La Maison Simons will open a 113,000 square foot store at Mississauga's Square One Shopping Centre in the spring of 2016. The two-level store will be the anchor of a $52 million reconfiguration of the mall's current 145,000 square foot Sears space which was recently sold back to mall landlord Oxford Properties

Simons will join a 120,000-square-foot Holt Renfrew store that is also set to open at Square One in spring 2016.

Simons is the newest retailer added to Square One's $380 million renovation and expansion project.  Phase One, an $84 million overhaul of the interior, was completed in November 2013, and construction on Phase Two began in September 2013. 

Square One's Sears location Simons joins anchors Hudson's Bay (191,000 square feet), Target (164,000 square feet) and Walmart (245,000 square feet). As mentioned, Holt Renfrew's Square One store will be about 120,000 square feet when completed. 



[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


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Toronto's proposed Oxford Place mega-project has been put on hold. It would have included a substantial retail mall that could have rivalled the Toronto Eaton Centre in size. Oxford Properties' CEO made this revelation to The Globe & Mail in this article

One of the reasons the project was put on hiatus is because the City of Toronto voted against allowing a casino on the premises. A casino was considered to be key for Oxford Place's success. 

We first reported on Oxford Place in October, 2012. The ~1 million-square foot retail project could have housed multiple anchor tenants as well as a massive shopping centre. We subsequently provided renderings of the project, raising optimism that a substantial luxury retail component could be included.

[Image Source]

Other new Downtown Toronto shopping centres may still be developed. In November 2012, we reported on a possible half-million square foot mall where the Globe & Mail headquarters are currently located. In January we reported on a retail component that could be part of a major residential/commercial project at the foot of Yonge Street.  In March we reported on a proposal for a 750,000 square foot mall as part of a proposed mega-project at Toronto's Exhibition Place. Most recently, we reported on a possible large shopping centre adjacent to Toronto's Ryerson University

Source: Globe & Mail article

[Oxford Place website]

[Oxford Place proposal]

[Oxford Properties website


[Image Source]

Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre could become North America's top selling mall. Yorkdale's sales have surpassed $1 billion per year and it is Canada's number-one mall in terms of revenue. Incredibly, mall management expects sales of $2 billion annually by 2018.

The $2 billion sales projection is based on the expectation that Yorkdale's sales will substantially increase with its new Nordstrom-anchored expansion as well as a possible La Maison Simons store that could replace part of the mall's current Sears store. Sears is set to vacate Yorkdale in early 2014 after having sold its lease to landlord Oxford Properties.

The highest selling mall in the United States is South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California. It has sales of about $1.5 billion and has no plans for any expansion as far as we know. If things go as forecasted, Yorkdale's revenues could surpass South Coast Plaza's within three years.

Yorkdale's $1 billion sales are measured based on revenues from June 2012 to May 2013. It is the first Canadian mall to achieve sales in excess of $1 billion. Other Canadian malls that could surpass $1 billion in the next few years include Calgary's Chinook Centre and Vancouver's Pacific Centre. Both of these Canadian malls will also incorporate Nordstrom as anchors.

Yorkdale is also one of Canada's most productive malls with sales in excess of $1,300 per square foot.  Competing Canadian malls include Vancouver's Pacific Centre and Oakridge Shopping Centre as well as the Toronto's Eaton Centre. If sales forecasts are accurate, Yorkdale could become Canada's most productive mall in addition to being its top selling mall. 

North America's most productive mall is the Bal Harbour Shops north of Miami, with sales of about $2,800 per square foot.

If The Hudson's Bay Company succeeds with negotiations to purchase Saks Fifth Avenue, a Saks concession or full-sized Saks store could arrive at Yorkdale as well. This is speculation at the moment but a Saks Fifth Avenue could compliment a mall that will include anchors Nordstrom, a possible La Maison Simons, and a world-class Holt Renfrew store that is expected to complete its renovation and expansion this fall.

Source: [Press Release]

[Yorkdale Shopping Centre website]


Peter Simons at his Place Ste Foy (Quebec City) store. [Image Source]

La Maison Simons president & CEO Peter Simons says he's actively negotiating space at two Toronto area malls, according to the Toronto Star. Simons would occupy space vacated by Sears at Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre and at Mississauga's Square One. Last week we reported that the Sears store leases at both these malls were sold back to Landlord Oxford Properties for about $191 million.

We were aware and reported that Simons was in talks with Oxford Properties and we'd would like to clarify a few things about the negotiations and the space available. Oxford Properties has not yet decided what to do with its newly acquired Sears space, and both Sears leases won't be vacated by Sears until March 2014. Both spaces are also too large for a single Simons store.

Sears location at Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre
If negotiations with Simons are successful, Simons stores are not likely occupy the entire Sears store space at either mall. According to lease plans, Yorkdale's Sears store is about 190,000 square feet and Square One's Sears is about 145,000 square feet.

