Rendering of Simons/Rideau Centre, including a restored facade of the former Ogilvy department store. Rendering: Rideau Centre/Cadillac Fairview

The opening date of La Maison Simons' store in Ottawa's Rideau Centre has been delayed. It is now scheduled to open in August 2016, where it had originally been scheduled to open in the spring of 2015. It will therefore be the second Simons store to open in the Ottawa area, about one year after the recently announced Simons at Les Promenades Gatineau which will open in the spring of 2015.

The Rideau Centre Simons store will be about 105,000 square feet and will feature a reconstructed facade of the historic Ogilvy building formerly occupying the store's site. Rideau Centre's mall expansion will include 230,000 square feet of new retail space over four levels, as well as a modernization of the mall's common areas. A 35,000 square foot upscale food court with 16 eating establishments seating 850 (complete with ceramic dishes, glassware and metal cutlery) will be available to shoppers as well as a new three-level underground parking garage. Joining Rideau Centre will be a 157,000 square foot Nordstrom store, which is still scheduled to open in the spring of 2015.

Rendering of the interior of Rideau Centre. Rendering: Rideau Centre/Cadillac Fairview

We were alerted to the delay in the Rideau Centre Simons' opening after a press release was issued claiming that Mississauga's Square One Shopping Centre would be the first Ontario location for Simons. That press release appears to have been correct.


[La Maison Simons website]


[Image Source]

*****UPDATE: This announcement was confirmed the morning of December 13th, 2013, as expected. H&M and Forever21 are also confirmed tenants for this mall.*****

La Maison Simons will open an 80,000 square foot store at Les Promenades Gatineau in suburban Ottawa. It's expected to open in the Spring of 2015, following the recently announced Simons at Ottawa's Rideau Centre. The Gatineau Simons will be part of a $110 million renovation/expansion of Les Promenades Gatineau that will see the mall modernized and improved.

According to La Presse, Peter Simons will be present at the mall to make an official announcement of the store's opening at about 10:00am on Monday, December 2nd. The mall's landlord, Oxford Properties, is also expected to provide further details on the mall's expansion. Rumour has it the mall will feature new H&M and Forever 21 stores.

We first reported on a possible Simons store location for Les Promenades Gatineau just over a year ago. After interviewing Peter Simons in September, we thought the deal was over. We can now say that this isn't the case and that Ottawa will eventually have two Simons store locations. 

La Maison Simons is on an unprecedented nation-wide expansion that saw its first store outside of Quebec open at West Edmonton Mall in October 2012. It has subsequently announced future store locations in West Vancouver, and Downtown Ottawa. Further locations may open in Toronto and in Winnipeg, though nothing is confirmed for either cities.


Thank you to this article's source, Acajack, of Skyscraper Forum, who provided a link to this La Presse Article (in French).  

[Les Promenades Gatineau website]

[La Maison Simons website]

Rendering of the renovated Les Promenades Gatineau. Image: Oxford Properties



German luxury retailer Porsche Design will open stores across Canada according to sources, and its list of desired cities includes Calgary, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver and possibly Edmonton. It is also expected to open at least one more Toronto-area store. The company is testing the market, having already opened a pop-up shop at Toronto's Sherway Gardens as well as a temporary store location in Vancouver. We'll briefly describe Porsche Design's potential plans in several cities:


A source at Porsche Design tells us that the company is looking to open in Calgary's Chinook Centre, ideally close to the mall's new Nordstrom store which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014. The source wasn't sure if Porsche Design has already signed a lease in the mall.


Porsche Design's Sherway Gardens pop-up store, which opened a few days ago, will remain open for only about two months. A company representative says that Porsche Design is hoping to secure a permanent retail presence in the mall by the end of 2014. 

Another possible Toronto store location could be at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre. A source tells us that Porsche Design might look to take over the 1,365 square foot retail space currently occupied by ICON Shoes, as ICON's lease expires in 2014. The space is located across from the mall's expanding Holt Renfrew store and is within close proximity to upscale stores such as MulberryTiffany & Co.CartierSalvator FerragamoDavid Yurman and others.

Porsche Design pop-up shop at Toronto's Sherway Gardens. Photo: Sherway Gardens

Porsche Design pop-up shop at Toronto's Sherway Gardens. Photo: Sherway Gardens


An Edmonton store is a possibility for Porsche Design, and we were informed that West Edmonton Mall would be the most likely location. Our source wasn't able to provide any further information as to when this could happen or its location within the mall. 

