On Saturday at 6:23 a.m. local time, Jordan Brand will be opening its Toronto store to the public at 306 Yonge Street. Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, the space was opened temporarily during NBA All-Star Weekend in 2015 and has now been revamped into a three-floor space that shapes it as both a retail store but an experience for its consumers.
While the underground level serves as a kids-only space, the street level main floor is where those visiting the store will be spending the majority of their time. The main display in the center of the retail space is a mural of Michael Jordan’s famous
“Wings” poster, with a glass casing that features a curation of Air Jordan 1s to 30s in the year they were originally released. For those looking for access to exclusive sneakers, the wall display on Thursday when media were invited for a preview featured the Jordan 1 Breds, Royals, Top Three and Black Toe. More releases are expected to be announced on the space is open to the public this weekend.
Aside from the usual Jordan apparel collection, Jordan Brand has placed an emphasis on making this a local experience for their customers. Jordan brand tees with references to Toronto’s neighbourhoods and the CN Tower will be available. For customers looking at grabbing something unique, there’s a customization lounge at the back of the main floor where T-shirts and windbreakers — which retail for $130 CAD — can be purchased, while local neighbourhood names including Toronto, Brampton, Scarborough, East York, Mississauga, North York, Etobicoke, Markham and York can be imprinted in various fonts onto the product for free. Laser etching for Jordan 1 Mids will also be available, as are screen-printed T-shirts of Jordan 1, 4 and 6 as an homage to the local Toronto area code.
The personalized experience continues on the third floor, which houses a state-of-the-art workout facility called Centre 23, where local athletes — including those from Jordan Brand sponsored high schools Father Henry Carr and Central Tech — will have access to the facility — which also includes a NBA-size locker room and barbershop — to be trained by official Jordan Brand trainers.
On hand at Thursday’s store preview was Tyler Ennis, a 22-year-old point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers. For Ennis, who grew up in Brampton, Ontario having this space in the heart of downtown means a lot personally. “I think it’s huge,” Ennis said.
“With all the professional athletes and up-and-coming musicians we have right now, the timing of it is perfect. There’s everything going on in the city right now, and it’s the perfect time to have easy access to Jordans with the sneaker culture here. It’ll help the city and help people who want to collect shoes.”
Ennis, a Father Henry Carr alumni, points to his high school scoreboard on display at the main floor as his favorite part of the store experience. “Being one of the first Canadian Jordan Brand athletes, to have my old high school be able to get sponsored, and having a huge piece of me downstairs is huge. That’s my part of the store,” Ennis said. He is also excited about how the facility will help usher in the next wave of basketball talent in Toronto.
The Centre 23 training program is inspired by Jordan’s famous workout routine, when, after being eliminated in the playoffs by the Bad Boy Pistons for three consecutive years from 1988 to 1990, Jordan started a morning training routine that included pre-practice and one-on-one workouts which started at 7 a.m. Teammates soon joined in on the routine and Jordan would regularly arrive at the gym with a cup of coffee in his hand, which gave rise to the nickname Breakfast Club to explain his training regiment.
The store will draw crowds for its sneakers though, and Ennis knows that feeling very well, as a sneakerhead who started collecting Jordans in high school. Ennis doesn’t have Drake on speed dial, but did get early access to the white OVO 10s which released in 2005, and remembers friends giving him a hard time because he started hooping in them right away. “Everyone was hating on me for wearing it on the court before it was released,” Ennis said, laughing. Even though Ennis has early access to sneakers, he’s often unable to be the plug for his friends, since he has the same shoe size as his two older brothers, who he always helps out first.
The grand opening of the Jordan Brand store in Toronto will run from 6:23 a.m. to 9 p.m. this Saturday. Regular hours will be 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
Air Jordan Store
306 Yonge St
ON M5B 1R4