Simons stores are typically in the 80,000-100,000 square foot range and its largest location is currently the 118,000 square foot West Edmonton Mall store, which opened last year. Given the larger sizes of the Yorkdale and Square One Sears stores, we could expect Simons to occupy either part of the existing Sears stores or for the Sears spaces to be demolished for new development.
Sears location at Square One Shopping Centre, Mississauga Ontario
Simons is in the process of a Canada-wide expansion that could see new stores open in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg and Toronto, among other cities. Simons will open its first Ottawa store in 2015 at the Rideau Shopping Centre (in the same mall as Nordstrom) and could open a second Ottawa-area location in Gatineau. It opened its Edmonton location in October of 2012 and will open a store at Montreal's Galeries d'Anjou, mid-August.

Yorkdale Shopping Centre recently underwent a massive expansion and recently announced its latest expansion plans that will include more retail space and Nordstrom as an anchor. Yorkdale's Holt Renfrew is also expanding and innovating as a prototype for future store renovations

Square One is also in the process of an expansion that will see new retail space as well as a 120,000 square foot Holt Renfrew store. The future of Square One's Walmart store is in question and we'll update you on any developments. 

We'll update you on La Maison Simon's cross-Canada expansion. Needless to say, it has become an exciting time for Canadian retail. 

[La Maison Simons website]

[Yorkdale Shopping Centre website]

[Square One Shopping Centre website]


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Update: Oxford Properties purchased the Yorkdale and Square One leases for $191 million. Stores will close in March, 2014. Oxford also paid Sears $1 million for the option of buying-out the 230,000+ square foot Scarborough Town Centre Sears lease for $53 million. That closure could happen within the next 5 years. [Press Release]

A source tells us that Sears Canada has just sold two more of its store leases to its mall landlords. This time the landlord is Oxford Properties, and the mall locations are the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto and Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga.
Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto
The Yorkdale Sears is about 190,000 square feet and is located in the western portion of the mall. Nordstrom has already announced that it will open a 188,000 square foot Yorkdale store as part of an eastward mall expansion, so the Yorkdale Sears space will either be reconfigured for multiple retailers, demolished then redeveloped, or be leased to another anchor tenant. La Maison Simons has been in talks with the landlord and could occupy some, though likely not all of the space. Simons is seeking Toronto store space in the 80,000-120,000 square foot range. 
Square One Shopping Centre, Mississauga
Square One's Sears store is about 145,000 square feet and it is located at the north-end of the mall. Nordstrom could become a possible replacement anchor for the Sears space, though Nordstrom has already secured a 138,000 square foot space at nearby Sherway Gardens mall that will open in 2016. Again, La Maison Simons could possibly occupy the Sears space, though Simons could also go in the expanded area near the recently announced 120,000 square foot Holt Renfrew. Holts will be located in an expanded southern portion of Square One that will see Old Navy and neighbouring retailers demolished. 

Reader Eric Lewis has noted that the Square One Sears space could be utilized in a proposed mall expansion/reconfiguration at that end of the mall

We'll keep you updated on these interesting Sears developments. Given that Sears is still open to selling its Canadian store leases, we could see the way paved for more Nordstrom stores, including one in the much coveted Sears space at the Toronto Eaton Centre

Thank you to our source "K.W." for notifying us of this story. 

[Sears Canada website]

[Square One Shopping Centre website]

[Yorkdale Shopping Centre website]

Could Holt Renfrew Open at Mississauga's Square One?

[Image Source]
Holt Renfrew is in talks with Oxford Properties to open a store at Mississauga's Square One Shopping Centre. Negotiations have been ongoing for several years, according to a source at Holt Renfrew head office. This store would replace Holt Renfrew's current Sherway Gardens store. 

Negotiations with landlord Cadillac Fairview for an enlarged Holt Renfrew store at Sherway Gardens have been unsuccessful and Oxford has jumped in to lure Holt's away from Sherway into a newly renovated Square One Shopping Centre

In July 2012 we reported on Holt Renfrew's expanding its Sherway Gardens store to 102,000 square feet. It appears we may have published this information in haste, given the now-stalled negotiations. 
Floorplan: Screenshot from Square One website
The Globe & Mail reported Sunday evening on Holt's potential Square One move. The link to this Globe & Mail article can be found [here]. 

While researching for this article, we found this online petition to add Holt Renfrew to Square One. So far it only appears to have seven signatures...

We will update readers as we learn more of Holt Renfrew's possible relocation in the Western Greater Toronto Area. 

Holt Renfrew website:

Square One Shopping Centre website:

Sherway Gardens website:

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Stunning Oxford Place Renders

Corner of John & Front Streets. [Image Source]
Oxford Properties has provided several optimistic renderings of its proposed Oxford Place in Downtown Toronto.  The development may be contingent on the project securing a casino component. After yesterday's announcement that Cadillac Fairview has partnered with MGM Resorts for a Greater Toronto Area casino, Oxford Place's development may be downscaled. We cannot confirm anything yet so we are instead posting these stunning renders of a project that we hope is built.
Front Street, looking south towards Lake Ontario. [Image Source]
We previously reported that Oxford Place could include a 1million square foot retail component, housing such department stores as La Maison Simons and Nordstrom. Again we have no updates at this time, given the preliminary nature of this proposal.

