Upscale Toronto-based tableware and giftware retailer William Ashley is relocating its Manulife Centre store to a new space this year. Its new location will be in what some consider to be Canada’s most prestigious retail address — Morguard’s The Colonnade at 131 Bloor Street West. William Ashley will occupy a temporary ground-level space that will open to the public next month, while the company’s full-sized store is expected to open in about seven to eight months.

William Ashley moved into its current 24,000 square foot 55 Bloor Street West space (with about 20,000 square feet of retail) at the southwest corner of Bloor Street West and Balmuto Street in 1994, replacing former women’s luxury retailer Creeds which went bankrupt in 1991. William Ashley was founded in 1947 by Tillie Abrams (who passed away in 2010), and opened its first Bloor Street store in the 1950’s. In the early 1970’s, William Ashley was the first store in Canada to offer a wedding registry service. William Ashley boasts the largest selection of tableware, giftware, and gourmet kitchenware in the world, and this year marks the 70th anniversary for the venerable retailer.

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