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Fashion & Style

The top 10 outlet malls near Toronto

Posted by Staff / August 5, 2014

outlet malls torontoOutlet 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.

Vaughan Mills
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.

Heartland Town Centre
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.

Toronto Premium Outlets

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.

Orfus Road Outlets
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.

Dixie Outlet Mall
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.

Canada One Outlets
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!

Colossus Centre
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.

Tanger Outlet
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.

Outlet Collection Niagara
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.

Factory Outlet Plaza
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.

Writing by Alex Brown.

Discussion

15 Comments

iSkyscraper / August 5, 2014 at 10:44 am
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That's an astonishing number of outlet malls for a major city. When I last lived in Toronto there was only Orfus Road, which is more of a wholesale district than a lifestyle-center outlet fantasyland, but now the GTA seems to be flooded with full-on outlet centres. Interesting.

Normally, factory outlets won't go near major cities due to, among other factors, radius restrictions from their regular stores. Chicago's four outlet malls were at least 75 km from downtown; they only last year finally got a fifth one a little closer to the city. New Yorkers have to travel at least an hour to get to an outlet mall, since they don't want to risk losing the tourist bucks in the Fifth Avenue branches.

Toronto is a bit unique in this sense since the regular versions US stores don't really exist in the normal shopping areas, making it easier for their outlet stores to come closer to the main population centers.
ccw75 / August 5, 2014 at 12:15 pm
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I didn't realise until a couple years ago that the outlet stores (like Banana Republic or J.crew) are a completely different animal than the retail stores; their product is made specifically for the outlets. The quality is not the same, but the look is pretty similar. The impression is that you are getting deals by going there as opposed to the mall, but you are actually shopping a different line entirely. Maybe everyone already knows that, but it was a surprise to me....
iSkyscraper / August 5, 2014 at 12:38 pm
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Yes, that's right. Once outlets and factory stores became popular, there was not enough stuff to supply them, so they started making cheaper goods just for outlets. Consumer Reports did an amazing breakdown of each stitch and seam in a comparison a while back:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2011/november/shopping/outlet-stores/outlet-malls-then-and-now/index.htm

Here is another article on the topic:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/sapna/customers-finally-aware-that-most-outlet-merchandise-is-now

Pretty amazing stuff.
Outletshopper / August 5, 2014 at 12:44 pm
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I agree with engineered. We travel to Lake George NY where the outlet stores have incredible prices. Eddie Bauer, Timberland, Jones of NY just to name three, offer goods from 75-80% and sometimes more in real world discounts for the same goods found in traditional retail outlets. Ten-fifteen percent is not much of a discount and can be had at most retail stores any time of the year.
Perry Como / August 5, 2014 at 01:04 pm
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my go to outlet mall is honest eds
Gus replying to a comment from Outletshopper / August 5, 2014 at 01:14 pm
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You just have to keep the auto gas prices or transit ticket prices out of your mind when going there so that your savings can still be as great. The more you spend the more you'll save - the gas prices, etc, etc.
BJC / August 5, 2014 at 04:32 pm
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Corning/Corelle moved years ago from Sheppard (Factory Outlet Plaza)to Allen Road and Rimrock Road http://goo.gl/2Pa75N Where it was is now a Town Shoes outlet http://goo.gl/Ee23V1
barryg / August 6, 2014 at 08:53 am
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I was just down in Grove City, Penn which is the mecca of outlet malls. It's a fantasy. There are no deals, 90% of the stuff was the same price as "outlets" / "sale racks" at stores up here, and the quality was very suspect.
Smith / August 6, 2014 at 10:47 am
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Tanger in Cookstown is closed, at the moment, without any sign of reopening.
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