free people canada

Popular clothing brand quietly closes one of its three Toronto stores for good

A U.S.-based women's clothing retailer known for its quality boho designs and dreamy in-store atmosphere quietly and permanently closed one of its Toronto locations a few weeks ago during the recent provincewide shutdown.

Free People Eaton Centre — which was one of only three Free People shops in the city and the province, as well as one of only six across Canada — shuttered at the end of February, shortly before "non-essential" retailers were allowed to reopen as part of the region's entry into the grey zone of Ontario's colour-coded reopening framework.

Though the brand and its parent company, URBN (also behind Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie, among others) declined to comment on the situation, would-be shoppers and associates at other FP locations confirmed the news.

Low foot traffic and the lengthy forced closures were presumably contributing factors, as the health crisis and subsequent lockdowns have pushed tens of thousands of stores and restaurants out of business nationwide.

Free People locations in Yorkville at Yorkville Ave. and Bellair, as well as at CF Sherway Gardens in Etobicoke, remain open to the public for in-person shopping with limited capacities, as well as for curbside pickup and delivery.

The perhaps more popular Urban Outfitters actually started out under the banner Free People back in the 1970s, and long after UO changed its name, Free People re-emerged as a more boutique experience offering different styles at a higher price point in 2002.

The Eaton Centre store, which first opened its doors in early 2016, is now visibly shut down and also no longer listed among the brand's 159 locations across the U.S. and Canada on its website.

With so few FP stores north of the border, customers will definitely be missing this central Toronto outpost.

Lead photo by

New Studio Architecture

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