Fallin’ For It

It’s officially Fall in Toronto – the days are shorter, the evenings are cooler, and the leaves are slowly changing to their golden hue. While we’re sad to bid summer adieu, there’s plenty about Fall to look forward to. Here’s a selection of products from around Manulife Centre that we’re totally fallin’ for, and will help you embrace the season.

 

Fall Focus

Whether you’re back to school or back to work, Fall is a time to refocus after the excitement of summer. With stylish desk accessories from Nirvana Home Collection and Indigo, this Fall is sure to be your most productive season yet.

Products (L-R): Planter, Nirvana Home Collection; Planner, Indigo; Water Bottle, Indigo; Magazine Rack, Nirvana Home Collection

 

Harvest Celebrations

While we think of Summer as the time for fresh produce, there’s no denying that Fall is a time of bountiful harvest. Whether you’re stocking up on snacks for game day, preparing for Thanksgiving or picking up treats for Halloween, the best that Fall has to offer can be found at Bloor Street Market and the LCBO. We personally love the autumnal pairing of sweet potato chips and craft cider made from fresh Ontario apples – is there anything better?

Products (L-R): Ontario Craft Cider, LCBO; Sweet Potato and Beet Chips, Bloor Street Market

 

Lounge in Style

While the cooler weather means some of our favourite outdoor activities are off the table, what it also means is that we can spend more time doing the things we love to do indoors. For us that means putting on our best Ron White loafers, putting our favourite record on our turntable from Bay Bloor Radio and lounging in style.

Products (L-R): Loafers, Ron White Shoes; Record Player, Bau Bloor Radio

 

Autumn Hues

If there’s one thing we love about Fall, it’s the fashion. The warm tones, bold prints and classic styling that just scream “Fall” are all in store at Petra Karthaus. Whether worn to the office or out in Yorkville, this look will turn heads and leave you feeling chic.

Products (L-R): Trousers, Petra Karthaus; Leopard Print Blouse, Petra Karthaus; Suede Belt, Petra Karthaus

 

Deeper Dives

While summer reads are all about the light and easy, in Fall we love to dive deeper into bigger topics and longer tomes. We love the selection of non-fiction books and magazines at Indigo to satisfy this intellectual itch. If you’re having trouble reading the often smaller font, be sure to book an appointment at Toronto Eye Care and get a new pair of stylish specs.

Products (L-R): Magazines, Indigo; The Rise and Fall of Dinosaurs, Indigo; Glasses, Toronto Eye Care

 

 


Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Valentine’s Day is almost here and while some of us have had our plans sorted and gifts purchased for at least a week, many of us have only just clued in to the fact that today is, in fact, February 13th. With just one day to go, here are some of our best last-minute gift ideas that you can pick up right here at Manulife Centre, for everyone you love.

Timeless Classic

Want to go big this Valentine’s Day? Make your love swoon with a stunning piece from Birks. Jewelry is a Valentine’s Day go-to, but it needn’t have a heart pendant to say “I love you”. We are currently loving the Birks Gold & Pearl collection, which is a perfect pairing of classic elegance with modern styling. With it’s ability to go from daytime to evening seamlessly, we know this is a gift that would be cherished (and worn) forever.

 

Something to Savour

In love with a whisky lover? Treat them to a bottle of Bruichladdich scotch whisky that tastes as great as it will look on their bar cart. Described by the LCBO as “pale gold” in colour with floral, honey and dried fruit aromas, a palate of caramel, apricots and banana, and a light smokiness on the finish, The Classic Laddie has a little something for everyone. The unmistakable turquoise bottle and outer packaging makes it incredibly easy to find among the wide selection of whisky at the LCBO on our Concourse Level, making it the perfect last minute gift.

A Gift that Lasts

We don’t have a florist at Manulife Centre, but we do have the wonderfully stocked Bloorstreet Market where you can conveniently pick-up a selection of cut flowers and potted plants. Instead of a bouquet that won’t survive into March, why not pick up a beautiful potted orchid? Orchids are traditionally associated with love and admiration, not to mention that they can live for years or even decades! Just be sure to care for them and don’t panic when the flowers drop, as orchids have multiple blooming cycles.

