Deck the Malls: Holiday Shopping Destinations You Won’t Want to Miss

December 12, 2023 5 Minute Read

Holiday Retail Blog

It’s beginning to look a lot like… the holiday shopping season!

Whether those on your gift list have been naughty or nice, CBRE experts are here to help you discover great holiday shopping destinations so you can find that special someone the perfect gift.


For the athlete on your list, CBRE Calgary’s John Moss recommends a trip to Canada’s first Team Town Sports, which opened two locations in Calgary this year as part of a 25-store nationwide expansion. The stores have sports gear, equipment service centres and simulators to test out equipment, including an indoor baseball simulator.

Canadian bag and travel accessories company Herschel has a new store in Chinook Centre. A section of the store is dedicated to a rotating Artist in Residence program, showcasing a different artist and their designs every six months. The space will also double as a community event venue.

Find something for the fashionistas on your list at jeweler Mejuri, which opened its first Calgary location and fourth Canadian store at Chinook Centre earlier in 2023. The store features a minimalist design and distinct sections for rings, bracelets and earrings. Customers are encouraged to try on jewelry and can get their ears pierced by a professional in the store’s piercing studio.

Photo credit: University District Calgary

For locally crafted gifts, check out a Calgary holiday market. Moss suggests one of the University District’s two holiday-themed night markets, where retailers display unique seasonal offerings. Shoppers in need of a break can lace-up their skates at the Central Commons Park outdoor rink or head over to Proof’s annual Miracle on 1st Street pop-up for a funky holiday-themed cocktail.

“Calgary’s retail sector is in a good position this holiday season,” Moss says. “Holiday sales are expected to be stronger than the Canadian average, putting our retailers and landlords in a good position as we roll into 2024.”


Many of Toronto’s newest retail openings this holiday season can be found in the Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood. CBRE Toronto’s Kate Camenzuli points to Canada’s first Kith, an American fashion and lifestyle brand, and a flagship Yves Saint Laurent store on Bloor Street West, one of its largest stores in the world. French jewelry brand Van Cleef & Arpels has launched a Canadian flagship store nearby, joining the likes of Alexander Wang, Anne Fontaine, Rolex and Salvatore Ferragamo in the neighbourhood.

YSL womens ready-to-wear
YSL women's ready to wear - Photo credit: Bloor-Yorkville BIA

Canada’s most profitable mall, Yorkdale Shopping Centre, is undergoing a luxury retail expansion, filling 100,000 square feet with luxury brands like Dolce & Gabbana, LOEWE and Breitling. Yorkdale’s new luxury wing won’t be ready for this year’s holiday shopping rush; it’s expected to be open for business in 2025.

“There’s been lots of growth in Toronto’s luxury sector, both on streetfronts in urban areas and in enclosed malls,” says Camenzuli. “We continue to see exciting new luxury brands adding vibrancy to our markets, especially in Yorkville and at Yorkdale.”

If you’re gift-buying for a bookworm and want to take in some awesome architecture in the process, stop by The Well’s new Indigo, one of many retailers that have recently opened in the mixed-use complex at Front and Spadina.

Augmenting the in-store experience with an active social media presence (#BookTok), Indigo’s new concept store has interactive product displays, a vinyl record section, plant corner and community space for book readings and events. A gourmet coffee truck offers pastries and drinks, both non-alcoholic and boozy. If you work up an appetite at The Well, treat yourself to a slice at Canada’s first Prince Street Pizza, a New York City-based pizzeria with a cult following.

Got foodies on your list? Check out the new Eataly store and restaurant at CF Sherway Gardens. Having opened its first Canadian store in Yorkville months before the pandemic, the Italian food market recently launched its second location at CF Sherway Gardens, with a third at CF Shops at Don Mills coming in 2024. Eataly has a variety of quality foods, from chocolate truffles to authentic balsamic vinegar. It also offers a range of events for epicures and aspiring chefs, with wine and cheese tastings and pasta-making classes.

Eataly Toronto
Eataly CF Sherway Gardens - Photo credit: Cadillac Fairview

“Last year Eataly created such a wonderful holiday feeling,” says Camenzuli. “Panettones were flying off the shelves. Now that they’re opening more stores, they’re making that experience accessible to more people.”

For the indoor designer or dinner party host on your gift list, make a trip to Fable. The homegrown dinnerware brand curates its stores in a way that makes customers feel immersed in the dining experience. Employing the power of storytelling, Fable creates inspiring dinner scenes within the store.  

“Retailers are curating all sorts of exciting customer-first experiences this holiday season,” says Camenzuli. “It’s all about making in-store shopping fun and embracing new concepts.”


If there’s a sneakerhead on your list, CBRE Montreal’s Bryan Greenberg recommends checking out Nike’s first Quebec flagship store in the Montreal Eaton Centre. The multi-leveled store opened earlier this year, only months after the release of Nike’s viral Montreal-bagel themed sneakers. The store features limited-edition products and an immersive shopping experience.

Nike Montreal
Nike Montreal - Photo credit: Timeout Market

A few doors down from Nike, Montreal-based brand Quartz Co offers sustainably designed winter jackets that look good and keep you warm – and your pup, who might appreciate a Hooded Down Dog Vest under the Christmas tree this year.

On the South Shore, Quartier DIX30, now serviced by the Réseau express métropolitain (REM), recently welcomed Womance, an inclusive Quebec-based clothing brand founded by influencer Andréanne Marquis. More than 10,000 followers voted on their preferred location for her second store.

Other recent openings include Montreal-based custom suit-maker SUITABLEE (which uses AI to perfect their fits and reduce costs), Bath and Body Works, L’Occitane en Provence and Arc’teryx. Holiday events at Quartier DIX30 include a parade, special menus and a Santa’s Village.

Montreal’s Holt Renfrew Ogilvy has been a go-to holiday experience since it moved to Sainte-Catherine Street West in 1912. The store draws in holiday shoppers with unique designer pop-ups at L’Espace (Holt’s incubator space), Canada’s second Louis Vuitton Ready-to-Wear shop, and five private shopping suites.

“Montreal is a magical place to be during the winter,” says Greenberg. “We are seeing retailers tap into that magic to make the evolving retail scene a memorable part of the holiday experience as well.”

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