Ottawa and Montreal:

Ottawa and Montreal have both been mentioned as possible locations for Porsche Design stores, though we have few details besides Ottawa's Rideau Centre being the likely candidate for an Ottawa store location.

More on Porsche Design in Canada: 

Porsche Design already has two Canadian store locations: one on Toronto's Bloor Street and another which opened last week in Downtown Vancouver. Further plans to expand show Porsche Design's confidence in Canada's luxury retail market.

It appears that Porsche Design's presence in Canada could become substantially greater, per capita, than that in the United States. Porsche Design only has 11 American store locations and one outlet location. Within a couple of years, Canada could have as many as 8 Porsche Design stores (though we suspect that number will end up being more like 5).

We'll continue to keep you updated on Porsche Design's Canada-wide store expansion.


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Victoria's Secret opens its first Ottawa store this morning at the Bayshore Shopping Centre. A second location will follow at the Rideau Centre in Downtown Ottawa as part of the mall's expansion

The Bayshore Victoria's Secret is 13,372 square feet in size. Of that, 2,418 square feet are dedicated to its PINK line of collegiate-inspired bras, panties, loungewear and beauty products. 

The main store will carry the entire range of Victoria's Secret products including lingerie, fragrances and body care collections. It will include a 'bra salon', a 'panty boutique', an area dedicated to beauty products, as well as collections by Victoria's Secret Sport and a seasonal swimwear line.

We'll update you when we learn of details of the future Rideau Centre Victoria's Secret store.

[Bayshore Shopping Centre website]

[Victoria's Secret website]


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Upscale menswear retailer Harry Rosen will relocate its Ottawa Rideau Centre store to an 18,000 square foot space in a central portion of the mall. It will open in the Spring of 2015 and construction starts Fall 2014.

Interestingly, the new store will include a large shoe shop with its own entrance, adjoined to the main store. Harry Rosen will also include several designer shops-in-shop, not unlike other larger Harry Rosen stores.

When finished, this will be one of Harry Rosen's largest stores. The largest is the 55,000 square foot Toronto flagship on Bloor Street West. In total, Harry Rosen has 16 Canadian store locations as well as one outlet store in Mississauga. 

Ottawa's Rideau Centre is undertaking a massive expansion which broke ground this morning. It will eventually include new retail anchored by a 105,000 square foot La Maison Simons store and a 157,000 square foot Nordstrom store. Word has it that a Saks Fifth Avenue store could also open across the street from the mall within Hudson's Bay

[Harry Rosen website]


Rendering of Rideau Centre's Rideau Street side. Photo: Rideau Centre

Today marks the ground breaking of the expansion of Ottawa's Ridea Centre. By the spring of 2015, the mall's expansion will include a 105,000 La Maison Simons store as well as Nordstrom, which will join the mall as its southern anchor.

The groundbreaking will be at the corner of Rideau Street and Nicholas Street, being the future site of the La Maison Simons store. 

Rendering of the mall's new food court. Photo: Rideau Centre

Last year we reported that Nordstrom would open a 157,000 square foot store in the mall , replacing the top two levels of a former Sears store. Nordstrom is expected to open some time in the spring of 2015. Simons will open at about the same as Nordstrom. 

Saks Fifth Avenue could open across the street from Rideau Centre within Hudson's Bay's department store, though we have no further details at this time. 


Hudson's Bay, Rideau Street, Ottawa. Image: Google Streetview screenshot

Ottawa could get a Saks Fifth Avenue store as part of its announced Canadian store openings. Ottawa's Saks would likely be located within Hudson's Bay on Rideau Street. Hudson's Bay owns the 335,000 square foot Ottawa store outright, meaning Saks would pay no rent to occupy space within. 

Ottawa could be a desirable city for Saks Fifth Avenue, given they city's relatively high incomes and a population exceeding one million. Ottawa's incomes are high compared to most Canadian cities, largely as a result of relatively high paying civil service jobs. Ottawa also lacks many upscale shops and designers available in other Canadian cities, meaning Saks could secure many of the designers it would want without having to compete with other retailers. 

If a full-sized Saks opens within the Rideau Street Hudson's Bay, it would be in the 75,000 to 120,000 square foot range. Saks could also possibly occupy a floor or more of the existing store, or operate as one or more Saks "departments" within the existing store (we're not a fan of this option, given the vastly differing perceptions of Hudson's Bay and Saks as retailers). 

