Orfus Road is Toronto’s mecca of outlet stores, slashed prices and BOGO sales. All dispersed along a 600-metre stretch, no discount is too high at the stores on this busy street.
While it only takes about 12 minutes to walk the length of it, you can spend hours on Orfus Road, and many people have made a weekend tradition of perusing the heaps of clothes offered here with family and friends.
Contained between Dufferin and Caledonia Roads, the street’s proximity to Yorkdale (just a two minute drive away) only makes its bargains seem so much more appealing.The stretch, though still the same in essence, has changed a bit over the years to accommodate more trendy food spots for shoppers. Newer restaurants like Burger’s Priest on the northeast corner of Dufferin provide a source of sustenance pre-or-post-shopping.
There are also more food options at the plaza further west, with restaurants like the popular Korean mainstay Seoul House, the Chinese joint Noodle King, and Orfus Wrap and Grill – where you can chow on shawarma and halal beef burgers – right across the street.
In that same plaza you’ll also find the head Toronto office of the popular Japanese cheesecake company Uncle Tetsu, and walking further down you’ll encounter Marche Istanbul, the Turkish grocery store full of hard-to-find condiments and snacks.
A warm little market with a surprisingly large selection, Marche Istanbul stocks everything from olives to jams, to traditional Turkish teapots too, as well as a good variety of biscuits and snacks.
Across the street, you’ll see the sleek entrance of Grande Cheese Factory Outlet, a huge Italian superstore next to the Dollarama that’s been selling Italian favourites like antipasto and olive oil for over a quarter of a century.
Immediately upon walking in you’ll be greeted by a waft of pungent cheese: they have over 40 types of cheese here that come in all shapes and sizes, from mini bocconcini to giant parmesan wheels.
Continue walking west down Orfus and you’ll begin to notice the slow increase in 50 percent off signs and mannequins, indicating that you've arrived at the street's core.
At the 39 Orfus Road plaza, longtime go-tos like Jessica Nail, the ultimate nail salon and supplies store, Nygard and Nine West outlets attract people looking to find some deals on brand names.
For a quick reprieve from looking at cheap shoes and sweaters, Party City offers everything party-related and specializes in bundles of helium balloons. From streamers, plastic cups and plates to themed costume stuff – you name it, this massive store has it all.
A more recent addition to the street, Orfus’ Uncle Tetsu storefront might be the least busy of all its locations. It’s still crowded though, and on a weekend you can expect to see the interior of the cheesecake shop looking pretty packed.
The next plaza continues to offer more outlets: Le Chateau, Ardene, Ducati Shoes and Gadgets' windows are all flooded with on-sale signs.
The Designer Fragrances Depot is a real doozey. Essentially just heaps of clothes and merchandise, it feels less like shopping here and more like sorting through a landfill – but the prices are so low it might just be worth it.
If you're actually able to dig through the chaos find something you like, it’ll likely be under $5. The best bargains here are probably the nail polish – $1 each – or the small collection of cosmetics at the front.
Heading further toward Caledonia you’ll start to see an influx of kids and their parents running – likely with some balloons from Party City – toward Rinx, the premiere local spot for kids' birthday parties.
With roller skating, laser tag, bowling and bumper cars available all in one place, this playh0use is guaranteed to make some lasting memories.
Hot dog stands and ice cream trucks are an essential part of the Orfus experience; you'll see crowds of walkers looking for sustenance from them throughout the day.
If browsing through the Stitches and Bluenotes outlets has you feeling weak, you can grab a hot dog from the handful of stands that are sure to be lining the street on weekends.The last destination business on Orfus Road is Stryke Target Range, another fairly new facility that’s kind of like Rinx but for adults.
Groups come to this 10,000 square foot space to hurl axes, shoot arrows and throw knives at targets with their friends. Big plus: they also serve liquor and pub food.It's not hard to see the beginnings of change on Orfus Road, with closing sign sales on old stores along the stretch and lease signs dotting the lawns. It's unlikely, however, that any new businesses moving in will be anything other than discount-type stores.
Developers should know that anyone arriving to Orfus Road comes with the intention of snagging cheap deals. If that's your M-O, it's unlikely you'll leave the street empty handed.
by Tanya Mok via blogTO
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