Hudson’s Bay Invites Canadians To Step ‘Inside’ Its Iconic Holiday Windows With A Whimsical AR Experience

This year, the historic display includes a digital extension, bringing an immersive experience to all of Canada

(TORONTO, ON) November 3, 2022 — Today, Hudson’s Bay’s beloved holiday window tradition opens in downtown Toronto, complete with a magical virtual twist. The Bay is excited to reveal an interactive augmented reality (AR) experience in Canada that invites Canadians to ‘step inside’ the iconic windows, powered by Meta Spark technology.

The 5-window holiday display along Queen Street in downtown Toronto is a cherished tradition for Torontonians and visitors alike. The windows delight passersby with animatronic vignettes:

  • Snow-Making Department: Ever wonder how snow is actually made? A bounty of magical frozen flakes come to life in this winter wonderland. Passersby can snap photos in adult and kid-sized cutouts on the exterior of our windows and join in with our snow angels.
  • Candy Cane Department: A look at how the magical treats are made and gently packaged with a robotic arm before being dropped into queue to be sent in Santa’s sleigh and delivered to the children of the globe.
  • Gifting Department: A glimpse into all of the parcels being wrapped, sorted and packed by robots working in sync to keep up with the flow of presents coming down the conveyor belt. Plus, new technology allows onlookers to press a button on the glass and one very friendly robot will want to give you a high-five and take a selfie.
  • Ornament-Making Department: A snapshot of how some signature ornaments are painted and detailed with precision and care. A giant mechanical hand carefully selects each colour to be applied before the finished crafts are sent out for people to decorate their homes.
  • Mail-Room Department: The inner workings of the technology used to scan, sort and process all of Santa’s letters. A giant computer spits out a list of names while a map of the globe gives Santa directions to find all the boys and girls around the world.

For the first time ever, the digital extension will now transport Canadians inside the windows from anywhere across the country. To immerse themselves in the whimsy and wonder of the windows, customers just scan the QR code, point the camera at a surface and click to be transported into the augmented reality. Once ‘inside,’ device motion and screen interactions let people explore elements from all five of the holiday windows using both the front and rear cameras on their smartphones. An added bonus: Holiday enthusiasts can share a photo or video using the AR experience on Instagram or Facebook Story, tagging @hudsonsbay and using the hashtag #MyBayHolidayWindow for a chance to win one of five $1,000 gift cards to shop in-store and on*

The unique QR code can be found at select Hudson’s Bay stores, on The Bay’s social media channels, on The Bay gift cards, and on packages ordered on throughout the holiday season.

“For more than 100 years, these holiday windows have been quintessential to the Toronto experience,” says Alexander Meyer, Chief Customer Officer at The Bay. “With the digital transcendence of this year's windows, we are creating a whole new level of connectivity for our customers, not only in Toronto but throughout Canada.”

Ring in the season and follow The Bay on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok for holiday news and events, inspired gift guide content and to see The Bay’s futuristic holiday campaign come to life.

*Certain restrictions may apply; see rules & regulations for contest details.


Through a digital-first, purpose-driven lens, The Bay helps Canadians live their best style of life. The Bay operates featuring Marketplace, one of the largest premium life & style digital platforms in Canada, with a seamless connection to a network of 84 Hudson's Bay stores. The Bay has established a reputation for quality and style through an unrivaled assortment of products and categories, including fashion, home, beauty, food concepts and more. Follow us on our social media channels: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok.

The Bay and Hudson’s Bay operate under the HBC brand portfolio. Founded in 1670, HBC is North America’s oldest company. The signature stripes are a registered trademark of HBC.

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Lauren Polyak
PR Director

Shanaz Hack
PR Specialist


Alex Kucharski
Manager, Corporate Communications