Outlet malls near Toronto might be a bit of a jaunt for down-towners (or those of us who don't have a method of transportation outside of the TTC), but regulars shoppers at these locations have been known to rave over massive holiday sales and U.S.-style prices. Save yourself the hassle of crossing the border, since apparently, you're not missing out on much. And if you're not a big shopper, it's okay: you might find yourself a rewarding social life by becoming a mall walker.
Here are the best outlet malls in and around the GTA.
FASHION & STYLE : via @blogTO
With a whopping 260 stores, Vaughan Mills is the GTA's all-star outlet mall. Not only does it feature a massive indoor shopping facility and car-shaped cafeteria chairs, it also has a nice mix of high- and low-end stores. Everyday shops like Laura, Winners, and Suzy Shier are accompanied by heavy-hitters like Lacoste, h2 Holt Renfrew, Michael Kors, and Armani Exchange. Oh yeah, and there's a Legoland. Now it's definitely worth the drive, right? Right.
Mississauga's Heartland Town Centre has a couple of major points of appeal besides its varied selection of box stores in fashion, home, and electronic products. First, there's a Costco. People love Costco. Then there's the Krispy Kreme across the street, which, if you're okay with multi-tasking, means you can shop and eat donuts at the same time. Bargain-hunters otherwise go for the Banana Republic outlet, Wal-Mart Superstore, Calvin Klein outlet, H&M, and Best Buy. Be on the lookout for a brand-new DSW store, too.
Shoppers looking for a more upscale outlet experience should head to Halton Hills' Premium Outlets, an outdoor mall that opened its doors in the summer of 2013. The Steeles West location draws crowds filled with a range of suburban moms and chic young professionals eager to get their hands on lower-priced goods from big brands like Kate Spade New York, Coach, Tory Burch, Michael Kors, and J. Crew.
The collection of outlets found at Dufferin St. and Orfus Rd. are a must-visit for bargain hunters who generally prefer to take their business across the border. It boasts the only cheese outlet on this list (!), a Kitchen Stuff Plus Clearance outlet, and The Shopping Channel's Off-Air shopping location. Other gems include typically affordable clothing stores with even better prices than your average mall, including but not limited to Bikini Bay, Sirens, Le Chateau, Urban Behaviour, and Stitches.
Formerly known as Dixie Value Mall (an important distinction to make), Dixie Outlet Mall is your average savings haven. The Toronto mainstay gets extra points from customers for being indoors and hosting a comfortable amount of parking. You'll recognize stores like Aldo, Dynamite, Fairweather, Guess, and Jacob amidst a number of uniquely named stores (Quilts, Etc., Trendi 4 Men) and a very necessary Bulk Barn.
Be sure to pack your yoga mats for the trip to Canada One because, yes, there's a Lululemon outlet there (the only one in Canada). There are other athletic favourites, too -- Nike, Adidas, and Reebok -- that offer a handful of promotions all year round. You can always head online for some of their advertised coupons beforehand for places like Roots, Danier, Coach, and Mexx. It's set up in a strip mall fashion, so come prepared with good walking shoes!
Located on Weston Road in Woodbridge, the Colossus Centre has a healthy mix of outlet stores and regular shopping mall destinations. When it comes to deals, there's a generous stock of denim supply thanks to the Buffalo Jeans and Pantorama outlets, along with a Kodiak outlet if you're looking for inexpensive, reliable Canadian footwear for the winter months. Other Canadiana includes the Roots Factory outlet for all your cozy needs.
Although it's an hour from downtown Toronto, Cooktown's Tanger Outlet Mall is worth the drive for their consistent store-wide deals and varied outlet selection. Buyers make the trip for deals on kitchenware from Paderno and Black & Decker Home Essentials, while others come for regular shoe sales at Aldo, Nine West, Rockport, and even Crocs. The mall is set to expand in October, too, with the addition of 40 new brands including Swarovski, Sketchers, and The Body Shop.
Compared to other outdoor outlet malls on this list, Niagara's Outlet Collection has noted popularity for hosting Food Truck Fridays in the summer, along with its accessible seating areas, partial roofing for comfort in bad weather, and pleasant strolling space (since more outdoor malls don't accommodate shoppers with relaxation areas). The stores offer individual promotions year-round, with a selection of sporting goods stores for outdoorsy people, including Columbia Sportswear Company, The North Face, and Eddie Bauer. Well-priced high-end stores like DKNY, Michael Kors, J. Crew, Calvin Klein, and Hugo Boss are just a few reasons that keep customers coming back.
This North York bargain stop's two outlet stores offer crucial savings on key household items: one being food, the other, kitchenware. They're the perfect pair! The Corningware Corelle Revere Factory Store outlet is a great place to stock up on cooking necessities, urban dishware, and classy casserole dishes. When you're all shopped out there, you can head over to Almost Perfect for low-priced frozen foods and cheap boxes of macaroni.