Last weekend, I had the chance to hoof it up to the new Elte Outlet in Vaughan, Ontario. For those of you outside Toronto, Elte is one of the city’s leading high-end retailers, at least that’s its reputation. Frankly, I think Elte’s standards have fallen, even during the time styleNorth has been operating (since June 2008) and it’s not entirely Elte’s fault. Many would-be exclusive brands like Calvin Klein Home and Ralph Lauren Home have moved their manufacturing off-shore and the quality is simply not what it should be given the premium prices. That said, Elte’s offerings are still head and shoulders above what you’ll find at Leon’s or The Brick.
Elte used to consign it’s clearance merchandise to a large back corner of its enormous flagship store in the Castlefield Design District. Now, that merch has moved to the new outlet store off Weston Road, north of Highway 7. Is it worth the drive? I’d have to say yes. Discounts range from 30 – 60 per cent off list prices, which puts some of the otherwise aspirational offerings within potential reach of the common man and woman. This being a clearance outlet, however, selection is spotty. Many tickets proclaim, “Last one,” which means not only are you unlikely to find a mate for that perfect slipper or side chair, you also have to make up your mind on the spot because if you take a day or two to think it over the piece will be gone.
And there are some nice pieces on the floor. The tight, neutral slipper chair, above right, was marked down from $925 to $648, while the chic, blue and white striped side chair was discounted to $3,267 from an eye-watering $5,445. The sleek, contemporary ottoman, below, was going for $613 (originally $875) and it was the only one on the floor.
Elte started life as a rug retailer and carpets remain a strong suit. There were a couple of superb, Moroccan Beni Ourain’s on display, both of which I’d love to call my own. The carpet below left was $4,875, marked down from $8,125, while the one on the right was $4,259, down from $7,105; both were exceedingly large.
Obviously, this is but the tiniest taste of what’s up at Elte Outlet. The prices, while greatly reduced, are still high by many people’s standards so I’ll leave it to you to answer the question, is it worth the drive?