Retail Profile: Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby During COVID-19

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As part of our ongoing Photo Tour series, Retail Insider visited Metropolis at Metrotown in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby, British Columbia, to provide an inside view of the shopping centre with retail insights leading up to the Christmas holiday season.

Owned by Ivanhoé Cambridge, the property is located in the “Metrotown” community and features a retail shopping centre and is accompanied by two Metrotowers office buildings. Metrotown is well-connected to the public transit system with a Translink Metrotown Skytrain station as well as a 24-hour bus loop.

Google Map of Vancouver showing location of Metropolis at Metrotown.
Metrotown area in 1952 when a Ford Auto Plant (left side of photo) occupied the land as well as warehouses and residential schools/homes – Photo by Vintage Air Photos (British Columbia)

History of Metropolis at Metrotown

For a bit of history on the shopping centre, the core “Metrotown Centre” opened in 1986 on land which previously was a Ford Canada factory and has seen several renovations, including a new wing featuring Hudson’s Bay in 1992.

The “Eaton Centre Metrotown” and “Station Square” shopping centres were built adjacent to “Metrotown Centre” over the years; however, a megamall expansion project in 2005 merged two shopping centres and demolished “Station Square” in 2013 for mixed-use high-rise complexes.

Metropolis at Metrotown – Ground Level – Photo by Metropolis Website.

To separate the shopping centre into manageable pieces, we’ll cover the center into four quadrants for each floor. Based on the map above, the quadrants break down to:

  • Lower left
  • Upper left
  • Core/centre
  • Right/Hudson Bay

Lower Level ‘Lower Left’ Zone Tour at Metrotown

Our photo tour begins at the ‘lower left’ quadrant which is accessed from the ‘back side’ of Metrotown and is the typical access point when arriving from the Metrotown Skytrain station which runs along Central Boulevard. The ‘front face’ of Metrotown on the other side of the shopping centre has ample surface parking facing the main traffic through-fare of Kingsway.

Metrotown Mall Map (highlighting Ground Floor lower left quadrant).

The first, ‘lower left’ quadrant of the Metrotown lower floor is circled in red above. It has a main anchor of FGL Sports-owned Sport Chek which opened in December 2014. A selection of other retailers on our tour which call this area home include:

Metrotown Atrium Court – Photo from Google Maps

Tour of ‘Atrium Court’ at Metrotown

On the border between the zones of our tour, the “Atrium Court” delineates between our ‘lower left’ and ‘upper left’ tour areas. The notable Metrotown retailers which encircle the atrium include:

Metrotown Mall – Lower Level. Upper left Quadrant.

Lower Level ‘Upper Left’ Zone Tour at Metrotown

Continuing the photo tour northward, the ‘upper left’ quadrant of the ground level is anchored by the Real Canadian Superstore and Indigo Books. Other Metrotown retailers within this area include:

Middle/core of Metrotown’s lower level.
Metrotown corridor between Banana Republic and Build-A-Bear

Lower Level ‘Core/Centre’ Zone Tour at Metrotown

Moving our tour into the third section of the Metrotown lower level, the ‘core/centre’ quadrant is densely packed with numerous domestic and international retailers, including:

Hudson Bay wing on the lower level at Metrotown (right quadrant of map).

Lower Level ‘Right/HBC’ Zone Tour at Metrotown

The final area on the tour of the lower, ground level is the right side of the map which is anchored by department store retailer Hudson’s Bay. Other retailers residing in this area include:

Completing all four areas of the lower, ground level at Metrotown at the Hudson’s Bay, the retailer spans both the lower and upper levels. Much of the shopping centre has the open atrium spanning the length of each quadrant.

Upper Level Food Court at Metrotown

Moving up to Metrotown’s upper level, it follows the same footprint noted as the tour visited the lower level. Some of the main anchor tenants stretch both floors, including the Hudson’s Bay department store. The upper level wing next to Hudson’s Bay hosts a food court which was part of the megamall expansion project in 2005.

Centre piece at the centre of the Metrotown Food Court.

Upper Level ‘Centre/Core’ Zone Tour at Metrotown

After walking from Hudson’s Bay and across the glass bridge through the centre of the Metrotown food court, the photo tour arrives at the ‘centre/core’ section of the shopping centre. This section on the upper level mirrors the density on the lower level below, including:

Center/Core area on the Upper Level at Metrotown.

Upper Level ‘Upper Left’ Zone Tour at Metrotown

The second-last stop on the photo tour is the ‘upper left’ quadrant on the Metrotown upper floor, which is anchored by Winners/Homesense and Old Navy. Other retailers in this quadrant include:

Upper left quadrant of the Upper Level at Metrotown.

Upper Level ‘Lower Left’ Zone Tour at Metrotown

The final area on Metrotown’s upper floor is the “lower left” quadrant above where the tour began. The major anchor tenant for the area will be Zara (construction signage shown below) with other retailers including:

Upper level of Metrotown, lower left quadrant.
Zara ‘opening soon’ at Metrotown – Photo by Geetanjali Sharma

Zara is expanding in the mall to encompass about 40,000 square feet over two levels. It will be certainly one of the largest Zara stores in Canada when it opens next year.

Couturist at Metrotown (July 2021)
Couturist at Metrotown (July 2021). Photo: Lee Rivett.

We had a very interesting photo walk around Metropolis at Metrotown, and we hope you enjoyed coming along with us. Don’t forget to check out the Yorkville photo tour in Toronto that came out earlier this month.

Article Author

Lee Rivett
Lee Rivett
Lee Rivett, based in Vancouver, supports the digital distribution and technical backend operations of Retail Insider. This includes providing technical support for the editors during the digital publication cycle, streamlining virtual tools for the cross-country team and a variety of other duties which keeps the publication running smoothly.

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