A Trip to The Bay (The Store, that is, Not the Beach)

hudsons bay downtown toronto 2014

Nick and I had an appointment near Yonge Street and Queen on Wednesday afternoon.

Then we made a date of it by admiring the Christmas windows at The Bay and going inside for a bit of shopping.

The Hudson's Bay Company is as much of an iconic representation of Canada as anything is. According to this Wiki page about it, it was North America's (that includes the Unites States) oldest company, having been in business continually since 1881.

Even if you don't live here you might recognize the coloured stripes that represent the brand. This pattern began being used on woolen blankets that were used as currency for trading. They were given different numbers of points based on their size, which explains why they were originally called 'Point Blankets'. (There's in interesting story them on The Bay's site, here, and I did a story about the pattern here, where you'll also see some photos I got of a handsome dog wearing a Hudson's Bay Blanket Coat.)

I'm not a big shopper, aside from regularly going treasure hunting at the thrift store (where I went yesterday incidentally), but when I do feel like or need to go shopping, I love The Bay. It's a beautiful store filled with lovely things of good quality.

First, let's look around the outside of the store ...

The animated miniature dioramas they put in the northern windows are such a favourite of mine (as indicated by previous posts here and here). This recent story on the Toronto Life Magazine site talks all about it, including that it takes a team of 5 to 10 people a week to put the models up.

I'm not the only one who loves them; although they were meant to be used once in Toronto and then sent to the Montreal Store, these windows, along the northern side of the store, have been the same every year for 7 years now, due to popular demand.

at the bay christmas diorama miniatures toronto 2014

the bay christmas window 2014 02

the bay christmas window 2014

Many of these shots ended up looking almost like double exposures, including reflected images of buildings, streetcars and myself.

the bay christmas window 2014 04

queen and yonge double exposure christmas december 2014

queen and yonge double exposure christmas diorama december 2014 05

While those windows have stayed the same every Christmas for year, the others change. I was taken by the 'balls of yarn on cute sheep' in the corner display, at Yonge and Queen.

the bay window sheep balls of wool christmas 2014 downtown toronto 03

the bay window sheep balls of wool christmas 2014 downtown toronto

the bay corner window toronto christmas 2014 02

the bay corner window toronto christmas 2014

nick the bay downtown toronto

I purposely took shots that included the striped pattern for this post. Nowadays it is widely used and incorporated into all kinds of different items, but The Bay is not only 'rugged and rustic'. Most of it is rather sparkly and bright actually.

the bay display downtown toronto 2014

moose christmas decoration the bay toronto downtown 2014

the bay display downtown toronto christmas 2014

I originally took these selfies in the fitting room with the intention of using them to illustrate this post about the new hat I made, but on the way home I asked Nick to shoot some more pictures that were better at showing the hat. So these ended up being just for fun.

selfie in a fitting room red hat

selfie in a fitting room red hat 03

As for the shopping ... I ended up getting a nice shirt. Before I tell you that it is black, I'd like you to take note of the prints and colours that were in my 'to-try-on' selection. I do try to get away from wearing so much black, but it's hard. No matter what, if given the choice I always like the black one best.

Thank you very much for dropping over. I hope your week is going well so far.
xo loulou

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7 Responses to A Trip to The Bay (The Store, that is, Not the Beach)

  1. Vix says:

    Firstly, let me tell you how beautiful you look in that red beret. I’d love you to wear more red, it looks so dramatic with your gorgeous raven locks!
    That shop is stunning. It reminds me of Birmingham’s high end department store, Rackhams, which used to be part of Harrods. The windows were always exquisitely dressed in my childhood, rather like Hudson’s Bay. xxx

  2. Kaisa says:

    I remember visiting The Bay in the late 90s!
    Ah and holiday window displays are always such a treat!

  3. Kim says:

    Nice! Thanks for posting! :)

  4. Julie says:

    I love the Bay’s windows, their holiday toy one is always so magical! Glad you had a fun day out, and congrats on the new black blouse! ;)

  5. Marisa says:

    Oh my I am so impressed by these displays! I’ve never seen anything as elaborate where I live. Certainly magical. Looks like a gorgeous day out Loulou! Those sheep are too cute!

  6. Hollie says:

    I love the sheep!!! I want a whole pasture full of those!

  7. A says:

    That’s exactly what I think when I see sheep.

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