For ages, Hotel Renfrew has dominated the luxury department shopping market in Toronto (and all of Canada) but that's all about to change. There's no stopping the competition that's rolling into town, and this year alone Toronto has welcomed the opening of Saks Fifth Avenue, Simons, and highly anticipates the openings of two Nordstrom locations this fall. So what's the difference between these major department stores and what do they offer? Here's a breakdown of the top competitors and how they differ.
Who: Holt Renfrew
What: The OG of luxe department shopping in Toronto (and Canada), Holt Renfrew offers its clientele everything from coveted Stan Smiths to Chanel. With the very recent launch of the store's ecommerce platform, Holts can often feel late to the game, and everyone is watching to see how they'll keep up with the new company that's arrived in town. Still, it's hard not to love a brand that has so much heritage in Canada.
Where: Locations at 50 Bloor Street, Yorkdale and Square One.
Who: Saks Fifth Avenue,
What: The infamous American store, renowned for it's flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, has made its mark in Canada with not one but two locations that opened in Toronto in 2016. The 165,000 square foot space in the heart of downtown at Queen and Yonge is what shopping dreams are made of. Luxe, glamourous and full of class, the opening of the and only 'Saks' to Toronto's shopping scene has been a welcomed addition. Just be sure your credit card is prepared for the damage that's sure to ensue.
Where: CF Toronto Eaton Centre and CF Sherway Gardens
What: Dating all the way back to 1840, Simons is one of Canada's oldest family businesses and has remained a significant fashion retailer in Quebec for nearly two centuries. This year ventured into the Ontario market for the first time with the opening of of its Square One location in the Spring of 2016. From their multiple in-house brands to major designers, Simons provides a department store shopping experience for the whole family, with European-style flare.
Where: Square One
What: This Seattle-based retailer has set its sights on Toronto, with two brand new Nordstrom locations opening this fall at Toronto Eaton Centre (September 16) and Yorkdale (October 21). From Topshop to Tory Burch, Rag & Bone to Burberry, Nordstrom offers their shoppers fashionable but lower-priced merchandise, in comparison to some of its neighbouring upscale competitors.
Where: Toronto Eaton Centre and Yorkdale