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William Ashley China - Flagship Store 2018

Our Story

William Ashley launches a new Flagship Store on Bloor Street - Press Release

Canada's most celebrated and recognized retailer for tableware and home décor has opened a brand new home on Toronto's prestigious Bloor Street

Jackie Chiesa, President of William Ashley, proudly announces the opening of the iconic retailer's exciting new home on Bloor Street.

Their grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony took place at 10am on Friday, April 27th, 2018 in the heart of Bloor Street, or better known as Canada's Mink Mile. The new 15,000 square foot retail concept was unveiled to coincide with William Ashley's 71st Anniversary.

"William Ashley’s vision is to create an immersive customer experience where customization and curation go hand in hand with phenomenal service," says Jackie Chiesa. "It is a place where heritage brands meet cutting edge technology, and High Design meets functionality."

William Ashley Flagship Store - Interior

William Ashley's new flagship store is a continuation of an epic journey in Tabletop, Home Décor and Gourmet Kitchenware excellence. Created by DesignAgency, William Ashley now features two shining stories in the Colonnade heritage building which boasts 23 foot high ceilings and dazzling architectural features, providing a spectacular home for over 200 prestigious brands. From the minute guests step through the door, they will be immersed in a unique environment with access to experts who are ready to transfer critical knowledge on the craftsmanship, heritage and stories behind the world's most coveted luxury brands. Ashley's takes great pride in being a leader in exemplary customer service, providing clients with personalized consultations accompanied by the next generation of retail technology.

Ashley's lounge is a welcome new addition to the William Ashley home. The designer décor creates an oasis where guests can enjoy custom blended tea by Kusmi and coffee by Nespresso in an ever-changing selection of contemporary china tailored to the Ashley's experience. The lounge is an experiential destination where events, such as crafting a vintage cocktail, creating a stunning floral arrangement and participating in a VIP bridal event will ignite our customer's creativity. It's a feature they like to call edu-tainment!

William Ashley Flagship Store - Lounge

William Ashley's consultants work one-on-one with customers creating customized table settings and accessorizing their homes to reflect their unique lifestyles. With this personalized attention and a range of complimentary registry services, it is no surprise that William Ashley has been a Toronto institution and the destination for newly engaged couples for many decades, and is now offering an 'all-occasion' gift registry.

The new William Ashley Flagship is the backdrop for quality brands, curated for today's ever changing lifestyles and diverse demographic. World-renowned brands include Alessi, Baccarat, Beatriz Ball, Bernardaud, Christofle, Costa Nova, Daum, Degrenne, Denby, Deshoulieres, Ercuis, Herend, Hermes, Iittala, Juliska, Lalique, Le Creuset, Lenox, Lladro, L'Objet, LSA International, Michael Aram, Moser, Nambe, Narumi, Noritake, Orrefors, Portmeirion, Puiforcat, Raynaud, Riedel, Robbe and Berking, Rogaska, Rosenthal, Royal Crown Derby, Royal Doulton, St. Louis, Stelton, Villeroy & Boch, Waterford, Wedgwood, Wolf; and designer brands include, Jasper Conran by Wedgwood, Kate Spade New York, Sophie Conran by Portmeirion, Vera Wang by Wedgwood, Versace By Rosenthal.

William Ashley is proud to be Canada's exclusive destination for world-renowned Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland, which are prepared in Zurich, Switzerland and flown in weekly. Handmade with the finest ingredients, their signature Dom Perignon Champagne Truffle is world famous.

Some of our History

William Ashley China - Heritage Store Front

William Ashley was launched in Toronto in 1947 by Tillie Abrams, fondly known by staff and customers alike as ‘Mrs. Ashley.’ Though Mrs. Ashley passed away in 2010, her legacy lives on. Today, Jackie Chiesa, the current President, continues the tradition and original vision of William Ashley – to bring the best selection of quality tableware and giftware to the Canadian marketplace, setting the bar as the trendsetters in the industry.

William Ashley Manulife Store - Great Wall of China

At a young age, Tillie managed her family’s paint and wallpaper business while her parents attended business trips. She always took great interest in the tableware section of the family business, and used her great sense of style to choose the next cutting-edge sensations in dinnerware.

With her passion for quality tableware, Tillie opened her first store in Toronto’s Danforth neighbourhood in 1947. At the time, it was an unusual act for a woman to own a business, but Tillie had confidence – a true renaissance woman of her time. She was a visionary, and a few years later chose to relocate to Bloor Street long before it was dubbed the Mink Mile, believing it to be Toronto’s up-and-coming shopping district. As she travelled the world to source the best selection of tableware and gifts, the business continued to grow.

William Ashley Manulife Store - Water Bar

Tillie was also revolutionary. On a visit to Chicago, she realized that Canadian stores had not yet tapped into the latest trend in the United States: the Wedding Registry. Thus, in the early 1970s, William Ashley became the very first store in Canada to offer a Wedding Registry Service.

When William Ashley was located in the Manulife Centre, 55 Bloor Street West, the Great Wall of China became a cultural landmark, and was Instragram-worthy, before Instagram even existed. During the summer months, the Water Bar with its complimentary Perrier Water was a welcome place to pick up some refreshment while shopping for tableware, kitchenware or picking a Registry gift or creating a Registry. In the present Flagship store, the Colonnade - 131 Bloor Street West, you are welcome to sample some Nespresso coffee or Kusmi tea.

William Ashley has always been at the forefront of the tabletop and giftware industry, and to this day maintains the largest selection of tableware, giftware, and gourmet kitchenware in the world. It is to William Ashley that the industry has always looked, because of our unique heritage and continuing legacy.