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Hazelton Lanes opened in 1976 with 60,000 square feet (5,600 m2) of retail space. It was positioned as a luxury shopping centre and attracted some prestigious retailers. It underwent an expansion that tripled its size in 1988/1989.
Stores in Hazelton Lanes in the late 1970s to early 1990s included Hermès, Emanuel Ungaro, Fogal of Switzerland, Alfred Sung, Polo Ralph Lauren, Chez Catherine, Krizia, Gianni Versace, Aquascutum, Valentino, Turnbull & Asser, Penhalligan's, Caroll Paris, Brown's shoes and Club Monaco, among others.
Recession of the early 1990s
Hazelton Lanes began to experience difficult times in the early 1990s with the recession that gripped Toronto and much of Canada. Many of the upscale stores in Hazelton Lanes closed their doors, and some of them moved to the Mink Mile along Bloor Street. Brick-work on parts of the complex's exterior are now in disrepair.
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Hazelton Lanes has re-emerged as a 'neighbourhood shopping centre', albeit with some luxury brands still in place. Stores such as Hugo Nicholson, Nanni, and Contrasta carry luxury brands, some of which are exclusive to Toronto and even Canada. Carolina Herrera, Cole Haan, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Hugo Boss, Manolo Blahnik, Oscar de la Renta, Roberto Cavalli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Stuart Weitzman, Valentino, and Versace are all international brands that can be found inside retailers at the mall. Hazelton Lanes is also home to a fitness spa and the first (and one of only three) Whole Foods Market natural foods grocers in the Greater Toronto Area. All in all there are more than 64 high-end boutiques and services spanning fashion, beauty, jewellery, home decor, and restaurants.
The mall is located in the Bloor-Yorkville shopping and entertainment district.
Celebrity sightings at Hazelton Lanes have allegedly included: Carmen Electra, Mischa Barton, Carson Kressley from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Nelly Furtado, Dustin Hoffman, Keshia Chante, Hilary Duff and Mira Sorvino, in addition to many other rock stars, teen idols, athletes, and Hollywood celebrities.