Tag Archives: Bloor-Yorkville

An unexpected exit for French Connection

French Connection appears to have vacated the premises of its Bloor Street store.

Upon passing the central Yonge and Bloor location last week, I noticed signs plastered on the windows of the boutique announcing its closure. And already, the merchandise seems to have been cleared from the store’s floors.French Connection Bloor

The international fashion retailer has three other locations in Toronto, including Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Queen Street West, and the Toronto Eaton Centre, along with a few locations in the surrounding suburbs, so shoppers still have options for getting their French Connection fix.

But I was surprised to see the brand vacate a location in such a central and sought-after part of the city, well known for high-end fashion retailers.

The Bloor Street store was large, with two storeys of merchandise, and from what I could tell, it was usually busy with shoppers.

With rental rates in that neighbourhood more expensive than any other retail strip in Canada, however, perhaps the cost of operating the location became too much for the retailer.

I’m curious to see what will pop up in this coveted location next.


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Filed under Boutiques, Fashion, Store Closures

The North Face comes north of the border

Outdoor apparel and equipment company The North Face will be opening its first store in Canada on Bloor Street this fall.

Catering to those with active lifestyles, the company manufactures gear specially designed for such activities as yoga, biking, skiing, snowboarding and hiking. This includes apparel, outerwear, tents, sleeping bags, backpacks and other equipment.

The North Face was founded in San Francisco 40 years ago, and now operates dozens of retail stores in the United States and abroad.

In Canada, the company’s products are sold through such retailers as Sporting Life, North by Northwest and Sport Chek.

The new store, located on Bloor Street near Avenue Road, will be the company’s first direct-to-customer owned store in Canada.

I wouldn’t have considered Bloor-Yorkville the most obvious location for the store, given the upscale, high-fashion nature of the shopping district in that part of the city.

However, the high-traffic location will certainly give the North Face plenty of visibility among the affluent shoppers frequenting the area – and perhaps that’s the company’s goal as it begins boosting its profile in the Canadian market.

Keep an eye out for the large new store in the next couple of months — hopefully just in time for ski and snowboard season.


Filed under Boutiques, Shopping Hubs

Bloor Street braces for MK

The rumours are true: a brand new flagship Michael Kors store is coming to Bloor Street – and soon.

Speculation around the new store started spreading in February, and sure enough, construction is now underway. The retailer has also begun recruiting staff for positions at the new location.

I figured it was only a matter of time before this hugely popular designer popped up in Toronto’s go-to destination for luxury fashion and accessories. The new flagship will be located on the south side of Bloor between Bay Street and Avenue Road, surrounded by such high-end retailers as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Coach, Gucci and Cartier.

The area has been plagued by a seemingly endless amount of construction lately, between new condo buildings and Bloor Street’s beautification project. But construction is starting to taper off, and it seems to have been worthwhile – the “fashion mile” is looking more elegant with wider granite sidewalks and an abundance of new trees and flowerbeds.

So, it seems MK has picked a good time for his arrival into this high profile part of the city. I’m anxiously awaiting the grand opening of the new boutique, and I know many other Torontonians are too.

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Filed under Boutiques, Clothing Lines, Fashion, Shopping Hubs