Toronto City Counsel votes on the future of city casino proposals in April. Retail Insider will be watching closely to see if Oxford Place will become a reality one way or another. 
Rendering of the proposed retail component. [Image Source]
Thank you to 'toforumer' at for posting these fabulous photos, extracted from the .pdf provided by Oxford Properties, link below. 

Oxford Properties website:

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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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New Renderings of Toronto's Proposed Oxford Place

Proposed casino at Front Street and Blue Jays Way. Image: Caesars Entertainment Corp &Rock Gaming LLC
Today we received two renderings of the proposed Toronto Oxford Place. The project's proposal includes a Caesar's-branded casino, convention centre, two towers (office and residential) at over 1000 feet each, and two substantially tall hotel towers. These would be located above an approximately 1million square foot retail destination.
Image: Caesars Entertainment Corp &Rock Gaming LLC

Interestingly, the project could also include a performance stage beside a public green space, as per the image above.

Below is another image of the proposed park. It would be built over a current set of commuter train tracks...
Image: Oxford Properties
An Oxford insider will be sending us some draft retail floorplans next week. We have been told that these include two large anchor tenants and at least one smaller anchor tenant. The smaller anchor could be hr2 by Holt Renfrew, according to our Oxford Source (this is speculative and not confirmed).

Watch this site for floorplans and updates!

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Top Canadian Malls Court Top International Tenants

Mall of the Emirates, Dubai. Image: F+A Architects
Today we spoke with a real estate broker who gave us the lowdown on what retailers are looking to expand stores across Canada, and what retailers top malls want. Top malls continue to develop and evolve under such landlords as Cadillac Fairview, Oxford and Ivanhoe Cambridge.

Some retailers looking for Canada-wide expansion include (in no particular order):

-Kate Spade
-Tiffany & Co.
-Scotch & Soda
-Thomas Sabo
-Free People
-7 For All Mankind
-Ann Taylor
-Ted Baker
-Apple (duh)
-Armani Exchange
-Scotch & Soda
-Little Burgundy
-J. Crew
-Wilfred (by Aritzia - we had to look that up)
-Tory Burch
-Massimo Dutti 
-Henri Bendel
And others... this list was getting a bit long. 

These retailers only want space in the 'best' malls. Best malls include such centres as Chinook Centre in Calgary, Vancouver's Pacific Centre and (after renovations) Oakridge Centre, Toronto's Eaton Centre, Yorkdale and Sherway Gardens, Winnipeg's Polo Park, and a few others. Expect massive mall renovations/expansions with plenty of new tenants at these and other A-level malls. 

Which leads us to another question: What will happen to the 'lesser' Canadian malls with a future of online shopping and increased international travel? Retail Darwinism might mean that only a few 'supermalls' survive. 
Robinson Mall, Manila. Image:

Next week we will go more in-depth, exploring Canada's top malls and why only the 'fittest' will survive while others may fail and ultimately be re-developed. 

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Nordstrom, Simons,Target or Walmart in New Downtown Toronto Mall?

Proposed Oxford Place. Image: Oxford Properties

We have received word that Oxford Properties' proposed new Downtown Toronto shopping centre is already being eyed by retailers such as Nordstrom, La Maison Simons, Target and Walmart. A new 1million square foot shopping centre is being proposed by Oxford (along with convention/office/residential/hotel space and possibly a casino) which may rival The Toronto Eaton Centre for patrons and possibly exceed its size. The mall would be located on a mult-use, 11 acre site beside the Rogers Centre and the CN Tower.

Nordstrom, Simons, Walmart and Target are actively seeking downtown Toronto space and have expressed frustations at lack of retail availability. The Toronto Eaton Centre is space-limited, and Sears doesn't seem willing to give-in to Cadillac Fairview's offer to buy-out its lease for a new flagship Nordstrom store (or for Simons, also eying a chunk of Sears' space). We reported earlier that Nordstrom is seeking 225-270,000 square feet, while Simons wants 100,000+ square feet in Downtown Toronto.

The Toronto Eaton Centre's non-anchor square footage is 582,000 square feet (Sears, Canadian Tire and Best Buy add another 1.035million square feet). The proposed Oxford Place would be around 1 million square feet, making it possibly 'grander' than Toronto's Eaton Centre's non-anchor retail portion. More importantly Oxford Place could become home to substantial anchor-tenants, ranging from lower-end big box retailers to large luxury retailers, depending on what the landlord deems marketable.

Oxford is in the preliminary planning stages of its new project, and we've been told that it is being pressured to bring forward its planning application to Toronto City Hall 'asap' by potential tenants desperately seeking large downtown retail spaces. We will keep you updated on what might become a very exciting Canadian retail development.

Oxford Properties website:

Toronto Eaton Centre website:

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