Opening Saks within the Rideau Street Hudson's Bay could be a good move, as competitor Holt Renfrew is far removed at 240 Sparks Street in Downtown Ottawa. Holt's Ottawa store is only about 36,000 square feet over two floors, and it lacks many of the interesting features and designers found in larger Holt Renfrew stores. Holt's also lacks some labels Saks would desire, most noticeably Louis Vuitton. We think a Saks in Downtown Ottawa could see shops like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, and Ferragamo, among others.

Hudson's Bay, Rideau Street, Ottawa. Image:

Saks would join the recently announced 157,000 square foot Nordstrom store, to be located across the street at Rideau Centre. La Maison Simons will also open across the street from Hudson's Bay/Saks, though Simons carries mostly moderately priced, private-label merchandise. Saks' primary menswear competitor would be Rideau Centre's Harry Rosen store, set to undergo a substantial renovation as part of the company's growth and improvement strategy. 

Saks Fifth Avenue's opening on Rideau Street would further create an exceptional shopping experience for the area. With anchors like Nordstrom, La Maison Simons and a renovated Hudson's Bay (as is planned) in the area, Saks as a fourth anchor, would likely make gains at Holt Renfrew's expense. It should be noted that despite planned renovations to Rideau Centre, Hudson's Bay will remain connected to the mall by an existing pedestrian walkway. Given the increased popularity of Rideau Centre, Hudson's Bay (and possibly Saks) should be breathing a huge sigh of relief. 


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This fall Canada will see the opening of at least three Zara Home stores, and we're announcing two of the new locations. In March we reported that Canada's first Zara Home location had been secured at Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre. We've subsequently received information that two more Canadian locations will be added: Le Carrefour Laval near Montreal, and at Ottawa's Rideau Centre

The Toronto Zara Home store will be 3,265 square feet. The Laval store will be even larger at almost 4,200 square feet. No word yet on the Ottawa location. 

Zara Home is an offshoot of Zara, a moderately-priced, modern fashion and accessories retailer with multiple Canadian stores.

Canadian shoppers can expect interesting, modern, well-priced housewares from the Zara Home collection. The concept is expected to expand Canada-wide with possible future locations in Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary. 

Zara Home has no American locations currently, but its products can be purchased online: Canada is thus getting Zara Home before America, at least brick-and-mortar-wise.

Zara is owned by Inditex Group, the world's largest fashion retail conglomerate with almost 100 different companies under its umbrella. 

Thank you to two sources for this article: Retail Insider Pat Campione and "K.W.", both of whom sent us these tips on the same day. 

[Zara Home website] 


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Nordstrom Rack has secured its first Canadian location in suburban Ottawa. It will be located in a suburban 'big box' retail centre, as opposed to an outlet mall as might be expected. We've been asked not to reveal the location of the store as not all negotiation details have been finalized.

If you are a retailer or represent a retailer, and you are seriously interested in being located near a Nordstrom Rack store in suburban Ottawa, we could forward your information to the retail centre's leasing manager. Our email is:

Nordstrom Rack's Canadian locations will carry both discounted merchandise from its full-priced stores as well as merchandise purchased specifically for Rack locations. Canada could see as many as 20 Nordstrom Rack locations in the next few years. 

Keep checking our website as we will be revealing more Canadian Nordstrom Rack details. 

[Nordstrom Rack website]


For this week's Floorplan Friday, we're again showing a leaseplan including a Holt Renfrew store. This is Ottawa's Holt Renfrew, located in the 240 Sparks Street building. 

This first plan, above, shows the 14,320 square-foot ground floor of the Ottawa Holt Renfrew store. Included on this floor are menswear, cosmetics and accessories.  

This first plan is also shown on an angle. The leaseplan provided by 240 Sparks Street's landlord angled for both floors. The first floor is marked as level 'C2'. 

The second floor of the Ottawa Holt Renfrew is 22,280 square feet according to this plan. It is marked as level 'C3'. This floor includes womenswear. 

The total square footage of these two floors is 36,600 square feet, according to lease plans. This makes it substantially smaller than the newly built Holt Renfrew stores including the expanding Yorkdale Store in Toronto and the recently announced Square One Mississauga Holt Renfrew store. 

Next week we'll give you a rundown of Holt Renfrew store sizes, including proposed expansions of existing stores. Have an excellent weekend, and thank you for reading Retail Insider. 

