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The Bay, Woodbine Centre

500 Rexdale Blvd, Etobicoke, ON M9W 6K5, Canada
| +1 416-674-5200
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The Company that Built a Country Toronto  Canada

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Sun 11am - 7pm
Mon - Fri 10am - 9pm
Sat 9:30am - 9pm

The Company that Built a Country

Sure that big yellow sign just says “The Bay,” an admittedly strange and puzzling name for a huge department store plunked down at one end of the Woodbine Shopping Centre a few kilometres north of the airport strip. No surprise that you don't get it, even though this store is definitely worth the visit.

Looks for all the world like a Macy’s to you – which makes sense, for that’s a pretty accurate thumbnail description (and, like Macy’s, they’ve got great variety particularly when it comes to men’s and women’s wear – I am a finicky shopper, hard to please, but I hardly ever leave either The Bay or Macy’s empty-handed).

But back to that confusing name – The Bay. Short form for The Hudson's Bay Company, which may not make much more sense unless you’re a student of Canadian history.

For this is the company that built a country. They’ve been around for more than three centuries. Think fur trade, think exploration of the west, think Hudson's Bay blankets and the first trading posts in Canada. Impetus for much of Canadian growth and exploration both came from this single company, circa 1670. History note: the company charter and the earliest posts were centred around Hudson’s Bay.

So you’re not just trying on a suit in that change room.

You’re wearing, for a few brief moments, the mantle of history.

Better yet: it's on sale until Tuesday.