Black Friday deals to be had in Toronto, especially for early risers

Toronto shoppers looking for deals can set their alarms early Friday as malls extend their hours to keep up with the Black Friday shopping frenzy that is a hallmark of the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend.

Canadian retailers aim to keep shoppers north of the border

A woman rests with her bags as shoppers make their way through Toronto's Eaton Centre on Black Friday in 2013. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

Toronto shoppers looking for deals can set their alarms early Friday as malls extend their hours to keep up with the Black Friday shopping frenzy that is a hallmark of the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend.

The Toronto Eaton Centre will open its doors at 7 a.m. Friday, three hours earlier than normal, and will close 90 minutes later than usual at 11:00 p.m.

Some retailers at the mall are offering Friday-only deals, while others started their Black Friday sales earlier in the week and will extend them into the weekend.

Meanwhile:

  • Sherway Gardens in Etobicoke is opening two hours earlier than usual, at 8 a.m., on Friday and will remain open for an hour longer, closing at 10 p.m.
  • Yorkdale opens at 7 a.m. and closes its doors at 11 p.m.
  • Vaughan Mills opens at 8 a.m. and closes at its usual 9 p.m.

Black Friday, an American tradition where retailers offer deep discounts the day after Thanksgiving, has been growing in popularity north of the border in recent years. Canadian retailers have tried to keep up with their U.S. counterparts in an effort to keep Canadians' money flowing into their registers.

When Canadians see news reports on Midnight Madness specials and door crashers south of the border, they want in on the action, too, says Jeff Novak, brand director at redflagdeals.com.

"Retailers are looking to get consumer dollars in and they know they have to be aggressive to get Canadians to spend their money and especially to keep it in Canada and stop that cross-border shopping," Novak told CBC News.

With a poor exchange rate, "it makes sense for Canadians to stay here," he said. The low loonie combined with a long weekend may actually entice more Americans to come north to shop, he added.

"It makes sense," Novak said. "Their dollar goes further, you don't have the crazy long lineups and the riots that you see in some of the American stores, and they have a long weekend."

Novak says shoppers can use retailers' apps to track and compare deals, find store hours and plan their shopping route.

If you don't have the day off, don't worry. The online deals to be had on Cyber Monday are just a few days away.

"It's really a matter of personal preference," Novak said. "If you want to go into the store and touch it and have that experience shopping, you do that. If you want to shop in your pajamas, you can do that online."

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