Revamped Ground Floor at 33 Yonge Street in Downtown Toronto to Become Food Destination with 5 New Tenants [Exclusive]

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A number of new ground floor restaurant deals at 33 Yonge Street will create a food destination in the heart of downtown Toronto.

The property is managed by GWL Realty Advisors on behalf of the Canada Life Real Estate Fund and the London Life Real Estate Fund.

Devan Sloan

“We’ve recently completed five new restaurant deals to replace the four existing concepts,” said Devan Sloan, Vice President, Leasing for GWL. “One of them is Café Landwer and beside them will be the third concept for the owners of the award-winning Giulietta and Osteria Giulia. It will be uniquely branded and although we don’t know the name yet, it will be an Italian steakhouse.”

“We’re then splitting the former O&B (Oliver & Bonacini) space in half and O&B will do two concepts – a new version of Biff’s, taking half of the space, and then a new Latin concept in the other half.”

33 Yonge Street (Conceptual Rendering: GWL Realty Advisors)
Oliver & Bonacini at 33 Yonge Street (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

O&B is also opening a third concept in the building. 

“It’s a mid-century modern American restaurant,” said Sloan.

The five deals represent close to 30,000 square feet of space.

Biff’s at 33 Yonge Street (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
33 Yonge Street (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

The 13-storey building was built in 1982 and has a total square footage of about 550,000 square feet with about 40,000 square feet for retail which is about 13 units. The building is primarily office with about 200,000 square feet of availability. The anchor tenants include Altus and GWL. CIBC recently moved out of the building, vacating about 190,000 square feet.

Brandon Gorman

Brandon Gorman, Senior Vice President, Broker, Agency Retail Group, JLL, said a few smaller units of retail space are available at the building.

“We’ve got a number of smaller units available but we’re being very selective with the remaining space. This is a really great story . . . Cafe Landwer and Giuletta are two of the best operators in the city and O&B, who has been a prominent tenant at 33 Yonge for years, has multiple exciting new concepts planned for the building”

Former Fran’s Restaurant at 33 Yonge Street (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
33 Yonge Street (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

33 Yonge Street is a landmark building that connects two of Toronto’s most remarkable locations – the Financial District and the historic St. Lawrence neighbourhood. 

“We’re very excited about the new amenity offering,” said Sloan. “These restaurateurs will make 33 Yonge a restaurant destination in the financial core.”

33 Yonge Street (Conceptual Rendering: GWL Realty Advisors)

Gorman said GWL also has significant lobby renovation planned for the building.

“Ownership is investing a substantial amount of capital and will be completing a significant renovation of the lobby – the renovation along with the new food and beverage offerings will completely transform the asset. By the end of next year 33 Yonge Street is going to be spectacular”

Sloan said the ownership group feels the building straddles the Financial core and the St. Lawrence market neighbourhood.

“So it’s sort of the introduction from the St. Lawrence neighbourhood to Bay Street,” he said. “We really have that unique mix of a professional office building in the core with a neighbourhood feel. It’s one of the few atrium buildings in the city. The atrium cuts the building in half and provides significant natural light to the lobby and office space.”

“It’s a very well-known and well-located building close to Union Station but it also fronts onto Berczy Park. You have this whole set of amenities East of 33 Yonge that is totally unique to being on Bay Street.”

33 Yonge Street (Conceptual Rendering: GWL Realty Advisors)
33 Yonge Street (Image: GWL Realty Advisors/JLL)

“We have this unique opportunity to reset the retail and invest money into the lobby in order to take the amenities to a whole new level. The idea here is we’re repositioning the retail for the building to appeal to our customer and we really think of our customer as being our office tenant.”

The Hockey Hall of Fame is situated directly across the street.

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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