In the [Girl] Gang
Looking for the perfect gift for your Galentine? Give her something that will fuel her self-expression like this amazing Feminist Icon Cross-stitch book. Cross-stitch and embroidery is having a bit of a moment right now, and we think this is the perfect empowering gift for any feminist. With this book, not only do they get to read about some incredible women in history, but they also get the gift of a cool new hobby! Pick up a copy from Indigo Bay Bloor and give this great gift with the request that they make you the one for your next birthday (because everyone needs an inspiring cross-stitch of Beyoncé on their desk to get them through the work day). It’s a gift that keeps on giving!

 

Sweet Nothings

What’s Valentine’s Day without candy? While chocolate is the more traditional option, when we think of Valentine’s Day we’re reminded of the candy hearts of our youth. So, give the gift of nostalgia this year with some sweet treats from Rexall Pharma Plus. For the full effect, we recommend pairing your candy gift with a novelty valentine – you know the kind. A simple gift like this one is sure to make the heart go all a-flutter!

No matter how (or to whom) you say “I love you” – from bling to blossoms and more – Manulife Centre has got you covered.

A Day Off at Manulife Centre

Now that the holidays are behind us and winter has a firm grip on the streets of Toronto, we can’t think of a better time to take a day just for you. So call it in and come into town for the perfect day off at Manulife Centre. Check out our sample itinerary below:

 

9:45 am: Let us do the parking.

This is a day for you, so let us find the perfect parking spot. When you enter our parkade off Charles Street, head to our new Valet Booth on P1 to take advantage of our Complimentary Valet Parking.

 

10 am: Indigo for a coffee and a morning read.

Beach-read weather is months away, so make up for it. Grab a cup from the Starbucks on the top floor, a magazine from the stacks next to it and a seat somewhere in the store. If you’re lucky you might find a fellow talented patron tinkling the ivories at Indigo’s piano, setting the tone for a relaxing day.

 

11:30 am: Work out at The Goodlife

What better way to blow away the cobwebs than a good workout? Luckily we have a Goodlife Fitness onsite to help you get in your daily workout. Not a member? No problem. Ask for a trial visit and check out the chain’s best Toronto club ¾ and the only one with a pool.

 

12:30 pm: Lunch at Scaccia

This Italian sandwich bar is known for ¾ you guessed it ¾ its scaccias. And while you really should get one if it’s your first time there (we’re big fans of the sausage), the Nicoise Salad is also one of the best in town, and will probably sit a lot better in your stomach afterwards at the movies.

 

1 pm: Catch a flick at the Varsity

Go for a showing in one of the VIP theatres. Midday screenings are awesome and they’re the perfect way to get your Oscar screenings in before the award ceremony on March 4th.

 

3:30 pm: Treat yourself.

Get your hair done at Haartek or treat yourself to a luxurious facial at GRATiAE. Don’t forget to pick up some of their amazing products to continue your pamper day at home.

 

4:30 pm: Grab something to bring home for dinner

Bloorstreet Market’s prepared food section is pretty great. And pair whatever you get with something from the LCBO. It’s just down the hall.

 

5:00 pm: Redeem your two hours of free parking

It’s nice to get something back. And we’re happy to give it. Saving some money is a great way to cap off your perfect day off.

 

What would you do with a day off at Manulife Centre? Let us know on social media by tagging us @ManulifeCentre or using #BloorandBetter.


All About Heather’s Picks

The first thing you see when you walk into our Indigo is a table of Heather’s Picks. Heather is, of course, Heather Reisman, Indigo’s CEO and THE authority in this country on what makes a good read. Since 1998, she’s anointed more than 260 books and, in the process, helped jumpstart the careers of young authors from around the world.

