The Manulife Centre is located on the southeast corner of Bay and Bloor streets, adjacent to the southern edge of the Yorkville district of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It consists of a 51-storey 800-suite luxury residential tower at 44 Charles Street and a shorter tower at 55 Bloor Street West, connected by a retail complex on the main floor and basement.
Designed by the Toronto architectural firm of Clifford and Lawrie Architects, construction began in 1972 and was completed in 1974. It was developed and built for Manulife Financial, the current owners. Early retail tenants at the Manulife Centre included Bretton's department store (60,000 square feet), Creed's (38,000 square feet), Harridge's, and other luxury tenants. Over time, these three large retailers went bankrupt and closed.
Creeds was the finest women's specialty store in Canada specializing in furs, designer fashions and accessories, jewellery (Beni Sung), cosmetics (Borghese, Chanel, Clarins, Clinique, Estée Lauder, Lancôme), fragrances, and gifts (including fine chocolate, men's ties, and Sable & Rosenfeld gourmet foods). The 38,000-square-foot (3,500 m2) store spanned two floors and featured boutiques for Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Christian Dior, Emanuel Ungaro, and Sonia Rykiel. The original location opened in 1916; the Manulife Centre location closed with the firm's bankruptcy in 1990.
Today the retail portion of Manulife Centre serves the local population, and includes Birks, Indigo Books, and William Ashley fine china. Bay Bloor Radio, which was founded in 1946, moved into the Manulife Centre when it opened and remains there today. An underground tunnel connects the basement level of the shopping concourse to Holt Renfrew at 50 Bloor St West on the north side of Bloor.