[Top Image: Google Streetview]

Holt Renfrew website:

240 Sparks Street website:


Nordstrom Rideau Shopping Centre, Ottawa. Image: Nordstrom
Nordstrom has released more renderings of its Canadian stores, and we've got updated information from our Nordstrom insider. The new renderings are of the Ottawa, Calgary and Toronto Sherway Gardens stores. These join previously released renderings of the flagship Vancouver BC store and recently announced Toronto Yorkdale Shopping Centre stores.

Birds-eye view of Ottawa's Nordstrom (in blue). Image: Nordstrom
Ottawa: Rideau Centre

Ottawa's Rideau Centre will get a 157,000 square foot, two-level Nordstrom store on the top two floors of the mall's former Sears store. The exterior rendering of the store is the top image in this article. Our Nordstrom insider informs us the store will include an expanded women's designer department called 'Collectors' that will directly compete with the small designer floor at Ottawa's Holt Renfrew. Our Nordstrom insider tells us they are also well aware that Hudson's Bay plans to start renovations on its Rideau Street store and that Hudson's Bay will attempt to beef-up its designer offerings. Nordstrom will attempt to secure many designer labels Hudson's Bay would carry including Rachel Roy, Spendid, Diane von Furstenberg, McQ Alexander McQueen and "many others". Our Nordstrom insider says despite Hudson's Bay's renovations (and eventual inclusion of a TopShop concession), Nordstrom will trump Hudson's Bay especially in the area of shoes and customer service.

Thank you to our Ottawa Retail Insider Geoffrey Hall for directing us to the Ottawa store renderings. 

Nordstrom, Calgary Chinook Centre. Image: Nordstrom
Calgary: Chinook Centre

The Calgary Chinook Centre Nordstrom will occupy about 140,000 square feet of Chinook Centre's former 173,000 square foot Sears store. The store will be two floors and we'll soon reveal the store's department layout, as per our Nordstrom insider. The front portion of the former Sears store will be configured to multi-tenant retail, while the back half of the former Sears store will be Nordstrom. See the image below, showing Nordstrom's partial occupation of the former Sears. 
Chinook Centre, Nordstrom in Blue. Note: Only part of Sears will be occupied by Nordstrom. Image: Nordstrom
Nordstrom's Calgary store will go head-to-head with Hudson's Bay and (to a lesser extent) Harry Rosen. Our Nordstrom insider says that Nordstrom, again, will excel in areas of designer clothing, shoes and customer service. 

Nordstrom Sherway Gardens Rendering. Image: Nordstrom
Toronto: Sherway Gardens

The two-level Sherway Gardens Nordstrom store will be about 138,000 square feet and will be built where Sporting Life is currently located. Our Nordstrom insider says it will feature a 'small' women's Collectors department and will carry less variety than the new Yorkdale Nordstrom store which will be about 50,000 square feet larger. In December 2012 we provided information on the proposed layout of the Sherway Gardens Nordstrom store. Nordstrom will have less upscale competition at Sherway Gardens, however, as Holt Renfrew will leave Sherway for a new 120,000 sqaure foot store at Mississauga's Square One Shopping Centre
Location of Sherway Garden's new Nordstrom store. Image: Nordstrom

We previously provided images of the recently announced Yorkdale Shopping Centre Nordstrom store, and our Nordstrom insider tells us it will attempt to secure a sufficient designer roster to compete both with Hudson's Bay, Harry Rosen and Holt Renfrew. Holt's will still be "by far" the most upscale anchor at Yorkdale, though Nordstrom will attempt to outdo Holt's in the customer service department. Both will battle for shoes, especially with Holt's soon-to-open 10,000 square foot shoe department. Our Nordstrom insider also says Harry Rosen should be vigilant since Nordstrom will put great effort into offering quality designer men's clothing and accessories with exceptional customer service. 

Nordstrom website:


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Swedish retailer H&M is opening a 22,000 square foot store at Ottawa's expanded Bayshore Shopping Centre in October. This will be Ottawa's first H&M store.  

The company has been seeking Ottawa store space for almost a decade. H&M's Bayshore store will be located on the main level of the mall's former Zellers store, which is being renovated and reconfigured. Target will occupy the third floor of that same former Zellers store. 

Ottawa's Bayshore Shopping Centre is undergoing an expansion and renovation that will see its size increased to about 915,000 square feet from a current 700,000 square feet. The entire project will cost about $200 million. 56 new stores will be added including the new Target store. The expansion should be completed some time in 2015.

