What's Happening on Bloor Street West [Expansive Photo Tour]

  (Looking south-west along Bloor Street West, from our terrace at No. 10 Bellair Street)

(Looking south-west along Bloor Street West, from our terrace at No. 10 Bellair Street)

Toronto's upscale Bloor Street West, particularly the stretch between Yonge Street and Avenue Road, is seeing considerable retail movement and redevelopment. This is the first of a series where we'll be profiling some of Canada's top retail streets, including what's happening and what's on the way. Bloor Street West is where we're located, hence our decision to begin a tour in our own neighbourhood. 

The portion of Bloor Street West between Yonge Street and Avenue Road is also referred to as the 'Mink Mile', reflecting the luxury retailers lining the street. Addresses on Bloor begin with number "1" at Yonge Street, ending with Strellson at the northwest corner of Bloor Street West and Avenue Road (at the base of the historical Park Hyatt Hotel) at number 170 Bloor Street West. 

Below is a map of the area that we'll be touring. The entire strip spans just 600 metres, or about 1,970 feet. You can click the map below for an interactive Google experience, including Street View if desired. 

We'll begin the tour at the corner of Bloor Street West and Yonge Street, and work our way towards Avenue Road where we'll conclude the tour. 

One Bloor Street East, currently under construction, will feature a 100,000 square foot commercial podium with several retailers. Nordstrom Rack's first Canadian store is confirmed to be opening a 40,000 square foot store in the complex, with about 10,000 square feet on the ground floor and the remaining 30,000 square feet on the second level. 

Across Yonge Street at 1 Bloor Street West is Sam Mizrahi's 'The One', which (if approved by the city) will feature one of North America's tallest residential buildings above a multi-level commercial podium. Rumour has it that a large Apple Store flagship could open as the primary retail tenant, though parties won't go on record to confirm. 

Moving west on the north side of Bloor is the Holt Renfrew Centre, at 50 Bloor Street West. The Holt Renfrew store (with magenta awnings) is anticipated to expand and see renovations, though things haven't been progressing as quickly as many had expected. The retail component towards the right in this photo will eventually be demolished for an approved 70+ storey residential tower, though there's no timeline in place that we're aware of. 

Across the street from Holt Renfrew, at 55 Bloor Street West, is the Manulife Centre. Big things are planned for the building's retail podium, which will see an expansion and several new retailers. Jeweller Birks has confirmed plans to renovate its existing location some time in 2017, as per the rendering below. Italian food concept Eataly (in partnership with Holt Renfrew's owners) is expected to open a 39,000 square foot location on the second level of Manulife Centre, though it recently hit a snag when the mall's primary restaurant provider exercised a restrictive covenant, winning an injunction and stalling these plans.

 Manulife Centre, facing south from the corner of Bay Street and Bloor Street West. 

Manulife Centre, facing south from the corner of Bay Street and Bloor Street West. 

  Expanded Manulife Centre podium, rendering via B+H Architects

Expanded Manulife Centre podium, rendering via B+H Architects

The above photo was taken from the southeast corner of Bloor Street West and Bay Street, facing northwest. The office tower with David's Footwear at its base (1200 Bay Street/David's at 66 Bloor Street West) was recently sold to Amsterdam-based ProWinko, and the adjacent 80 Bloor Street West (featuring Banana Republic and Roots as retail tenants) will eventually be demolished and replaced with a 66 storey residential tower with almost 40,000 square feet of retail at its base. Next to 80 Bloor is Harry Rosen's 54,000 square foot global flagship at 82 Bloor Street West. 

The above photo was taken from the northwest corner of Bloor Street West and Bay Street, looking south to 77 Bloor Street West. Construction shows Sephora's new one-level 8,900 square foot flagship under construction, replacing an existing store at 131 Bloor Street West. Landlord Morguard is renovating 77 Bloor's retail podium, and Druxy's Deli will open a location inside on the tower's ground floor later this year. 

 Rendering of Sephora's new 77 Bloor Street West flagship. 

Rendering of Sephora's new 77 Bloor Street West flagship. 

Past Sephora's construction on the south side of Bloor are several smaller retail buildings. Three of the five buildings in the above photo are currently for lease -- Roots Kids at 89, the former Nine West at 93, and Town Shoes at 95 Bloor Street West. 

Looking north towards the corner of Bloor Street West and Bellair Street is the 100 Bloor Street West retail complex (below the No. 10 Bellair Tower), featuring a freestanding Holt Renfrew Men's store as well as existing locations for American retailers Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn. Both Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn will eventually close -- the Williams Sonoma space was recently leased to French luxury brand Hermes, which will vacate its current 4,000 square foot 130 Bloor Street West location to build an almost 12,000 square foot two-level 'maison'. Opening next year, the massive new store will be one of only several large Hermes flagships worldwide. The Pottery Barn/Pottery Barn Kids/Milli spaces at 100 Bloor are still for lease, according to brokerage CBRE

131 Bloor Street West (south side of Bloor), also known as 'The Colonnade', features several top luxury boutiques. French luxury brand Chanel will vacate and relocate to nearby Yorkville Avenue next year, and we've been told that a number of other luxury brands are interested in Chanel's current 7,300 square foot, two-level location. 

Next to Chanel at 131 Bloor is a 3,000 square foot Coach store. The windows are papered over this week but it's only temporary, as some work is being done to the space. 

Two doors from Coach, and still at 131 Bloor Street West, is Toronto's Prada flagship. The 5,890 square foot store is adding a second level, that will see it grow to an impressive 13,640 square feet next year, surpassing the size of a recently opened Vancouver Prada flagship

Sephora's existing 131 Bloor Street West location will close with the opening of the new 77 Bloor Street West store (mentioned above). The existing Sephora will be subdivided into two retail spaces, with one of them to be occupied by Italian luxury brand Moncler. A number of other retailers have shown interest in the rest of the Sephora space, and we're told that landlord Morguard is particularly interested in securing another international luxury brand. 

Looking across the street to 130 Bloor Street West is Hermes' existing 4,000 square foot store, which will close when the new Hermes flagship opens nearby at 100 Bloor Street West next year. 

Walking westward from The Colonnade is 151 Bloor Street West, on the south side of Bloor Street West (Across from Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co.). The building features four retail spaces, and two of them (Stuart Weitzman and The North Face) are currently for lease. 

Northwest Atlantic Principal/Broker Dianne Lemm suggested that we check out the temporary four-stall summer market in front of Club Monaco at 157 Bloor Street West. The independent retailers provide food and beverage options in front of a fashion retailer, addressing a trend that we'll be discussing in a separate article next week. 

As Club Monaco occupies the southeast corner of Bloor Street West and Avenue Road, this concludes our tour of Toronto's 'Mink Mile'. Feel free to suggest other streets we should profile in the comments section below, or email Craig Patterson (who took these photos on July 6, 2016) at: craig@retail-insider.com.

Canadian Retail News From Around The Web: July 7, 2016