This holiday season has been a change for most of us, to say the least, but one constant has been the dedication to a traditional showing of holiday decorations in Toronto’s Financial District. When we asked our readers, writers, and social media community what they’d like to see during our traditionally quiet period over the holidays, the overwhelming response was to show what most of us can’t see: malls and retail.
We’re going to be adding more as we find them, so feel free to tag us on Instagram if you’d like us to share what you & your company have done over the 2020 holiday period.
Here’s a Photo Tour of The PATH, and other holiday sightings in Toronto’s downtown core.
Brookfield Place – Brookfield Properties
The holiday decor previously found in Brookfield Place has a full backstory, with Frost, Flurry and Gust (designed by Studio F Minus) being represented in an amazing display of light. In 2020 however, the team at Brookfield wanted to bring the various elements of the building to light without attracting too much walkthrough traffic.
Still present is the tree that brings life to Sam Pollock Square. The Allen Lambert Galleria is adorned with breathtaking string lights and Gust is still present in areas around the Bay Wellington tower.
Commerce Court – QuadReal Property Group
Our next stop is travelling north from Brookfield Place into Commerce Court. Usually, this corridor is packed with thousands of people from the surrounding office towers heading for lunch or getting a little bit of last-minute shopping before the holidays. Instead, today, as you can see, the halls are quiet.
Scotia Plaza – Bentall Kennedy
We’ve seen dozens of businesses in The PATH close since the beginning of the pandemic back in March 2020. This Second Cup location in Scotia Plaza recently closed, but the mall management still decided to decorate with the same strategy as the rest of the concourse. Notice the blue arrow on the ground.
With Hudson’s Bay closed during the lockdown, the PATH doesn’t connect to the CF Toronto Eaton Centre underground, so we took this opportunity to walk outside and see the decorations outside Scotia Plaza on Adelaide.
This photo was important to share, as it shows a moment in time when social distancing markers are on benches and no outdoor skating rink. A large pine tree and lights in the small trees are the only noticeable decorations.
Hudson’s Bay Queen Street
One of the only Hudson’s Bay stores in Canada to do a window display in 2020, the Queen Street location has taken the opportunity to keep with tradition while also playing into the current pandemic. Each of the toy soldiers that protect the windows are adorned with face masks and signage that reminds folks to social distance.
Hudson’s Bay and the adjacent Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Food Hall by Pusateri’s are shut until at least January 23, 2021 due to provincial lockdowns. It’s uncertain when the food hall will reopen as it is reliant on office and commuter foot traffic.
CF Toronto Eaton Centre – Cadillac Fairview
Stopping into CF Toronto Eaton Centre, we get our first view of a mall in true lockdown. The only stores open are ‘essential retail’ and to even get past security you have to tell them why you’re there and what store you’re visiting.
That being said, we had to share the photo of Flight Stop, as it was this was the scene of an infamous lawsuit in 1981 Michael Snow v Eaton Centre LTD. If you notice, there are no red scarves on the geese.
From the Eaton Centre, we walk south to the PATH entrance outside of City Hall.
Richmond-Adelaide Centre – Oxford Properties
After walking through the Sheraton Centre, we arrive into another spot on our Holiday decoration tour at Richmond Adelaide Centre. The uniform trees bring a nice distraction from the number of retailers that have closed temporarily or permanently.
Exchange Tower – Brookfield Properties
One of the highlights of any tour is a food court, and the one at 130 King Street W is great. You’d know that address because it was the first home to the innovation cafe by Tim Hortons, which brings the elements of your community store with food & drink that would appeal to a busy financial district (pre-pandemic, of course).
After the food court, we next start our final home stretch to First Canadian Place.
First Canadian Place – Brookfield Properties
In the past, the green & red colour palette would contrast beautifully with the white marble interior of the building, but 2020 has a different feeling altogether. Seeing a tree in front of the BMO offices just makes the space feel cavernous, especially with the lack of people and the abundance of mall employees.
Toronto-Dominon Centre – Cadillac Fairview
We end the PATH Holiday decoration tour with a stop at the Toronto Dominion Centre. With the CN Tower in the background and The Pasture art installation (the cows) on the left, lots of potential for future tours.
If you liked this one, please share this on social media and we’ll be sure to do more. Below are more photos of the PATH during December 2020.