Toronto’s malls are not what they used to be. Food courts have been reimagined to offer an elevated experience, complete with gourmet food of all flavours. The high-end shops – many formerly reserved only for Bloor Street – have entered the mall space. Best of all, a shopping trip now comes with a side of a memorable dining experience with the addition of quality restaurants.
Bayview Village is the latest mall with a facelift in the works, with a proposal from QuadReal, DIALOGUE, and Hariri Pontarini Architects to add five new residential and commercial buildings around the existing shopping centre. Currently, all that surrounds it is a whole lot of concrete in the form of uninspiring parking lots. The redesign will cater to the pedestrian with things like green spaces and will offer a more community-like feel (or more of a “Village” than ever before). In terms of shopping, we can expect 45,000 square feet of new retail space at Bayview Village, much of which will be in the form of an open-air retail promenade.
“The vision for the future is to take the gem of Bayview Village and raise the bar even higher,” said Melissa Evans-Lee, National Director, Marketing & Customer Experience at QuadReal Property Group. “To create sleek new residences added experiential shopping venues, and cutting-edge pedestrian avenues, green areas, and public spaces. In short, to build a self-contained oasis of community living and shopping in the middle of Toronto.”
The mall – which has existed for decades – has already seen some notable changes as of late. The foodie shopper will appreciate the addition of two new Oliver & Bonacini (O & B) spots. This summer, Beauty’s Barbecue Smokehouse – a sleek, quick service spot that satisfies BBQ cravings for brunch, lunch, or dinner – opened up shop in the south parking lot of Bayview Village. Here, you’ll find a range of barbequed and house-smoked meats, saucy sandwiches, fresh salads, and down-home sides. You can order your grilled goodness by the pound, bowl, or bun.
Another new addition to Bayview Village from the beloved O & B brand is the upscale pasta and steak spot Parcheggio Ristorante. The stylish restaurant features a spacious dining room, several groups and private dining spaces, and a large patio to either fuel up or unwind after a day of shopping. Parcheggio will serve lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Sunday, with weekend brunch launching soon.
This fall, diners can get their Goan fix when GOA Kitchen by Hemant Bhagwani (the well-known restaurateur behind Amaya Express) opens for business. The menu here pays tribute to the Portuguese influence on the Goan culture of India and reflects the region’s stunning cultural diversity today.
“Bayview Village is already a mecca for foodies (and fashionistas and decoristas) but obviously when it comes to food, I think everyone would agree . . . more is more,” said Evans-Lee.
While you may want to make a trip to Bayview Village for the food alone (or the fact that the mall was recognized for having the best bathrooms in Canada), the mall has a well-curated assortment of stores, with names like TNT, DAVIDS, Browns, Mendocino, and Pink Tartan, to name a few.
Just, maybe don’t attempt to drive all the way up there during rush hour (but it is next to a TTC station).
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