Surviving A Trip To One Of Toronto’s Most Fashionable Shopping Malls

yorkdale mallIt’s the time of year again when tennis comes back to Toronto and I curse the organizers for having the volunteer orientation at one of Toronto’s most fashionable malls – Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Yorkdale is every fashionista’s dream come true with stores like Tory Burch, Tiffany’s, Kate Spade, Holt’s, Salvatore Ferragamo and the list goes on. Its too many square feet of trying to keep my sanity whilst simultaneously keeping my credit card where it belongs – in my wallet.

This trip, however, was different; it was bland, boring and tasteless to me. Why? Because I did something very different, I headed straight for Holt’s that houses such luxury boutiques as Dior, Miu Miu, and Manolo Blahnik to name a few. I ventured upstairs to check in on one of my fave designers, Theory, as they were offering 60% off, I just had to check. Nothing stood out to me…I felt no joy. Has something started to change in my mind? Has all my trial and error finally paid off?

Two things ran through my mind:

1. my wardrobe is at the best it has ever been, I don’t need any more clothes. More would overwhelm me, I have finally lost my desire for “stuff”.

2. I need out of my current living arrangements so badly, I am motivated towards that goal and doing any kind of shopping will not help my situation.


Yorkdale is Canada’s premier shopping centre, located in the heart of the Greater Toronto Area. Its exclusive list of retailers – totalling  more than 240 – is highlighted by many first-in-Canada and flagship stores, including J.Crew, Tory Burch, Crate & Barrel and Burberry, as well as such sought-after destinations as Tiffany & Co., Holt Renfrew, Apple and Cartier. Yorkdale ranks as one of the highest performing shopping centres in North America with sales of over $1,300 per square foot.

Yorkdale’s architecturally stunning interior features a soaring 60-foot-high glass atrium and a recently completed $220 million expansion with 145,000 additional feet that includes: Ted Baker London, Kate Spade New York, Microsoft, Ann Taylor, Loft, Tesla Motors, Anthropologie, The North Face and many more.

The Next Luxury Shopping Experiment

After browsing the Theory section and achieving stellar “keeping credit card in wallet” results, I wandered down to the new Dior boutique. What’s the first thing that catches my gaze? This chic little purse with a simple flower design on it. As my luck would have it, I honed in on the “Limited edition” and would you know, it was one of the most expensive items in the boutique.


The sales clerk was very nice and accommodating and in a matter of seconds I heard the words, “Would you like to try it on?”  My brain screamed “Would I?! Heck yes” and yet the other logical part of my brain informed me this was a looky, no buyey lesson that I had to learn. Remember the $19,000 watch experiment? We’re on to luxury shopping experiment #2 now. The sales clerk unlocked the purse, gingerly attached the cross body strap and handed it over for me to try. It was adorable…she prattled on about the charms attached to the front stating that Dior was a very superstitious man, quite often sewing little charms into his suits and he wanted to share this with his customers and offer them some of his same luck. Hence, the little Dior charms on the purse. No sooner did she finish the tale than the words “What is the price” were coming out of my mouth.

“$3700” she replied, “It’s of course limited edition”

Then it hit me…who in their ever-lovin’ mind would pay $3700 for a purse (made of deerskin BTW) that was so tiny it was a work of art instead of a functional purse. My mind immediately calculated all the other more financially responsible things I could do with $3700. Down payment. Several car payments. Education. Professional development courses. A vacation.

The Tides Have Turned…My Money Habits Are Changing

This little adventure put me right back in my place, I was reminded not only of my income bracket but of my responsibilities as an adult. Spending excessively on luxury designer goods gets me no closer to having a home of my own, being financially free and living a minimalist life. I wondered to myself that even if I had millions of dollars, would I actually spend that kind of money on a purse. That’ll have to be another experiment when I have millions of dollars…in this life would be nice.

How Did I Manage This Feat Of Luxury Retail Mastery?

Reprogramming my mind.




It seems as though it’s happened overnight but it hasn’t. It’s been a constant pounding of responsibilities and what motivates me circling through my mind. I’ve also taken boredom out of my life by exercising more which inevitably leads to focus and less shopping. Focus and determination in one area of your life quite often trickles over into other areas.

It’s been a slow progression of adding habit after good habit back into my life. I was already budgeting but not focusing, so I added a diet cleanup, then exercise, and finally focusing on how I could save on my spending.

Have you mastered a financial habit? How long did it take?


  1. Congratulations, Michelle. It seems you have really turned a corner. Your goals are more in focus now and it becomes easier to deflect anything that conflicts with that. For me it’s like, every day I don’t have to use my credit card is a good day, and all my spending goes on my cc :-)

    • Michelle says:

      Thanks! I’m the same, all my work expenses go on my cc and my automated bill payments. I try to avoid anything else.

  2. That purse is a work of art. Wow. I just can’t have one for so many reasons.

    • Michelle says:

      Isn’t it? It was so beautiful that if I owned it, I wouldn’t wear it. I’d be afraid to, I think I’d frame it and put it on the wall!

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