Happy Boxing Day!

We hope you’re full and happy from the weekend festivities, whether they involve a Christmas tree or a menorah. If you need to burn off some extra calories, here’s some mad-hot shopping you can do. Fighting the crowds will take some energy, so make sure to have that extra helping of mashed potatoes.

Fred Perry and Oliver Spencer stores are offering 50 to 70 per cent off all of their stock. ‘Tis the time to pick up some beautifully tailored pieces for ladies and gents. From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 962 and 964 Queen St. W.  

Visit the Oliver Spencer store for great deals.

Be sure to use ShopCatch while you’re out today. It’s the easiest app to tell you where the best deals are, wherever you are. There are mall maps, store directories and keyword/category searches. Free to download. 

Holt Renfrew is notoriously secretive about their sales; retail sales staff often don’t know about the sales until the day-of. So while we can’t share the exact Boxing Day sales details, we can tell you the Bloor Street outpost will be open as of 7 a.m. All you earlybird shoppers can get there early and be done shopping in time for brunch. 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 50 Bloor St. W.

Holts’ festive holiday window.


Each year, our favourite Ossington boutique, Jonathan + Olivia, has an incredible Boxing Day sale. This year they kicked off their sale early – from December 22 onwards, they’ll be offering up to 70 per cent off select merchandise. This includes markdowns on already reduced items! From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 49 Ossington Ave.

Still a relative newcomer to the Queen West block, Bicyclette Boutique will be closed on Boxing Day but will hold a Boxing Week sale beginning on Monday, December 27. Almost everything in the store will be 30 to 70 per cent off retail. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 880 Queen St. W. 

If you’re not one to battle the crowds on Boxing Day, then head to the Drake Hotel for the first night of the annual What’s In The Box Music Festival. For a measly $5, you can catch Buck 65 and Grandtheft tearing it up in the Underground. This might be the best possible way to burn off those holiday calories.
Photo credit: David Walman

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City Living: Boutique Shopping in Toronto

The need for a new fall wardrobe has us dreaming of the shops of New York, L.A., Paris and London. We’re not saying Toronto is lacking in the shopping department, our office is just a stone’s throw away from many great stores on Queen Street after all, but the appeal of stores like H&M and Zara begin to wear thin when you show up to work and three other girls are wearing the same shirt as you. Here are three boutiques that we think will satisfy your craving for a shopping vacation.

Uptown: Canopy Blue (2582 Yonge St., just north of Eglinton)


Image source.

For those of us who live north of Bloor, it’s always a bonus to be able to get our shopping fix right in our own area. Squeezed in between Gap Kids, West 49 and Chocky’s, Canopy Blue is a shopping oasis in a desert of big chains and family friendly stores. Since opening in 2008, owners Nicole Bitove and Candice Ilton have created a store with a laid back vibe and selection of designers that rival any boutique in L.A. From T-shirts to black tie, designers include Smythe, Herve Leger, J Brand, and Jay Godfrey, to name just a few.  

Midtown: The Narwhal (8 Price St., Suite 101, just south of Summerhill station)

Image source.

We think you’ll agree that The Narwhal has brought shopping in Toronto to a new level. Situated a little off the beaten shopping track, you can find the store directly across from the Summerhill LCBO in Rosedale. When walking through the doors of the Narwhal, you are immediately surrounded by all things beautiful, and we don’t just mean the clothes. With a background in interior design, co-owner Sydney Wills has created an environment worthy of the clothes it houses. With designers like Acne, Dolce Vita, Helmut Lang, House of Harlow, and Haute Hippie, we warn, you may want to take out a loan and buy everything in the store; we did.
Downtown: Jonathan + Olivia (49 Ossington Ave., at Queen)

We just about died when we heard there was going to be a store in Toronto that sold Topshop. Excited by the prospect of getting to shop at our favourite London-based store, we got there as soon as humanly possible and were not disappointed. While Topshop was the initial draw, the designers that continue to fill the racks like Alexander Wang, Rag & Bone, Marc Jacobs and Pamela Love make it hands down one of the best boutiques in the city. 

When it comes to shopping, these stores really are a breath of fresh air. We guarantee you won’t miss the big crowds, annoying sales associates and impersonal experience of big box store shopping.  You may need to spend a little more, but it’s worth it. 

What’s your favourite boutique in Toronto? Tweet us @rockitpromo or comment below.

Meet Our Team: Natalie

Natalie is our newest addition on the fourth floor, and we couldn’t be happier to have found her. She graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 2007, with an honours degree in Media, Information & Technoculture, a minor in Comparative Literature and a Certificate in Writing.

