But the late 2013 additions of Simons and Target prompted transformations throughout the mall. Hudson's Bay - once one of the dowdiest in the chain—to transform itself into a chic La Baie d’Hudson and carve space for Topshop/Topman within the building.
The addition of Simons (easily the nicest one in Quebec, which is saying a lot as it is even nicer than the flagship Simons in Quebec City) prompted a number of other positive changes:
- A Starbucks to hang out in, the addition of some new stores including the imaginative Kasa Living
- An entirely new food court near Target. In addition to a superb selection of dining options (including definitely-not-greasy-fast-food providers Grillades Torino and Smart Burger), the new dining area is light, bright, and airy with plenty of seating and comfortable, attractive wood tables and chairs. The dining area provides more than a quick meal; it’s a great place for a nice meal. And the real china (part of a sustainability initiative) only adds to the higher-end ambience.
The additions have brightened a mall that was already refreshed less than 10 years ago with the arrival of The Brick and the more recent launch of Linen Chest. But it also raised the mall from a mid-market mall to something more upper-end and further distinguish it from aging neighbour Place Versailles.
Special kudos to both Hudson's Bay and Simons for their new stores. As noted earlier, the Bay has completely transformed. Simon’s has one of the largest men’s departments in its chain and is the only store in the chain that has a restaurant (a cute bistro, at that).
In the decade that I have been following this mall, the landlord (Cadillac Fairview) has continually demonstrated its commitment to keeping the mall fully occupied and up-to-date. Stores do not stay vacant for long and the mall has been through two major and several minor remodels during this time. According to the Wikipedia page for Galleries d’Anjou, the mall has continually changed anchors as the needs arose, whether they arose from consumers or, more frequently, from changes in the fortunes of the anchors. The most recent renovations, however, have strengthened the mall and made it more of a must-visit destination.
Fast Facts about the Mall
Anchors: The Brick, La Baie d’Hudson, Linen Chest (no entrance from inside the mall.) Sears, Simons, Target National chains: American Eagle. Centre du Rasoir, Cuir Danier, H&M, Jean Coutu, L’Equippeur, Reitmans, Sony. Swarovski. Topshop/Topman.
On mall property—but not in the mall: Best Buy. Future Shop. L’Academie. Wendys.
Variety of merchandise: Excellent. La Baie d’Hudson and Simons have the broadest selections of fashion. For a mall, the selection of household supplies, personal care supplies, electronics and sporting goods is excellent.
Special notes: Great restaurants and electronics are located in freestanding buildings outside the mall but on the mall property.
Food court: A true dining experience. Asian (Manchu Wok, Thai Express), Middle Eastern (the amazing Grillades Torino). High-end fast food (Smart Burger, Subway), and an ice cream place. Even nicer, the large, airy, bright dining area with real plates and silverware.
Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galleries_d%27Anjou
Saul Carliner is a Montreal-based writer and consultant who focuses on the design of edu marketing and edu-tainment experiences. For more information, visit mallsacrossamerica.wordpress.com and www.saulcarliner.com.