Something for Dad

The sun is finally shining, the trees are showing their colours again and the smell of freshly mowed grass is fills the air, which means it’s that time of year again! No, not Summer – Father’s Day of course! Looking for something to help you celebrate the dad in your life? Look no further than these stylish selections from around Manulife Centre.

The Gift of Quiet Time

“Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad!” is the soundtrack of every young Dad’s life, so give him the gift of a little quiet time with a pair of quality Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones from Bay Bloor Radio. These noise cancelling headphones will give him the break he deserves along with a fun new piece of tech to play with. Time to rock out!

For the “Cool Dad”

Of course, all dads are cool dads, but only some can pull off these stylish sunglasses from Toronto Eye Care. While they have an incredible selection of unique eyewear, this pair in particular have all of the best 80’s dad glasses vibes with none of terrible haircuts. Pick a pair up for Dad and let him know that you know.

The Gift of Organization

We all know at least one dad who suffers from the “Dad Pocket”. You know the one. Usually the back pocket of a well-loved pair of jeans, totally misshapen and faded around edge of his overstuffed wallet. For the sake of his jeans (and his posture), it’s time to streamline. Pick him up a colourful and fun leather RFID card wallet from DeCatarina Leather. It makes finding cards a breeze and protects from unwanted tapping.

A Gift to Satisfy

Picture this: Dad’s spent all day in the yard mowing the lawn, building a fence, and digging out that fire pit he’s always wanted. What better way to enjoy the spoils of his labour than sitting down in front of the fire with a wee dram of delicious whisky. The Bruichladdich 10 is a great whisky that is sure to satisfy in any situation. Pick up a bottle at the LCBO on our Concourse Level!

Something Special

It’s not every day that you get to treat Dad to something special, so make this Father’s Day the time you do. With its striking blue face, this watch from Birks will happily take him from the work week to the week end, and will be cherished for a long time to come.


Spring is Here

As Winter continues to drag on in Toronto we’re desperately looking for the signs that spring is just around the corner. While we are having trouble finding them outside, inside Manulife Centre Spring is in full bloom! Check out some of our favourite products from around the centre that will fill your life with the spirit of the season until the weather catches up with our mindset.

Spring is Sweet

Easter Candy | Bloor Street Market
There’s nothing like the appearance of Cadbury Mini Eggs on grocery store shelves to mark the start of Spring. We love the whole selection of Easter treats on the seasonal shelf in Bloor Street Market, including these neon gummy bunnies. Stock up for your seasonal celebrations or simply grab a treat for yourself to enjoy the colours and flavours of the season.

Spruce up your Space

Umbra Woodrow Spruce Wastepaper Basket | Nirvana Home Collection
With Spring comes Spring Cleaning, so why not make the most of your annual decluttering by treating your space to a beautifully designed wastepaper basket. The Woodrow Spruce wastepaper basket from Umbra is not only a beautiful colour that will compliment almost any decor, but it’s an affordable and practical purchase that will serve you for years to come. Pick one up at Nirvana Home Collection and bring home something that will spark joy every time you dispose of unwanted clutter.

Succulent Fever

Succulents Tea Mug with Stainless Infuser | Indigo Books, Gifts & Toys
We all have it. There’s no denying the appeal of these easy to care for plants. But for those with the brownest of thumbs, it’s better to find other ways to achieve #PlantLady status. That’s why we love this gorgeous tea mug from Indigo. This mug will bring the outside in while we wait for the city’s foliage to return with an added bonus: you can’t kill it.

Step into Spring

Men’s Dilan Slip-on Sneakers in Jeans | Ron White Shoes
It really starts to feel like Spring the you can step out of your heavy winter boots and into your light spring shoes. These casual yet classy slip-ons from Ron White Shoes are the epitome of spring footwear and will carry you through sunny walks in Yorkville to brunch at The One Eighty. Pick up a pair at Ron White Shoes and be sure to take in their newly refreshed space while you’re there!

Spring Hues

 
Vincent Collection Floral Scarf by Anja Gockel | Petra Karthaus
With Winter (mostly) behind us it’s time to add a little colour back into our wardrobes. Petra Karthaus makes it easy with this bright and beautiful floral scarf that would make the perfect addition to your closet. These bright spring hues are sure brighten up any day. If you love this pattern as much as we do, be sure to visit Petra Karthaus on our Main Level as they have the whole collection in store.

Sunlight Savings

 

 

Dior Sunglasses | Toronto Eye Care
While the weather is not fully there yet, we have been blessed with several sunny days throughout March. It’s also officially Spring, so our days are not just sunnier, but they’re longer too. So how better to celebrate these longer days than with a new pair of sunglasses! Good thing Toronto Eye Care’s selection is second to none. This tortoiseshell pair from Dior are truly classic and will never go out of style. Find Toronto Eye Care in their new location on our Main Level next to Bay Bloor Radio.

Shopping for Pops

Mother’s Day is a breeze to shop for compared to Father’s Day.

We did another one of our informal polls around here, and found that 7 out of 10 women feel like they’ve never knocked it out of the park for Father’s Day — interesting because in a similar poll, 80 percent of men thought they nailed Mother’s Day this year.

Last month, we walked around Manulife Centre looking for great Mother’s Day gifts, so we thought we’d do it again for the poppas. And while we found stuff at Bay Bloor Radio that any dad would love to have, we decided to dig a little deeper and go a bit off the board. Here’s some of what we discovered:

 

Socks at Quattro

Seriously? Socks? Yes, seriously. Funky socks are all the rage this year, and Quattro Clothiers is sporting some of the best from 7 Downie Street, a surprisingly Canadian company with a finger on the pulse of Saville Row fashion.

We wouldn’t say any of them were “traditional,” but none are outlandish enough to make Dad stand out for the wrong reasons.