She got her first kick at PR when she landed an internship with the Canadian Opera Company. She worked at Alliance Films for nearly three years, and from there, landed a contract doing unit publicity with Battle of the Blades, where she got to hang with Ekaterina Gordeeva, making her childhood dreams come true. A serious pedigree to have on our team – welcome, Natalie!


Follow her on Twitter: @badalie



How long have you been part of the team? 
About two months.


What is your guilty pleasure?
Sleeping in. I don’t do this very often, but I relish the days when I can lay in bed (guilt free) well into the afternoon.

What do you love most about living in Toronto? 
Biking! I love living in a city with such a thriving bike culture. I’m way too much of a wimp to bike in the winter, but as soon as the city thaws, Rupert (my trusty steed) and I are inseparable. Toronto becomes a lot smaller and easier to discover when you can map out your own route. 

Best gift you’ve ever received? 
Last year for my birthday, my boyfriend gave me a custom-made Lara Vincent headpiece. Made of black & cream suede flowers, it is absolutely stunning. It’s the first thing I’d grab from my apartment in a fire (other than my boyfriend).

Best part about being a publicist?
No two days are ever the same. 

A little more from the fourth floor:
Website: www.apartment803.com
Designer: Samantha Pleet, Proenza Schouler, Calla Haynes, Rodarte, Lover, Vanessa Bruno… I’ll just stop now.
Store:  Robber, Rac Boutique, LAB, Jonathan + Olivia.
Book: The Harry Potter series.
Snack: Apples or dark chocolate.
Season: Fall for the clothes, summer for the fun.
Sexy: Boys with beards.
Inspiration: Sally Singer.
Drink: Coconut Bongo tea
Motto in two words: Namaste (keep that extra word and buy yourself something pretty).


To note: one of Nat’s favourite things to do is to have friends over to try out new recipes, ingredients and cuisines. Her current favourite cookbooks are The Essential New York Times Cookbook by Amanda Hesser and Momofuku by David Chang. She points out “I’ll be testing out his pork bun recipe soon, if anyone wants to come over!”

A visit from…Michelle Bilodeau

Since rock-it promotions is mainly an office of women, it goes without saying that we love shopping. Our rad office on Queen West only fuels that addiction. When our long-time friend Michelle Bilodeau popped by the fourth floor the other day, we knew it meant we’d get some dish about hot spots for buying the latest and greatest. Our chat turned to buying online (especially with recent group-buying chatter!) and she shared her top spots to click and purchase.

As a fashion and entertainment editor for almost 10 years, Bilodeau began her career at FLARE magazine. She left her position as the associate copy editor in 2005 to become assistant features editor at Weekly Scoop, a much-hyped but short-lived celebrity and entertainment weekly. After a year of freelance writing and public relations work, Bilodeau landed at FASHION magazine as the associate managing editor before becoming senior editor at Gardening Life. After only four months, Bilodeau was back on staff at FASHION as the acting managing editor for a one year contract, which ended in the summer of 2009. Bilodeau, a Toronto-native, is continuing her freelance writing and editing career and she lives downtown with her five-
year-old min pin, Carter.

Front Row Magazine
Twitter: @FrontRowMag

My five favourite online shopping sources:

LuisaViaRoma.com
With creative collaborations with designers such as Gareth Pugh, Viktor & Rolf and Jean Pierre Braganza, LuisaViaRoma.com is a haven for online shoppers. Not to mention their killer accessories sales, and free shipping to Canada.

Jonathan + Olivia
I fell in love with Jonathan + Olivia when they first invaded Ossington Avenue. Even more so now with the addition of TopShop (though it’s not available online). Jackie O’Brien has a very keen eye when it comes to style.

Ssense.com
The only major online retailer dealing designer duds in Canada, SSense.com has an extensive list of designers I love, including Alexander Wang (and his T line, from which I’ve purchased a few tanks and dresses), Elizabeth and James, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen’s McQ.

Topshop.com
The American site for Topshop now delivers to Canada, and if an item is not at J+O, this is the easiest way for me to get it. I can literally get lost for an hour skimming through this site.

Net-a-porter.com and Theoutnet.com
The site that started it all, Net-A-Porter.com, cannot be left off this list. While I’ve never had the luxury of buying directly from this site, I visit Net and younger sister TheOutnet.com at least a few times a week to peruse what’s going on online. And I love that this is a female-run business that’s made millions!