Retail Insider recently toured Toronto’s famed ‘Mink Mile’, consisting of the stretch of Bloor Street West between Avenue Road and Yonge Street. For decades the street has been considered to be Canada’s leading luxury retail stretch, with some comparing it to Fifth Avenue in New York City.
The tour starts at the southeast corner of Bloor Street and Avenue Road where a Club Monaco flagship store is currently located. The retail space is for lease with Club Monaco expected to vacate in a few months time.
Starbucks recently shut its store at the Renaissance Plaza at 150 Bloor Street West. It was located directly behind the Louis Vuitton flagship ‘Maison’ facing Bloor Street. Starbucks has said that it will shut/relocate about 300 locations in Canada over the next few months.
Prairie Girl Bakery, located in the same complex as Starbucks, has also shut its location that faces the back of the Church of the Redeemer. Prairie Girl once operated five locations and now operates just one on Victoria Street.
The above photo was taken from the corner of Bloor Street and Avenue Road looking Eastward along the Mink Mile. The Louis Vuitton flagship store spans nearly 18,000 square feet over two levels, making it the largest in Canada by far.
Tiffany & Co. relocated its Bloor Street store to 150 Bloor Street West in 2012 and operates there to this day. “Non-essential” stores in Toronto are shut until at least December 21 due to the pandemic, and many retailers are offering curbside pickup. Next to Tiffany & Co. is a three level Burberry flagship store.
We reported this week that Intermix will shut its store at 130 Bloor Street West in January, with a replacement tenant already confirmed. Los Angeles-based St. John Knits operates a store next door, which opened last year.
We reported last month that German ski apparel brand Bogner had opened its first corporate store in Canada at The Colonnade at 131 Bloor Street West. Bogner will remain open until March and its lease could be extended to become a permanent storefront if it performs well.
Above: The Colonnade at 131 Bloor Street West. The architecturally-significant complex was the first mixed-use building in Canada. When it opened in 1963, it contained a two-level shopping centre with about 50 stores, an office component, and a rental apartment building above.
Now, The Colonnade’s retail component is more of a ‘strip mall’ with large retailers facing onto Bloor Street, including a large Dior flagship which opened last year, Coach, Prada, Cartier, Escada, and Moncler which is next to Bogner.
Prada operates a 13,700-square-foot, two-level store at The Colonnade. The store expanded with a 7,775-square-foot, second level addition in early 2016.
Christian Dior operates a 13,400-square-foot flagship store which opened at The Colonnade last year. The space was once occupied by Chanel which relocated to 98 Yorkville Avenue in the fall of 2017. The Dior flagship is currently the largest in North America, and an even larger flagship will be unveiled at the corner of E. 57th Street and Madison Avenue in New York City next year.
The 110 Bloor Street West retail podium will see an overhaul that will include a new exterior as well as a new set of retail tenants. Winners/HomeSense will remain open and the Brooks Brothers store has yet to formally announce a departure. All of the other Bloor Street facing spaces were recently vacated and a beauty retailer appears to have opened a pop-up in the former Guerlain space prior to government mandated shutdowns last month.
The Brooks Brothers store at 110 Bloor Street West remains open for now. Other ground level retailers have shut and the commercial podium will see a redevelopment next year.
Kit and Ace and L’Occitane stores at 102 Bloor Street West. Both stores are located at the base of a condominium building which was once an office tower.
A shot of the 100 Bloor Street West commercial podium. The facade includes a replica of a theatre that once occupied the site. Current retail tenants include Holt Renfrew Men which opened in 2014, Hermes which opened in 2017, and Zegna which opened in 2018.
Luxury Italian men’s brand Ermenegildo Zegna opened at 100 Bloor Street West in December of 2018. The store is in partnership with nearby menswear retailer Harry Rosen.
French luxury brand Hermes opened its 6,000-square-foot flagship at 100 Bloor Street West in the fall of 2017. The two-level store is stunning and houses an additional 6,000 square feet for back-of-house.
US-based footwear brand Cole Haan for years has operated a store at 101 Bloor Street West, at the corner of St. Thomas Street. For years there have been questions if Cole Haan would remain at this location. At one time sources had said that a location would also open at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre.
The Harry Rosen flagship store at 82 Bloor Bloor Street West spans five levels and about 50,000 square feet, occupying the corner of Bloor and Bellair Streets.
The building at 83 Bloor Street West formerly housed Hugo Boss’ Canadian flagship store prior to relocating to the Yorkdale Shopping Centre. The building for several months has housed a pop-up clearance store for retailer V Hazelton. H&M-owned COS occupies a large three-level store at 83 Bloor Street West.
The former MAC Cosmetics storefront at 91 Bloor Street West is currently for lease. Luxury brand MCM’s only Canadian storefront is located next door at 93.
Beauty retailer Sephora operates a large store at 77 Bloor Street West. The beauty industry has had to modify its service offerings due to the pandemic.
The 80 Bloor Street West office tower houses a Roots store at its base. Until recently, Banana Republic also had a store which shut in the fall. Both 80 and 82 Bloor Street West will eventually be demolished for a mixed-use development that will include three levels of retail space below a massive condominium tower.
The corner of Bay and Bloor Streets is seeing some changes. Next month the Gap flagship store at 60 Bloor Street West will close. At the Manulife Centre, Birks completed an impressive overhaul of its stores last year with Eataly opening upstairs in the fall of 2019. Recently Hakim Optical opened at 66 Bloor Street West in a space formerly occupied by David’s Footwear.
The above photos are of the commercial podium of the Manulife Centre at 55 Bloor Street West.
Luxury retailer Holt Renfrew recently completed the facade of its flagship store at 50 Bloor Street West. Retail Insider will profile this in a separate article also showcasing renovations to the store’s main floor.
A retail space is for lease at 19 Bloor Street West. Scotiabank formerly occupied the entire building and it has since downsized to occupy the eastern portion of the building. CBRE is listing the vacant space which can be demised. Footwear retailer Town Shoes once operated at the corner and according to records, it opened in 1979.
Aritzia expanded to become a massive flagship store at the Holt Renfrew Centre in February of 2019.
Nordstrom Rack opened its two-level 38,000-square-foot store at 1 Bloor Street East, at the corner of Yonge Street, in May of 2018.
Under construction at 1 Bloor Street West is ‘The ONE’ tower which will rise more than 1000 feet above the Yonge and Bloor intersection when completed in a couple of years. A boutique hotel will open below the condominium portion of the tower, and sources say that Apple will open a large flagship store at the corner as well.
The Indigo store at the Manulife Centre, facing Bay Street, recently saw a complete renovation inside and out as part of the overhaul of Manulife Centre’s commercial podium.
Thank you for coming with us on this tour of Toronto’s Mink Mile. Feel free to comment below.