It's not always easy to find a neighbourhood that supports your individual balance of live/work/play, but we think the Bloor/Yonge neighbourhood comes pretty close. And the shopping? Oh, the shopping... !!
Toronto's 'Mink Mile' - a stretch of Bloor Street West between Yonge Street and Avenue Road - is home to some of Canada’s most prestigious retailers, including the flagship locations for Holt Renfrew and Harry Rosen. It's often called the Torontoian response to New York's 5th Avenue! It serves the extremely wealthy - or those who love a designer label - and is heralded as Toronto’s most elegant shopping and dining area. In 2014, this stretch of Bloor was named the 22nd most expensive shopping street in the world in a study by Cushman & Wakefield, with stores paying about $384 CAN per square foot. This makes it the most expensive place in Canada to lease retail space!
It’s the only area in the city to have a dedicated expanse of granite sidewalks, which elevates the street beyond that of a typical Toronto neighbourhood. The city goes to great expense to plant mature trees & flower gardens, and add modern lighting & public art! First class designer boutiques, antique shops, and galleries dot the area, which blends into the oppulence of Yorkville to the North. This is where you'll find some of the most coveted luxury brands sitting sided-by-side, including Tiffany, D&G, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Burberry, and Hermès.
As history tells it, back in the 60's, this area bordered Yorkville which was then known as a hippie hangout which attracted famous singers and the folk music crowd - which goes to emphasizes just how dramatic a change this area has undergone. In fact, Mink Mile is now facing a new type of transition, as explained in this article by Craig Patterson: "Bloor Street ‘Mink Mile’ Update: Transition Amid Retail Transformation". Craig explains how the new super condos at the nexus of Yonge and Bloor (including 1 Bloor East, which now houses Canada’s 38,600 square foot Nordstrom Rack store) are not only changing the physical landscape, but also the economic one, as the area becomes flooded with thousands of new residents. Moreover, there seems to be a push by large retailers - not neccessarily considered luxury brands - to have representation in this internationally famous shopping district. Apple is rumoured to be soon joining other non-elites, like Aritzia, Zarta, and Roots.
In the next decade, pundits expect the Mink Mile will remain a "world class retail destination", but will house more of a mix of luxury and major-brand stores in flagship-sized retail spaces.
** UPDATE ** A cannabis retailer has just joined the ranks of luxury retailers! Check out this new release by Reatil Insider! **
Image courtesy of NOW Toronto
Condo complexes aren't the only introductions that are changing the face of the Mink Mile and Yorkville; the Manulife Centre is currently undergoing a massive $100M renovation to accomodate more retail space, including the soon-to-be new anchor of the complex: Eataly! Scheduled to be completed mid-2019, Eataly has partnered with Terroni and Selfridges Group to set up shop in 50,000 square feet of prime Giannone Petricone-designed street-level retail space. You can already see much of the steel structure and glass facade coming together!
The international boutique brand - with existing locations in Chicago, New York and Dubai, amongst others - is a massive Italian food marketplace that aims to offer a completely unique shopping and dining experience. It will offer everything from groceries (local, international, and luxury brands) to prepared hot meals, to several restaurant and food counter experiences within the store. Eataly also offers private cooking classes, as well as educational educational courses on food, wine, nutrition, and the biodiversity of Italy, all of which are initiatives inspired by their philosophy: "Shop, Eat, and Learn.”
It's a smart fit for the Mink Mile: a unique, elevated culinary shopping experience to compliment the neighbouring high-end designer boutiques.
It's a wonder that the geography of the Mink Mile and neighbouring Yorkville is so geographically precise, and its borders so delineated. In fact, just around the corner from shops like Cartier on Bloor, you'll find the tiny low-rent retail shops of Yonge. The National Post writes this amusing anecdote: "The Mink Mile has a Gucci. Yonge Street has the Spring Day Spa, where a pink poster advertises a $35 Brazilian wax. Bloor has a Hermes, home to the $990 Folklore d’Henri d’Origny scarf. On Yonge, there’s the Brass Rail, where lap dances sell for $20 a song."
And yet, the exclusivity and popularity of Bloor's elite shops and restaurants has never been stronger, regardless of the ever-changing neighbours on Yonge Street. As Mink Mile demonstrates, clustering begets clustering, and like calls to like! It's as simple as that!
Get ready for the Mink Mile to light up and draw double - triple! - the amount of shoppers... the holiday season is almost upon us!!!
How convenient to have such outstanding shopping opportunities in your 'hood, and to be a part of such an elevated urban lifestyle at the nexus of Yonge and Bloor! For the lucky new owner of the luxe penthouse we call 'Culture, Couture & Contemporary Living At Casa Condominio Near Yonge & Bloor', now SOLD, the Mink Mile will be just one of many fabulous community perks and neighbourhood amenities!! Dreamy!
Thanks for reading!
~ The Urbaneer Team
Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage - (416) 322-8000
- we're here to earn your trust, then your business -
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*Hero image courtesy of the Toronto Star