Canadian Shopping Centres to See Unprecedented Redevelopment and Site Intensification: Retail Council of Canada Study

Canada’s shopping centres will see dramatic changes in 2020 and beyond.

That’s one of the key findings of the recently released 2019 Canadian Shopping Centre Study by Retail Council of Canada. The study was sponsored by Engagement Agents.

With 87 per cent of Canadian adults saying they would consider residing in ‘live, work, shop, play’ environments, it’s clear that shopping centre owners are listening carefully to the desires of today’s consumer, which include easier access, greater simplicity, enhanced convenience, and fabulous shopping experiences, states the national Study of Canada’s top 30 most productive malls. In addition, landlords are not only investing in superb shopping spaces, they are also adding more non-retail amenities such as destination entertainment attractions, food markets and restaurants, fitness centres, parks, offices, and residential towers that are increasingly transforming their shopping centres into all-encompassing community hubs.


The Study also shows that the move toward creating mixed-use communities is happening in most urban centres across the country, particularly in markets where land prices have risen over recent years, promising to fundamentally change the way landlords look at and develop their properties.

“Until recently, shopping centre developers ran with the idea of making money off of leasing retail space,” says Retail Insider’s Craig Patterson. “What I think is really fascinating is the fact that we’re witnessing the invention of the modern shopping centre as complete communities.”


He lauds the idea of adding residential rental spaces to the shopping centre, explaining that it creates a consistent income stream for the landlord while adding people on site. And, because shopping centres are well-located in terms of transit and close proximity to desired amenities, they are becoming increasingly attractive places for people to live. 

Sustaining the Trend

Not only does the 2019 Canadian Shopping Centre Study provide a comprehensive overview of the top 30 malls across Canada, it also offers a sneak peek at more than 40 future developments and intensification projects that have been planned from coast-to-coast, many of which focus on providing visitors with ‘experiences’ as value in real estate assets continue to grow.

Cadillac Fairview and TD Greystone announce Bold Vision for CF Fairview Mall (CNW Group/Cadillac Fairview)

“By carefully curating compelling and productive retailer mixes, upping square footage devoted to food and beverage options, introducing innovative, one-of-a kind, destination-worthy entertainment attractions, and building more residential and office complex options on their properties, shopping centre owners in Canada are setting the groundwork for a renaissance,” said the national Study.

To download a full version of the 2019 Canadian Shopping Centre Study, sponsored by Engagement Agents, please visit:

*Update: Check out Retail Insider’s article on the incredible redevelopment of Square One in Mississauga, which will become the largest mixed-use project in Canada’s history, published at 12:30pm ET on January 21st. (Rendering below)


Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He now works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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