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.


Goodbye Bloor Street Diner

With redevelopment comes change. Today we say goodbye to Bloor Street Diner. On behalf of the Diner, thanks to everyone who’s joined us over the years for what is arguably the City’s best brunch. If you’re looking for a replacement for your beloved diner, visit the Eatertainment family up at The One Eighty, located on the 51st floor of Manulife Centre.


Dads + Cars = : )

After a year off, the Yorkville Exotic Car Show is back for Father’s Day on June 19th — and really, is there a better way to walk off brunch with Dad than along an actual red carpet lined with magnificent cars? The answer is no, there isn’t.

And it doesn’t really matter whether or not your pop is into cars, because you don’t have to be a gearhead to appreciate these gorgeous machines shimmering in the sun.

You’ll get an up-close look at the latest from Acura, Ferrari, Lotus and Lamborghini — to name a few — as well as classic Porsches, Mustangs and Studebakers. And of course, you’ll see the history of the Corvette. We’re partial to the bulbous years from the 1970s.

We were there the last time this event ran back in 2014, and we had such a great time that we’re a Gold Sponsor this year. That means there’ll be two cars parked right by our doors. We’re hoping for Lambos, but if it winds up being a pair of BMWs, that would be fine too. Or the Batmobile. No really. It’s coming.

Thinking of checking it out? Remember that you’ll get two hours of free parking at Bay & Bloor with a $25 purchase at Manulife Centre. There’s the Bloor Street Diner brunch you could have. There’s Bay Bloor Radio where you can take your dad HiFi shopping (check out the new wireless headphones). There’s Indigo where you can get the big guy a few car mags to complete the experience. And especially for this event, there’ll be free snow cones from 1–4 pm here on the concourse level.

If your dad’s also a granddad, bring the little ones along! Because there’s nothing like the look on a kid’s face when he gets his first ever glimpse at a Testarosa.


Going Bloor & Better

Blog1_May13Welcome to our new blog! This is the place to celebrate the goings-on at the southeast corner of Bloor & Bay and the community that surrounds it.

We’ll be introducing you to the businesses in Manulife Centre: the bigger ones like Indigo, William Ashley and Bay Bloor Radio, and the more boutique ones like Ron White Shoes, GRATiAE and Nirvana Home Collection — VP Rishi Aggarwal is going to show us what he’d do with a bachelor apartment in 44 Charles Suite West, the rental apartment building above us.

We’ll also be reporting from the bloorstreet market, The One Eighty and The Bloor Street Diner on the unique meals you can find at Manulife Centre, starting with the best Brunch in Toronto.

And once in a while we’ll turn the lens around and focus on the people (and puppies) that come through here. From street style to product and service recommendations, you’ll see what Bloor & Better means to the folks who benefit from it every day.

As well, you can follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and if there’s something you want to know about Manulife Centre or a story you’d like to see us pursue, let us know on Twitter @ManulifeCentre. In the meantime, enjoy the new blog and our new social feeds.