French luxury brand Chanel will vacate its current Toronto Bloor Street location for a larger space about two blocks north. Chanel's new Canadian flagship is scheduled to open in January of 2017.
Chanel's current Toronto flagship store opened in April of 1989 in The Colonnade at 131 Bloor Street West. Strong sales saw the 3,100 square foot store eventually annex a second level, growing to 7,300 square feet. Prior to opening at The Colonnade, a Chanel shop-in-store operated within storied multi-brand luxury store Creeds at nearby Manulife Centre.
Chanel's new Toronto flagship will replace upscale retailer Teatro Verde at 98 Yorkville Avenue. The new store will span an impressive 8,700 square feet, making it one of North America's largest Chanel locations. The Teatro Verde building features the facade of a former Mount Sinai Hospital, and is at the base of the luxurious 100 Yorkville Avenue residential condominium complex.
Yorkville Avenue's aging streetscape was recently replaced with grey paving stones, giving the area a more upscale feel. A number of brands have been looking for retail space along Yorkville Avenue, with sources saying that a deal is expected to be finalized for another top French luxury brand directly across the street from Chanel.
Farla Efros, President of leading retail consultancy HRC Advisory, noted that Yorkville Avenue could become Toronto's newest luxury retail strip, complimenting the mix of mid and high-end retailers operating on nearby Bloor Street West. She noted that Yorkville's affluence is growing with new condominiums and as a result, some luxury brands may look to locate off Bloor Street. We'll be following up with more of her comments in a separate article on the future of Yorkville.
Toronto is currently the only Canadian city to feature a freestanding Chanel store. The brand closed its 5,000 square foot freestanding Vancouver store in the summer of 2010, moving ready-to-wear to an expanded Chanel concession at Holt Renfrew in CF Pacific Centre. Sources say that next year, Chanel's second-level Holt Renfrew Vancouver store will move downstairs to a retail space with frontage on Dunsmuir Street, with Fendi replacing Chanel on the store's second level. Chanel first entered the Vancouver market in 1991 with a 1,300 square foot unit at 103-755 Burrard Street (now occupied by Coach), prior to moving to the now-shuttered 5,000 square foot 900 West Hastings Street location.
Chanel also operates shop-in-store concessions at Holt Renfrew in Calgary, Toronto (50 Bloor Street West), Toronto (Yorkdale Shopping Centre), and in Montreal. Sources say that Chanel's Holt Renfrew Bloor Street concession may relocate to the store's ground floor, and that the Montreal Chanel will move into an expanded Ogilvy store when Ogilvy and Holt Renfrew merge into one 220,000 square foot location in 2017, resulting in the closure of Holt Renfrew's 1300 Sherbrooke Street West unit.