Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo will open its first two Canadian stores in Toronto next year. This week the popular international retailer beloved by regular folk and fashion plates alike finally confirmed the company will open two flagship-level stores in Toronto: a 28,000 square-foot location at the Eaton Centre downtown, and a 24,000 square-foot location at Yorkdale Shopping Centre.

The stores will open in the fall of 2016.

The casual clothing retailer offers moderately priced apparel and accessories for men, women, children and babies including button-down shirts and blouses, sweaters, T-shirts, sweats, jeans, loungewear, hats, bags and belts. The company also offers unique and proprietary collections such as its Ultra Light Down outerwear and functional HEATTECH and AIRism apparel.

We can’t wait!

You do not have to be a sneaker aficionado to enjoy Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture. This exhibition at the Bata Shoe Museum  explores the history of the sneaker from the 19th century through to today. Out of the Box is the first exhibition in North America to showcase the history of sneaker culture and will feature over 120 sneakers representing the past 150 years.

The origin of the sneaker dates back to the middle of the 19th century when it emerged from a confluence of technological advancements and profound cultural shifts. These first sneakers were called plimsoles but by 1873, the term sneaker had been coined. By the middle of the 20th century the pursuit of bodily perfection took on nationalistic overtones and the sneaker became firmly entrenched in the wardrobe of millions. The ‘Me Generation’ of the 1970s shifted the focus of fitness from cultivating group identity to the pursuit of individual success and high-end athletic footwear became signifiers of conspicuous consumption. It was the embrace of the basketball shoe in American urban centers, however, at the end of the century that would give rise to sneaker culture and transform the sneaker into the icon that it is today.

The exhibition runs until March of 2014

In an attempt to expand its customer base Holt Renfrew plans to launch a new chain early in 2013 called hr2. Hr2 will open its first location  at the Quartier DIX30 mall in Brossard, Quebec. Luxury designer products from womenswear, menswear and accessories will be sold for a fraction of the price and won’t overlap with those sold at Holt Renfrew.  “It’s a completely new opportunity for us to grow,” said Heather Arts, a vice-president at Holt who heads hr2. “There’s definitely a void in the market. … It’s really going after another customer.


This Saturday Toronto will morph into landscape of contemporary art for the Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. From dusk til dawn you can troll the city from Greenwood to Roncy and Lakeshore to St Clair and take in the arts festival. There are over 150 unique projects so take a few minutes and review the event listing to plan out your night. The biggest attractions will usually have long lines so dress warmly and be patient.

Here are our favorites:

Beacon 2012 Sculpture

Beacon is a fantastic and carnivalesque skeletal sculpture based on historic lighthouses of the 1800s. Inspired by the “floating” structures that once perched along coastlines and inner waterways, artist Alison Norlen draws on the imagination of architectural follies and the ornamentation of Victorian pleasure sites and theme parks such as Luna Park and Brighton Pier, as well as personal memories and references. Extending the expansive skeletal drawings and miniature wire forms that have been part of Norlen’s artistic practice for the last decade, the welded architecture transforms the ghost-like surfaces of familiar and forgotten structures she has been exploring – 20th century sites of fantasy and cultural artifice – into large built form.

QUASAR 2.0: STAR INCUBATOR 2012 – Light and Sound Installation

Quasar 2.0: Star Incubator (Q2:SI) is an immersive interactive light and sound installation proving an evocative spatial reflection of renewing and evolving life-cycles. The light and sound events are expressions of a multilayered generative system that transports ever-changing narrative structures through emergent characteristics. The Q2:SI body is conceived of an array of structural prototype elements, electronic sensors and control elements that form an intricate three-dimensional spatial configuration. The installation’s life-form is comprised of several converging real-time data streams: local infrared and electromagnetic fields, and external oceanic temperature, solar weather, and weather data collected at the Antarctica Weather station. A local information screen provides tangible date sourcing and processing of the multiple inputs.

All Together Now 2012 – Dance

Built form and public space give rise to an ambient choreography that shapes and directs our urban experience in tangible ways. All Together Now brings the body in motion into the architecture of the city in an experiential collaboration. Like architecture, dance requires the creative manipulation of materials (in this case the body in motion) to compose a distinctive world.

Earth–Moon–Earth (Moonlight Sonata Reflected from the Surface of the Moon), 2007 – Sound Installation

A player piano, alone in an empty room, plays a familiar tune: Beethoven’s 1802 Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor “Quasi una fantasia”, commonly known as Moonlight Sonata. But something’s not quite right. Some notes sound off-key, while others appear to be missing. Moreover, the tempo lacks the emotional intensity and dramatic flair that we expect from this classic of romantic music.