A source at Cadillac Fairview tells us H&M is also negotiating space at Ottawa's Rideau Centre. Ottawa's Rideau Centre is also undergoing a significant expansion which will include a new Nordstrom, a relocated food court and a La Maison Simons store we reported on last month

[Partial Article Source]

H&M website:

Bayshore Shopping Centre website:


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La Maison Simons will open a 105,000 square foot store at Ottawa's Rideau Centre in the Spring of 2015. This will be Simons' ninth store (after its Galeries d'Anjou store opens this August) and its second location outside of Quebec.

Today's announcement is surprising. In November 2012 we reported Simons was shut-out of Rideau Centre by Nordstrom.  Simons subsequently sought space in an Ottawa-area mall in Gatineau, Quebec. Despite the signed Rideau lease, Simons may still open a second Ottawa-area store, according to Simons President and CEO Peter Simons.

Negotiations between La Maison Simons and Rideau Centre landlord Cadillac Fairview commenced about five years ago. Negotiations stalled in November 2012. Renewed talks led to a signed lease agreement between Simons and Rideau Centre about two weeks ago. 

Simons' first non-Quebec store opened at West Edmonton Mall in October of 2012. That store recently won Chainstore Age's International Store of the Year award. Peter Simons says they are actively seeking space in and/or around Vancouver and Toronto as well as in other Canadian cities.

Construction is underway for an expansion of Ottawa's Rideau Centre. This week, unfortunately, part of the facade of the historical Ogilvy department store collapsed with preservation efforts. Its historical elements are to to be integrated into the mall expansion.

We will update readers with further La Maison Simons Rideau Centre store details, including store size, location, and Rideau Centre expansion renderings and floorplans. 

Thank you to our source, Retail Insider Geoffrey Hall, for providing us with the link to this article source

La Maison Simons website:

Rideau Centre website:

Ottawa's Tanger Outlet Mall - With hr2?

[Image Source]
*UPDATE: This outlet mall proposal was approved by city council and will break ground shortly - Feburary 27 2013 [Source]*

We're updating readers on the proposed Tanger outlet mall in suburban Ottawa (Kanata). According to submitted city planning documents, the mall will include "pedestrian-oriented private streets lined with retail outlets, createing the ambience of an ourdoor pedestrian mall".

Customers will park around the edge of the development and then walk through the streets and stores.
Plan of Ottawa's Tanger Outlet Centre. [Image Source]

A retail analysts speculates Holt Renfrew's discount retail concept called hr2 will occupy a 25-30,000 square foot space in the mall. We cannot confirm that speculation at this time.

The mall is being built by American outlet company Tanger Outlet Centres, which has teamed with Ottawa firms Trinity Developments and Taggart Realty as well as real estate landlord RioCan. RioCan plans to open beteween 10 and 15 Canadian outlet malls by 2018.

A 200-room hotel and four free-standing restaurants will also be included.

The rezoning application will be before Ottawa's planning committee on Tuesday, February 26th. 

We'll update readers on other outlet malls set to open nation-wide. Keep reading!

[Partial Article Source]

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La Maison Simons in Talks to Open in Suburban Ottawa After Rideau Centre Deal Falls Through

La Maison Simons is in talks with Oxford Properties to open a new store at Les Promenades Gatineau in Gatineau, Quebec. This mall is in suburban Ottawa. Discussions are only preliminiary and a source tells us Simons wants space between 80,000 and 100,000 square feet.

Simons originally planned to open at Cadillac Fairview's Rideau Centre. Talks broke down after Nordstrom secured Rideau Centre space. Peter Simons, President and CEO of La Maison Simons, expressed disappointment that the deal fell through after five yeears of planning, negotiation and design of a Simons planned for an eastward Rideau Centre expansion.

Negotiations for a Simons store at Ottawa's St. Laurent Shopping Centre have also been unsuccesful. Landlord Morguard Investments was unable to release a non-competition clause from a large-format retail competitor, thus impeding Simon's possible St. Laurent tenancy.

Les Promenades Gatineau/Oxford Properties will be announcing a major mall expansion that will include a food-court relocation, the elimination of government offices on-site, and a substantial retail expansion that will include at least one new anchor store.

Our Toronto-based retail analyst speculates that La Maison Simons will try to secure a second Ottawa-area store after securing space in Gatineau. We will continue to keep you updated on La Maison Simon's exciting Canada-wide expansion plans.

La Maison Simons

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