 

They keep writers writing

Of course authors do what they do because they love it. But they still need to eat. When Heather recommends a book, it “usually sells quite well” she said in a 2016 Toronto Star article. But more than that, it gives them confidence and validation, and that drives them to be better. Heather picked A Man Called Ove by then-unknown Swedish author Fredrik Backman. She introduced a whole country to him, and helped him get to 1M+ copies sold. Since then, he’s published six more books, and Ove was turned into a movie.

 

They keep book clubs going

Heather reads a book a week. But she starts reading far more. Her rule: if she’s not hooked after 20 pages, she’s done. And she’s been doing this long enough to know what voracious readers want. She’s almost always right. We know of a book club in Etobicoke that only reads Heather’s Picks.

 

They keep parents happy

If you’re going to read the same book every night for a month, it’d better be good. Heather’s eye for amazing kids’ books is unquestionable, with titles like Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site and its perfect poetic cadence (not one deviation from the established beat), and The Book With No Pictures, which might be the most innovative kids’ book of the past ten years.

 

And they keep books in peoples’ hands

Yes, eReaders are great. And yes, they’re the future. But you can’t beat the feeling of actually turning the pages of a page-turner. We see people reading Heather’s Picks’ books in the western lounge area on the Concourse level, at the tables in front of Scaccia and Timothy’s, on the treadmills at the Good Life and, of course, at the Starbucks in Indigo.

 

With our renovation in full swing, Indigo’s Bay Street entrance is the closest unimpeded way into Manulife Centre. You’ll see Heather’s Picks as soon as you walk in. Choose one and enjoy.


Mom Time at Manulife Centre

Looking for the perfect way to honour your mother? How about some quality time with her? Better yet, how about some quality time with her at Bay and Bloor? Better yet still, how about some quality time with her 51 floors above Bay and Bloor?

 

Take her to the moon (almost)

Ride the back elevator up to The One Eighty for a special Mother’s Day brunch that includes complementary pink prosecco and rosé for the ladies of the hour, in addition to the most breathtaking view of the city. Brunch is being served from 11AM to 4PM this Sunday, but it’s filling up quickly so reserve your tickets.

 

Let yourselves be pampered  

You can smell the Haartek Salon before you see it. And you can hear people talk about how relaxed they are as they leave. Have your skin exfoliated, your body massaged and your fingers and toes expertly gel polished.

Feeling like lavishing a bit more love? Book facials at GRATiAE. Sourced from a hidden hot spring in The Sea of Galilee on Israel’s northeast border, their legendary minerals have been opening and rejuvenating pores since Roman times. Treat yourselves with a two-for-one Mother’s Day facial special.

 

Talk over a book and a coffee

Stop by Indigo for a drink in the Starbucks Café, then walk the stacks to check out some of the hottest rising reads including:

Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou

A moving memoir about two women, and the strength and preciousness of a mother-daughter bond. With Angelou’s trademark good humour and fierce optimism, this book is everything you want in a feel-good read. Perfect for a post-Mother’s Day book club!

Why a Son Needs a Mom: 100 Reasons by Gregory E. Lang

Show your appreciation for your mom with this classic book full of true-to-life moments you can reflect on together. A beautiful gift to show her how a mom’s love is the constant compass her son needs to be a great man.

Just Grandma and Me by Mercer Meyer

And, if there are grandkids in the picture, this is a definite favourite you and your mom can pick out just for her and the little one. Funny, heartwarming and celebratory of the special bond between a child and their grandmother. Plus, it’s a charming gift idea that promises even more memory-making for grandma.

 

For the last minute decision makers, a quick reminder that Indigo’s running a promotion right now where you have a chance to win your entire purchase if you pick up a greeting card AND a super cute perfect-for-summer tote for $14.50 when you spend $40 or more.

And, as always, you’ll get two hours of FREE PARKING when you spend $25 or more at Manulife Centre, which, in between sipping rosé and perusing the latest must-reads, shouldn’t be too hard.

 

Happy Mother’s Day!