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Shop the PATH: 8 Top Stores, Eateries and Services in Toronto’s Underground Oasis

BY STEPHANIE YOUNG

The PATH level of First Canadian Place boasts a large food court, a Harry Rosen store and more

The PATH level of First Canadian Place has a food court, an event space, a Harry Rosen store and more

Another marvel of engineering and architecture lies beneath the Financial District’s sky-scraping bank towers: an extensive warren of subterranean shops and services—and pedestrian corridors, naturally—known as the PATH. Stretching from Dundas Street south to Lake Shore Boulevard, and from west of University Avenue to just east of Yonge Street, the PATH has grown steadily over the course of more than 50 years. It’s now the world’s largest underground shopping concourse, with 28 kilometres of tunnels and four million square feet of retail space. The system is easy to enter, connecting as it does with six major downtown subway stations and numerous office buildings; it’s the leaving that you may find difficult. Major stores, attractions and even hotels are PATH-accessible, but the real finds are its high-end independent boutiques and eateries.

Pistil Flowers (photo: Craig Moy)

Pistil Flowers (photo: Craig Moy)

BLOOMING BUSINESS
Pistil Flowers adds a fresh and modern touch to floral design, producing arrangements that are sure to spruce up your suite or seal your latest big deal. Mini “pocket posies” bundles and globe terrariums are among the shop’s great gift options. First Canadian Place, 416-367-1200 & Brookfield Place, 416-367-4400; pistilflowers.com

A CUT ABOVE
British royalty–approved barbershop Truefitt & Hill knows just how to treat Toronto’s business elite. Sit back in one of the antique barber chairs and enjoy an assortment of treatments—from haircuts to hand massages—or book a package like the Buckingham Palace: a hot lather shave, steam facial, mani-pedi and more. A quick shoe-shine is a great way to spruce up before an important meeting. Brookfield Place, 416-214-4646; truefittandhill.ca

FIT FOR THE BOARDROOM
Womenswear boutique Judith & Charles is known for is figure-flattering cuts in contemporary but made-to-last styles. In addition to the office-ready house-label blazers, trousers and dresses are chic fashions by nearly 30 other designer brands, including Avant Garde and Yves Salomon. First Canadian Place, 416-203-2929; judithandcharles.com

COOL TREAT
A fermented milk product, kefir is a delightfully tart and healthful alternative to yogurt. Nowhere in Toronto is it done better than at DeKefir, which offers kefir in parfaits, smoothies, frozen soft-serve and waffles, all dressed with a wide selection of locally sourced fruit, house-made granola and more. Bay-Adelaide Centre, 647-352-2220; dekefir.ca

Kupfert & Kim (photo: Craig Moy)

Kupfert & Kim (photo: Craig Moy)

START YOUR DAY RIGHT
For another big health kick, Kupfert & Kim whips up delicious vegan and gluten-free fare, highlighting superfood ingredients to impart lasting energy. Start your morning with steel-cut oats or chia and coconut milk pudding with seasonal fruit. Or join the lunch line for bountiful salads packed with sprouts, seeds and grains. First Canadian Place, 416-504-1233; kupfertandkim.com

FOR THAT MID-AFTERNOON LULL
The eponymous PATH-level outpost of Toronto’s best-known barista, Sam James Coffee Bar offers classic caffeine fixes—macchiatos, cappuccinos and the like, plus drip java for in-a-hurry patrons—made from James’s custom-roasted “Cut Coffee” beans. Pair your drink with one of many pastries or sandwiches from midtown’s Delica Kitchen. Sun Life Centre, 150 King St. W.; samjamescoffeebar.com

DOWNTOWN SWAGGER
For nearly a century, Robert Jones has been dressing Toronto’s gentlemen in hand-tailored suits and ties by the likes of Kiton, Brioni and Pal Zileri. To complete your ensemble, pick up a pair of calfskin brogues or loafers by Edward Green. Royal Bank Plaza: 200 Bay St., 416-362-6837; robertjonesmenswear.com

BE SEEING YOU
Designer eyewear boutique Josephson Opticians has a stalwart presence in the PATH to help you put your best face forward. For a funky look, the Francis Klein collection features sleek handmade cat-eye specs with a pop of colour, while La Loop’s topaz-accented glasses chains ensure you’ll never misplace your new gear. Richmond Adelaide Centre, 416-363-3029 & Brookfield Place, 416-861-1516; josephson.ca

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