Toronto’s Bloor-Yorkville area recently saw several new retailers open in the prestigious neighbourhood, and more stores are on the way. Despite the pandemic, retailers continue to open stores which is a positive sign for brick-and-mortar retail. Here are a few retailers that recently opened, followed by several that will be opening soon.
Several months ago two Toronto-based entrepreneurs, Aaron Gonsenhauser and David Petrash, opened a mono-brand menswear store called LEONE Napoli at 162 Cumberland Street. The store stocks a range of made-in-Italy men’s fashions and accessories that carry the brand’s logo. Suiting is an anchor for the brand which also makes more casual items — pieces are made in Italy including well-made jackets lacking lining.
It took two years for the duo to build Leone Napoli. In person research was done in Italy, involving multiple trips to Biella for fabrics and to Casalnuovo di Napoli which is known for its tailoring. Prices are in the $250 range for jeans and shirts and suits average about $1,700.
Toronto-based jewellery brand Lisa Gozlan recently opened a small store at 87 Cumberland Street. Lisa and her husband Ryan, a 5th-generation Gozlan in the jewelry business, are continuing the family legacy with the launch of Lisa Gozlan Jewelry. The store specializes custom jewelry including one-of-a-kind pieces including engagement and bridal.
All Eyes on Me
An upscale jewel box-like eyewear retailer called All Eyes on Me recently opened at 162 Cumberland Street. The beautiful store stocks several luxury eyewear brands with a particular focus on Cartier. Some styles are not available elsewhere in Canada or even globally, and we’ll be following up on this with a full article with photos discussing the store.
David Rocco Bar Aperitivo
A range of Italian wines, Prosecco, Champaign, and mixed drinks are available as well as a tapas-stye menu featuring small portions. The vibe inside is intimate with high-top tables. The front-of-house space spans about 575 square feet with a capacity of about 25 seats. The total leased space is about 1,200 square feet at street level. Also included, weather permitting, is an extended patio along Cumberland Street that has been popular over the summer.
The overall design of the space is inspired by the culmination of Rocco’s travels to Italy and other passions. Rocco is a celebrity chef who expanded his business to become an executive producer, best-selling author and host of several internationally syndicated TV series. Acclaimed Toronto restaurant Oretta on King Street West is among Rocco’s other business ventures.
We were first to break the story on the opening earlier this year.
We recently reported that Montreal-based women’s footwear and fashion brand La Canadienne had opened its first Toronto storefront in the former Kate Spade space at 138 Cumberland Street. The store spans about 4,000 square feet. We recently profiled a feature article on the store and the space with interior photos.
KIWI Beauty Lounge
The second location for beauty concept KIWI recently opened at 86 Yorkville Avenue. The storefront provides face rejuvenation and body care treatments including multiple treatment rooms. Its first store for the company is at the CF Markville Shopping Centre in Markham.
KIWI’s Yorkville location is across the street from the soon-to-open Isaia storefront and is a short distance away from big luxury names including Chanel, Versace, Brunello Cucinelli and Christian Louboutin.
Wag Swag Pop-Up
Vegan pet accessory retailer Wag Swag recently opened a temporary store location at The Colonnade at 131 Bloor Street West. The 2,200 square foot storefront formerly housed luxury UK-based bag and accessory brand Mulberry which shut its two Canadian stores last year.
Wag Swag will continue to operate in the space into the fall of 2021 and it’s not yet been determined when the store will close. Prior to the pandemic, the asking rent for the space was said to be over $400 a square foot and hopefully a permanent tenant will be secured for the future. The space is located next to Coach and Prada stores in a retail complex also housing Dior, William Ashley, Moncler and a Cartier flagship store that will reopen after a renovation in November of this year.
At The Colonnade, seven artists came together to launch Collective 131 at 131 Bloor Street West. The artwork is for sale and some of the pieces are very eye-catching. The pop-up will be open until the end of the summer in a retail space formerly occupied by a Bogner pop-up store — Bogner is said to be interested in returning to the space in the fall and this time, Bogner may end up leasing the space long-term for a permanent storefront.
