Second City Comedy Secures New Downtown Toronto Location in Mixed-Use Development [Plans/Renderings]

The Toronto contingent of the Second City comedy troupe has announced that it will move into a new space at One York Street near Toronto’s waterfront in the fourth quarter of 2020. The company had to find a new space after it was announced that its current location at 51 Mercer Street will be demolished for a condominium development.

Retail Insider was provided plans and renderings from a source not wishing to be named in this article. Plans were drawn up in the spring of 2019 and Retail Insider was awaiting confirmation that a deal had been done prior to reporting on the development.

CURRENT SECOND CITY LOCATION CIRCLED ON THE LEFT OF THE MAP, AS WELL AS THE NEW LOCATION AT ONE YORK. CLICK FOR INTERACTIVE GOOGLE MAP
MAIN LEVEL FLOOR PLAN INCLUDING SECOND CITY’S ENTRANCE FOYER IN RED. IMAGE: MENKES

Second City will occupy 28,700 square feet on the third floor of the 170,000 square foot retail podium at One York Street, which is owned by Menkes Developments Ltd. in partnership with Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) and Sun Life Financial. One York is connected to Toronto’s PATH network and also includes a 35-storey office tower as well as two condominium towers spanning 70 and 66 stories that are branded as the ‘Harbour Plaza Residences’. 

The new Second City space will feature several comedy theatres for live performances, along with an improvisation-based arts school, and a games-driven bar and restaurant.

ENTRANCE FOYER. IMAGE: MENKES
ENTRANCE FOYER. IMAGE: MENKES
BRANDING ON THE SEOND RETAIL LEVEL OF ONE YORK. IMAGE: MENKES

Sam Wertman of Retail Logic Realty Inc. negotiated the deal on behalf of the landlord. Scott Conly and Tobin Davis of Colliers represented Second City.

“Since The Second City came to Toronto in 1973, this city has developed some of the finest names in comedy: Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Rader, Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Martin Short, Mike Myers, Colin Mochrie, Nia Vardalos…the list goes on. Our new home will allow us to continue the tradition of discovering new talent while affording us additional stages for diverse programming like She The People,” said Andrew Alexander, CEO and Executive Producer of The Second City.

IMAGE: MENKES
SECOND LEVEL ENTRANCE NEAR THE COPPA’S GROCERY STORE AT ONE YORK. IMAGE: MENKES
FLOOR PLAN INDICATING SECOND CITY’S SPACE ON THE 3RD FLOOR OF ONE YORK. IMAGE: MENKES

The new location will provide Second City with needed space as it grows. 

“The Second City is excited to break ground on three new state-of-the-art theatres, as well as provide increased classroom space for our ever-growing Second City Training Centre, which serves thousands of students of all ages every year,” added D’Arcy Stuart, Chief Operating Officer of The Second City. “This is also a prime opportunity for us to add dynamic multi-use spaces to accommodate groups, meetings, celebrations, and events of all sizes.”

Second City will vacate 51 Mercer Street, located in Toronto’s Entertainment District, in November of 2020. Second City’s first Toronto location was on Adelaide Street East prior to moving into 110 Lombard Street in 1974. In 1997, Second City moved into 56 Blue Jays Way and remained there until 2005 when it was announced that the Blue Jays Way property would be demolished with a facade to be integrated into the now-standing Bisha Hotel. Second City moved into 51 Mercer Street in 2005 and once again, Toronto’s condo boom saw Second City having to relocate. Fortunately One York is a new development that will stand for years to come. 

One York Street’s retail podium includes several smaller retailers as well as a food hall called ‘Harbour Eats by Mercatino’, a 20,000 square foot Winners store, and a Market 63 by Coppa’s grocery store which was featured in Retail Insider in March of this year. Being on the PATH network, One York is accessible to Union Station, Toronto’s Financial District, waterfront, and other nearby attractions including Scotiabank Arena, the Rogers Centre, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada and the CN Tower.

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Now located in Toronto, Craig is a retail analyst and consultant at the Retail Council of Canada. He's also the Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for the past 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees. He is also President & CEO of Vancouver-based Retail Insider Media Ltd.

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