 

A Pen from Birks

If you have an “old-school” dad, a Birks classic writing utensil will make his year. It says “educated,” “distinguished” and “important” all at the same time, and it looks just as good on display as it will on the page.

This is an especially good gift for dads who run businesses — because every entrepreneur needs a lucky pen to sign cheques and contracts.

 

Phil Knight’s New Book from Indigo

As the founder of Nike, of course he’d name the book Shoe Dogs. And, of course, any dad would love it. Especially the part about turning the NBA, a league that was in a bit of trouble, into the juggernaut property it is today by commodifying the feeling of being “like Mike.” It’s on display by Indigo’s lower level cash desk, across from the LCBO. Speaking of which…

 

Vintage Whisky from the LCBO

Any other time, you can bring your dad a bottle of wine and call it a day. But on his day, you can go a bit above and beyond. The selection of specialty Whisky in our LCBO is impressive. We have our favourites, but we’ll remind you that with Whisky, presentation is just as important as taste. If you can find a sexy bottle, we suggest you pounce.

 

Cocktails set from William Ashley

Mad Men might be off the air, but its legacy of sipping cocktails with your buddies and solving the world’s problems is still very en vogue. See to it that the next one is at your house. And while you’re at William Ashley, pick up something nice up for Mom — you know, for putting up with Dad.

 

If you come across anything else around here you think your dad would like, feel free to share it on our social channels @ManulifeCentre


Wedding Gift Season

Last Sunday, after a fabulous brunch at the Bloor Street Diner, we walked off our bacon & eggs with a stroll through Manulife Centre to William Ashley where (big surprise), we ran into a couple registering for their wedding.

We got to talking to the happy newlyweds and asked them why they chose William Ashley. Their response: “it’s where you go.”

We thought that was an interesting response, so we dug a bit further.

 

Brides, Made.
Since 1947, William Ashley has been wedding central. And that wasn’t by accident. The store’s founder, a woman named Tillie Abrams, opened the store as a purveyor of fine china, knowing it was the kind of thing newly married women wanted for their homes.

So the story goes, to demonstrate the quality of her product she would routinely hit her plates on the edge of the counter. She never broke a plate.

As William Ashley’s popularity as a wedding registry destination grew, and brides from across Canada expressed interest in certain products, Abrams expanded her offerings to serve the country’s changing tastes, and invested heavily in making registering easy.

Today, the iconic store is one of the go-to’s for newlyweds looking to have their new homes stocked with quality.

 

A walk through the aisles
We stuck around a bit longer to find out what’s trending in the world of wedding registries, and what the soon-to-be-married set is gravitating towards these days.

Practicality
In the past, brides looked for sets they would break out once a year, like Christmas dishes. But today’s young people are far more practical.

Many young people we spoke to were more interested in what was going to be on the plate versus what the plate looks like. Yes, they want quality — but they’re defaulting to more simple patterns and styles.

Having said that, there are over 8,000 patterns to choose from in a variety of shapes and textures. That means you’re bound to find a set that suits your taste.

And speaking of taste, many newlyweds are choosing pieces for cooking just as much as they’re choosing pieces for serving. Sometimes, people will go downstairs to the Bloorstreet Market to get inspired, then come up here and start adding items to their registries.

Accents
We’re seeing a real creative flare these days among newlyweds.

In lieu of splurging for expensive art, many look to William Ashley’s collections of decorative vases, bowls and tea sets. One of this year’s favourites is a one-of-a-kind wooden salad bowl that can be used for dinner parties and displayed the rest of the time.

Stuff for him
Wedding registries have typically been the bride’s domain, but these days, with men taking more control in the kitchen, grooms are having their voices heard and their choices reflected on registries.

And while you can generally predict what most women are going to add, men tend to go off the board a bit with items like braisers, ramekins and tajines.

 

The William Ashley vow
It’s pretty simple: their promise is to make the experience easy, and they do it in so many ways, from an easy-to-navigate online registry system to in-person appointments with knowledgeable Registry Consultants, to the Gift Notification service that advises you immediately whenever something’s purchased—giving you ample time to respond with a thank-you note.

But the best is probably the parking at Manulife Centre. You’ll get two free hours if you spend $25 at William Ashley (or any other store). But you’ll ALSO get a parking pass which you can use until the big day.

Free parking at Bay and Bloor? In terms of an early wedding gift, it doesn’t get much #BloorAndBetter than that.


Springing it up at Manulife Centre

We knew Erica Wark from her blog, Erica On Fashion, but we had no idea what a fan she was of Manulife Centre. So when she came to us with the idea of doing her entire spring prep ritual in one visit to our little corner of the world, we jumped at the chance to break out all the stops.

On March 29th, Erica will be spending the day at Bloor & Better getting her wardrobe warm-weather ready. She’ll be showing us what she does to clean out and organize her closet, the can’t-miss 2016 trends and why one visit to Manulife Centre is all she needs.

You’ll be able to follow her throughout the day on Twitter and Instagram. And we’ll do a full recap of what she did and what she found here on the blog.

Until then, here are a few spring prep tips for you to think about:

Check your sunblock situation
Unless you went south over the winter, you probably haven’t looked at your suntan lotion in a while. But now that it’s getting warmer, make sure you’re fully stocked. If you’re running low, you can stock up at Pharma Plus on the concourse level.

Get BBQ ready
If you went to town with your grill last summer, your tools may not be in the best shape. No problem. A visit to Indigo can change that. And while you’re there, check out the new titles in the cooking section.

Think weekend road trips
From Muskoka to Niagara to Prince Edward County, we’re blessed with options in Southern Ontario. If you don’t yet have small luggage options for a two-day jaunt, Bonny Satchels ’n Duffels can hook you up.