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.

Get to know Manulife Centre differently

The Bloor Street and Balmuto Street entrances are a bit less accessible than they were last year. We apologize for that, but we can promise you that when Eataly opens, it’ll have all been worth the hassle.

In the meantime, try out our multiple alternative entrances and take the opportunity to meet some of our smaller retailers.


West side

Just south of the Indigo entrance is a set of upper and lower doors. If you go up, you’ll be on the First Level and in front of Bay Bloor Radio, perfect to start your visit with a little Hi-Fi window shopping (or real shopping if you’re in the market for some top-of-the-line audio equipment)!

Bonny Satchels ’n’ Duffles/De Catarina Leather’s new home is just down the hall on the other side. They used to have two stores down on the concourse level and we’ve always loved their bags. And now there’s even more room to browse through their showroom and speak with their knowledgeable staff before investing in some new luggage.

A little farther past the escalators, you’ll find Ron White Shoes and Petra Karthaus, a Euro-chic women’s clothing store with a pretty great blog. And just past that is Haartek, one of the best hair salons in the neighbourhood.


Concourse Level

The lower door takes you to the Concourse Level lounge (one of the area’s most convenient meeting spots), and what we’ve heard called “Errand Central.” You’ll find shoe repair, cleaners, a post office and Best One Convenience’s new location to help you keep crossing off your to-do’s.

Keep going past the lounge and you’ll come to Scaccia, our in-house Italian sandwich shop, Bloorstreet Market, our in-house grocery store, the Pharma Plus and the LCBO.

And while you’re down there, you should definitely check out the couches, beds, chairs and lamps in Nirvana’s new home, which they share with Gobelins Fine Linens. Like Bonny, they doubled down on Manulife Centre as the place to be, even through our construction. We’re very grateful for that, and we look forward to seeing what the “Eataly effect” does for them.


North Side

As the Balmuto Street entrance is now closed temporarily due to redevelopment construction, we recommend that you head north to Bloor Street to one of our two entrances.

The first entrance is on Bloor just east of Bay Street. We apologize for our looks as we continue to work on this area, but follow the tunnels and you will come out on the First Level near our Information Desk, with the rest of Manulife Centre at your fingertips.

Our second Bloor Street entrance is just West of Balmuto Street next to Birks’ temporary location on the corner. Follow the classic Birks’ Blue tunnel and you’ll come out near that same Information Desk. Just a little further along you’ll find Indigo, BMO and all of our other incredible retailers.


A note about driving here

If you’re coming by car, you’ll find the entrance to our parking garage on Charles Street (south side of the building). You’ll find three floors of parking and a car detailing shop on P3 so you can get that done as you cruise our corridors. This parking garage is even more convenient since construction has removed parking from Balmuto Street (cyclists please note that the bike parking on Balmuto has been relocated to Bay Street). When you park with us, don’t forget to keep your purchase receipts ¾ you can get two free hours of parking with a $25 purchase!

We know Manulife Centres not as pretty as it once was, but it’s for a noble and very tasty cause. Thank you for your patience as we make our space even better.

The Big Names Keep Rolling In

Fresh off the news that Eataly had chosen Manulife Centre as its first Toronto home, another known brand has followed suit. Over The Rainbow, Toronto’s premier denim shop, is putting its new flagship location here as well.

This makes us giddy for a few reasons. Firstly (and most importantly) their stuff is amazing. The jeans are great, naturally, and their knowledge about all things denim is arguably unmatched. But the real pot of gold is the attention Joel Carman and his team pay to accessories. There are beautiful belts, stellar shoes and – our favourite – a collection of funky socks. We’re especially drawn to the pair of sunny-side-ups (you’ll know it when you see it).

Secondly, it’s such an honour for them to have chosen us – after all, they’ve been kind of a big deal around here for 40+ years. In the ’70’s, when Yorkville was transitioning from hippie to haute, Over The Rainbow was one of the first retailers to move in and they set the tone for what would eventually turn into the centre of Canadian fashion.

For them to recognize what our redevelopment is going to do for the community – and to want to be a part of making it happen – is a huge vote of confidence for us, considering they were among the area’s trailblazers.

Thirdly, the attention they’re going to bring to the other family run stores around here can’t be overstated. Bonny for luggage, De Catarina for leather and Nirvana for home furnishings have all called Manulife Centre home for years; and we’ve been proud to give them a place to be. Now, with Over The Rainbow in the fold bringing discerning denim shoppers in, more Torontonians will get to know the small businesses that help create the vibe here at the corner of Bay and Bloor.

Over the Rainbow’s new flagship store is set to open in Manulife Centre towards the end of 2018. An artist’s rendering is included with this post.

Prepping for the Pride Parade

Love & acceptance. Unity & celebration. Rainbows & more rainbows. Pride is Toronto’s best party of the year, and for the first time ever, this year’s celebration is a month-long affair.

Manulife, our parent company, is thrilled to be a sponsor of the event, and being steps from the action, Manulife Centre is your go-to shopping destination for everything you’ll need at Pride Month’s crowning event: the July 3rd parade.

If you’re driving down, our parking lot is conveniently located just down the street from the Gay Village. And don’t forget that you’ll get two hours of free parking with a $25 purchase at Manulife Centre, like a stylish satchel from Bonny for all the parade swag, new sunnies from HGB Eyewear or pre-parade munchies from Best One Convenience Store on the concourse level by the bank machine.


Hydrate & caffeinate

If the past two weeks are any indication, it’s going to be a scorcher on parade day. Pick up a S’well water bottle at Indigo. They come in awesome colours like Grapefruit Linen, Teakwood and Pink Champagne Glitter — all perfect for Pride.

And if you tied one on the night before (maybe at The One Eighty where you can see the fun from 51 floors up), perhaps an iced coffee from Starbucks or Timothy’s would serve you well? Alternatively, you can stop by the Bloor Street Diner for an espresso served with Toronto’s best Sunday brunch.


Protection & (ahem) protection

Sunscreen’s a must. It just is. You’ll find mobile EMS units all over the parade route to treat burns, but you’re best to avoid the discomfort altogether with a quick trip to Pharma Plus for a tube of SPF 80 and whatever else you think you may need.

We’ll be here all weekend spreading the love, so come by for a free snow cone and get into the spirit. Happy Pride and Happy Canada Day from all of us at Manulife and Manulife Centre!

A Theatre Near You

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