By Craig Patterson
Cadillac Fairview has announced that it will expand and restore the facade of the historic 2 Queen Street West building in Toronto, which is connected to CF Toronto Eaton Centre. The building’s facade will be retained and restored, while new commercial space will be added over several levels.
“A beautifully restored 2 Queen Street West would serve as a gateway from Yonge Street to the south entrance of the CF Toronto Eaton Centre,” said Rory MacLeod, Vice President, Development, Cadillac Fairview. “This project complements our ongoing investment in the CF Toronto Eaton Centre complex, most recently demonstrated by our announcement with BMO to develop an innovative new workspace in the former Sears office space, construction of the new Queen Street pedestrian bridge and the opening of Saks Fifth Avenue at the Hudson’s Bay Queen St. location.”
He went on to say, “Cadillac Fairview is absolutely committed to our responsible investment in the heritage properties under our stewardship. Built in 1885, this building’s beautiful façade is currently obscured having undergone several renovations, but today, we are proud to be restoring 2 Queen Street West to its original glory.”
The project will include 22,011 square feet of retail space/storage and 23,150 square feet of office space. The top floor will house a first-in-class restaurant with an exterior terrace, according to Cadillac Fairview. The existing building will see three new floors added.
The 2 Queen West building has stood at the northwest corner of Queen Street West and Yonge Street since 1885, and housed a Woolworth’s store from 1913 until 1980. At one time, department store chain Eaton’s operated a flagship store that surrounded 2 Queen Street West — interestingly, Eaton’s never secured the corner space to expand its massive store. Most recently, an Atmosphere sports store occupied the retail component of the existing building with a Goodlife Fitness upstairs. In the 1990’s, the building housed a Tower Records superstore and decades before, changes to the building saw the facade obscured with aluminum panelling.
The Yonge and Queen corner now includes luxury department store Saks Fifth Avenue, which operates its Canadian flagship in the Hudson’s Bay building that is connected via a stunning new pedway to CF Toronto Eaton Centre. The Hudson’s Bay building once housed the flagship location for the Robert Simpson & Co. department store chain, which Hudson’s Bay discontinued in the early 1990’s.
In 2013, Cadillac Fairview proposed adding a 65-storey rental tower to the site, with 2 Queen's heritage facade being incorporated into a podium at its base. The 475,000 square foot building would have included 580 residential units, as well as retail at its base.
With more than 50-million annual visitors, CF Toronto Eaton Centre is North America’s busiest shopping centre, according to Retail Council of Canada’s Shopping Centre Study. The centre is also one of the country’s top-selling in terms of sales per square foot, as well as one of the largest with more than 2.1 million square feet of retail space that spans the CF Toronto Eaton Centre retail complex (anchored by Nordstrom) and the Hudson’s Bay building across Queen Street, which houses Canadian flagships for Hudson’s Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue.
*All renderings are via Cadillac Fairview