Malls, museums, people-movers, and magical pubs - what's new and exciting in the GTA

[Presented by Ontario Travel]

A lot has changed in the Greater Toronto Area over the past year, and it can be hard to keep up with new museum exhibits, high-end retail openings, transit options, under-the-radar pubs, and everything else the GTA has to offer. Here's a list of things that are new or that you might have missed.

Aga Khan Museum

(Aga Khan Museum)

(Aga Khan Museum)

This newly opened museum in Toronto is dedicated to presenting an overview of the artistic, intellectual and scientific contributions that Muslim civilizations have made to world heritage. The Museum’s Permanent Collection of over 1,000 objects includes masterpieces that reflect a broad range of artistic styles and materials. These portraits, textiles, miniatures, manuscripts, ceramics, tiles, medical texts, books and musical instruments represent more than ten centuries of human history and a geographic area stretching from the Iberian Peninsula to China. Designed by architect Fumihiko Maki, the Museum shares a 6.8-hectare (17-acre) site with Toronto’s Ismaili Centre, which was designed by architect Charles Correa. The surrounding landscaped park, designed by landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic, provides an exciting new green space for the city of Toronto.

Chihuly at the Royal Ontario Museum

Laguna Torcello (Courtesy of ROM)

Laguna Torcello (Courtesy of ROM)

Dale Chihuly (Courtesy of ROM)

Dale Chihuly (Courtesy of ROM)

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) will be featuring the extraordinary work of Internationally-renowned artist Dale Chihuly. On display from June 25, 2016 to January 2, 2017, CHIHULY will include several astonishingly colourful and dramatic works of art.  Chihuly is credited with revolutionizing the Studio Glass movement and elevating the perception of the glass medium from the realm of craft to fine art.  He is renowned for his ambitious architectural installations around the world, in historic cities, museums and galleries.

 

Opened August 2015 by owners who self-identify as Hufflepuffs, this Harry Potter-themed bar is named for Harry’s egomaniac of a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher from the second book.  Fans will notice references to the series tucked throughout the bar, from the stag logo on the wall (Harry’s patronus) to the heart-shaped, neon sign depicting the series’ final words, “All was well.”  The magical theme extends to the drink menu, where you can order mixology concoctions such as "The Shacklebolt”, “Befuddlement Draft” or “Ludo’s Debt”.

Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue

handbag-159884_1280.png

Upscale Seattle-based retailer Nordstrom will launch its first Toronto flagship store at the Toronto Eaton Centre mid-September 2016.  A second store will open late-October 2016 at Yorkdale Shopping Centre and a third Toronto location will open at Sherway Gardens Spring 2017.

The first Saks Fifth Avenue stores in Canada, at Toronto Eaton Centre and Sherway Gardens opened in February 2016. As part of Saks OFF 5TH’s North American expansion plan, Saks OFF Fifth locations are open as of Spring 2016 at Vaughan Mills, Toronto, and Toronto Premium Outlets, Halton Hills.

Union Pearson Express (UP Express)

Bloor Station (UP Express)

Bloor Station (UP Express)

This new airport train connects Toronto Pearson International Airport to downtown Toronto’s Union Station in just 25 minutes, with departures every 15 minutes. On board, guests are offered an array of amenities including WiFi, power outlets for laptops, luggage racks, flight information and infotainment screens. Airline check-in kiosks, light refreshments and retail are available at the UP Express Union Station. The station is conveniently located close to Toronto’s many downtown hotels, tourist attractions and business centres. A recent fare reduction means a single ride is as low as $9, making it a much more affordable and convenient option.