“The pandemic has had such a negative impact for so many artists who were unable to mount exhibits and shows,” said Morgan Jones, artist and a member of Collective 131. “We were fortunate to be able to access this incredible space that has been an integral part of the Yorkville community. As all sectors of the economy continue to recover, we look forward to connecting with art lovers who are looking for their next collector’s item, or who just want to be out doing something fun this summer.”
What’s to Come
Several new retailers will be opening or re-opening this fall in Bloor-Yorkville. These include:
Miami-based multi-brand luxury retailer The Webster will open its first Canadian storefront this fall at 121 Scollard Street in Toronto. The 6,500 square foot store will carry a range of high-end brands including products not found elsewhere. The Webster represents a significant milestone in the retail development of Bloor-Yorkville and the store is expected to attract high-end shoppers from Toronto and beyond.
Many wondered what colour the store’s facade would become after an overhaul of the historic townhouses on the site which until recently were sandblasted back to its natural brick. We’ve now learned that the store’s facade will be pink. We’ll follow up when the store opens with a full article and photo essay. Plans for an in-store café won’t be happening we’re told.
The Cartier flagship store at 131 Bloor Street West in The Colonnade will reopen in November after a complete renovation. The 4,300 square foot store will become a showpiece for the luxury stretch of the street that houses several other luxury retailers. Learn more about Cartier’s new Bloor Street store as well as its expansion in Canada in 2022 here.
Italian luxury menswear brand Isaia will open its first standalone Canadian store next month at 77 Yorkville Avenue. The store will be located in a unique heritage building which also includes a contemporary addition.
The Toronto Isaia flagship will span two levels. The upper level, spanning about 1,600 square feet, will feature two rooms carrying the full assortment of Isaia’s clothing and made-to-measure as well as footwear, leather goods, jewellery, eyewear, and accessories. The lower level will feature an 800-square-foot social meeting place, called the Vesuvius Lounge, was well as back-of-house operations and tailor shops.
We will be following up with a profile of the store when it opens in September.
New York City-based women’s fashion brand Lafayette 148 will open its first Canadian storefront this fall at 130 Bloor Street West. Retail Insider reported on the 2,000 square foot storefront that will replace the only Canadian location for upscale multi-brand retailer Intermix. We will follow up with an article when Lafayette 148 opens.
110 Bloor Street West
Retail Insider recently reported that upscale women’s fashion brand Anne Fontaine had leased a 1,000 square foot space at 110 Bloor Street West, as had bakery concept Paris Baguette which will open its first Canadian storefront in a 2,500 square foot space formerly occupied by Browns Shoes. We’ll continue to follow these developments as well as other tenants that will be leasing in the 110 Bloor commercial podium.
Aesop, Euroline, Tokyo Smoke
The commercial podium at the base of the 88 Cumberland Street condominium tower (corner of Bellair Street) will soon be home to three new retailers. Cannabis retailer Tokyo Smoke will occupy the corner space in the podium and Australian beauty brand Aesop will be opening a store next to it. A third smaller space next to Aesop on Bellair Street will become home to a showroom location for appliance retailer Euroline.
The podium had been leased to luxury Italian menswear brand Isaia before the nearby 77 Yorkville Avenue building, formerly occupied by Canadian fashion brand Pink Tartan, became available. ProWinko owns the podium.
“The Cashman” Russell Oliver will be opening a luxury goods store called Oliver’s at 88 Yorkville Avenue this fall, carrying a range of second-hand and vintage handbags and jewellery. The space will span two-levels. We spoke to Mr. Oliver earlier in the summer and he said that he will continue to operate his other luxury goods store at 620 Yonge Street for a time before shutting it. He opened the Yonge Street store in the fall of 2016.
95 Bloor Street West
The retail building at 95 Bloor Street West has sat vacant since late 2018 when Swiss men’s fashion brand Strellson vacated the premises. Cannabis retailer Fire & Flower leased the space and never ended up opening a store there and is now involved in a $3 million lawsuit because of a dispute with the landlord.
The storefront was recently leased out by CBRE to a condominium showroom that will occupy the building for a time to be determined.
Two new retailers will open on the concourse level of the Manulife Centre this fall, including fashion retailer Studio D and floral retailer Pistil Flowers. We’ll follow up on these when they open including a broader profile on Studio D which is relocating its midtown storefront.