Modern Golf to Open at First Canadian Place in Downtown Toronto [Exclusive]

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Modern Golf, Canada’s largest custom club fitter, academy and golf entertainment facility, continues to expand across the country announcing it will be opening a new location in the new year in the iconic First Canadian Place in downtown Toronto.

Paul Fisher, President, CEO and Managing Partner, described the newest location as centre ice for the company. Fisher said the location, in the former Tip Top Tailor space, will open in January 2023.

“This is as centre ice as centre ice can get. First Canadian Place is an iconic asset. It’s Brookfield. It doesn’t get any bigger than that. It’s so special to me.

Image: Modern Golf

“I remember when I was young and we used to come to Toronto. It was a big thing to come to Toronto for the Santa Claus Parade. I would spend time with my grandmother and my mom and we’d walk The Path (the underground pedestrian walkway connecting downtown Toronto). I remember the excitement of The Path and I always had it in my heart that I wanted to do something here.”

“It’s a really special occasion to be able to bring Modern Golf to downtown Toronto and I think it’s going to be a really great asset for everyone in the downtown core. There are so many people that are looking for this experience. A lot of people are going back to the office and a lot of companies are looking for that social experience of indoor golf.”

The new Modern Golf Downtown Toronto is about 3,700 square feet. People will be able to store their clubs at the location. 

Future Modern Golf Location at First Canadian Place in Toronto (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

“A huge part of what I want to portray about where we’re going with downtown is the social aspect of indoor golf. We really want to connect with golfers,” said Fisher. “A lot of people in the last year have started to leave golf. The game was very hot during COVID, but we have all started getting back to a more pre-pandemic life and it becomes challenging to continue with golf because it’s expensive and time consuming.”

“During COVID, the one thing everyone realized is golf is so much fun. The social side of golf and being able to play with your friends was amazing. We’re trying to bring that social element to downtown Toronto so that people can enjoy shorter experiences with their friends, using the indoor side of things. It’s all about energy and inclusiveness.”

Fisher said a studio concept location will also open in Langley, BC in the New Year as well as another location in Ajax, Ontario. Ajax will be an outlet concept of about 6,200 square feet.

Future Modern Golf Location and former Tip Top Tailors Store on the First Level of First Canadian Place in Toronto (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

Modern Golf currently has seven locations in Canada. The first location was launched in 2012 in Mississauga. Today, there are two in Calgary, one in Vancouver, one in Vaughan, one in Mississauga, one in Oakville, one in Halifax. 

“Modern Golf is unique in that we’re first and foremost a golf club fitting company. We are retail driven and we are super experiential. People come to Modern Golf for the service and experience. It’s above and beyond what you would get in traditional big box retail,” said Fisher.

“I think what has made us really unique through our growth stage, and throughout the pandemic, is that we added this really experiential side to the business by offering golf lessons, introducing our indoor golf league and indoor golf memberships. Basically, we went from being a retailer to revolutionizing and creating the ultimate golf experience – somewhere where all golfers can feel totally at home in an inclusive environment that’s open to everyone. You can get new equipment, practice, get lessons or just have fun with your friends – you can do all of those things in one place.”

Image: Modern Golf

Justin Curtis and Robert Weinberg, of real estate company Oberfeld Snowcap, are representing Modern Golf in the brand’s national expansion.

Taylor Borg, Director of Leasing and Development at Beauleigh Retail Consultants, represented the landlord Brookfield as part of the First Canadian Place negotiations.

Justin Curtis

“It’s interesting,” said Curtis, Account Executive, Client Services, Oberfeld Snowcap. “Modern Golf, not dissimilar from retail in general, has evolved over the years. Really, the exciting thing about Modern Golf is that it’s not just one specific type of real estate we’re looking for. Because Modern Golf has such a wide range of service offerings, it allows us to attack different types of real estate.”

“The downtown Toronto location, for example, is going to be more urban. It will focus a little more on entertainment along with the golf club fitting component of the business. That kind of concept needs high traffic and accessibility. That’s why we ended up in First Canadian Place with Brookfield. Contrast that with the location we just signed on for in Ajax, that location is more about having a functional space where Modern Golf can create a flagship concept store that encompasses the entire Modern Golf brand. It is a destination retail concept for people to find something that suits their golf requirements best.”

Interior of Modern Golf location. Photo: Modern Golf

Curtis said the company is looking for real estate ranging from 2,500 to about 7,000 square feet, depending on the concept.

“Our next main focus would be Ottawa,” said Curtis. “After Ottawa we would most likely be looking towards Edmonton. Once we find suitable locations there, we will pretty much have a location in every major market in Canada and begin to set our sights on a long-term strategy involving some of the smaller secondary markets in the country.”

Because of Modern Golf’s adaptability and different concepts, Curtis said they would look at power centre/street retail which would be the targets in Ottawa and Edmonton and they may also start considering more urban formats in downtown cores across Canada (similar to First Canadian Place) in the 3,000 plus square foot range.

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 is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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