants, including Homesense/Marshalls, which has taken over a nearly 47,000-square-foot corner on the north end of the shopping centre. Inside, guests will be able to fulfill all of their interior decorating dreams and stock up on designer fall fashions. The famous Uncle Tetsu’s has arrived, whose light-as-air Japanese cheesecakes are the cause for regular, hour-long lineups in downtown Toronto. Hillcrest also welcomes honey and Carbon, both are known for on-trend fashion and accessories in a boutique environment. West Coast Kids has now opened its second location in the GTA at Hillcrest, a 17,000 square-foot cool-mom destination, selling products used by the likes of Chrissy Teigen and Jessi Cruickshank. Hillcrest is excited to welcome an over 15,000-square-foot family-favourite, Old Navy, in late October. Book lovers can rejoice this November, as Indigo is set to open its doors in time for holiday shopping.
The food court has also received a makeover including new ceiling treatments, new furniture and increased seating capacity to nearly double its original size. The Hillcrest Guest Experience team offers baby-bottle warming services, complimentary diaper kits and portable cellphone chargers. Inquiries about the shopping centre can be answered in real time through Hillcrest’s text-messaging concierge or online chat.
“The community has always been extremely proud of and loyal to Hillcrest,” says Lisa Resnic, marketing director and specialty leasing, Hillcrest. “And our community initiatives have been especially popular.” For instance, Hillcrest was the first in Canada to put beehives on its roof in 2017. Now the hives are home to more than 70,000 bees, enough to produce 400 small jars of honey.
To celebrate its renovation and new retail mix, Hillcrest has partnered with Sandgate Women’s Shelter. “In January, I took a tour of Sandgate’s renovated shelter, minutes away from Hillcrest, and realized they had very few basic items like bedding and clothes,” says Resnic. “I was deeply impacted by what I saw. Following our visit, we took a closer look at the need in York Region and created Hello Kindness, an initiative to collect new items that will help women and children begin new lives.”
Until October 5, Hillcrest is collecting new items like housewares, toiletries, clothing, toys and books. Shoppers can drop off donations at a vignette set up at centre court. Donations will be accepted at Hillcrest’s Guest Experience desk from October 6 onwards.
When Old Navy opens in late October, Hillcrest and Old Navy are collaborating on coding workshops for kids, benefitting the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. Coding Corners inside Old Navy will teach kids how to design their own video game and experience an exciting introduction to the world of robotics through coding games, activities, and challenges.
“Hillcrest takes its responsibility to be a gathering place for people seriously. We recognize that computer literacy is important to the development to all children regardless of economic circumstances. This is why we are providing this programming in partnership with Old Navy,”says Resnic.
To fête its grand reopening last week, the centre hosted a celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony. The line-up to get in to HomeSense/Marshalls extended outside the new North Wing doors and around the corner. Visitors were treated to a live painting performance by artist Jessica Gorlicky where she created this gorgeous angel-wing mural—a piece that’s guaranteed to become the neighbourhood’s most popular Instagram backdrop.
9350 Yonge St., hillcrestmall.ca