Retail Insider continues its Photo Tour series of Canadian malls which began as a result of COVID-19 closures. We have been providing insights into shopping centres coast-to-coast which may otherwise be overlooked. This edition takes us to the CF Rideau Centre in Ottawa, Ontario.
The three-level shopping centre contains approximately 160 retailers and businesses spread across 1,545,113 sq ft of retail space. Cadillac Fairview owns and manages the property.
The main anchors for the shopping center include:
- Nordstrom (153,725 square feet)
- La Maison Simons (103,874 square feet)
- Zara (29,517 square feet)
- H&M (28,336 square feet)
Junior anchor stores for the shopping centre include Old Navy (16,680 square feet), Urban Planet (15,922 square feet), Harry Rosen (15,483 square feet) and Shoppers Drug Mart (12,122 square feet).
History of CF Rideau Shopping Centre
The shopping centre opened in March 1983 after two years of construction and a chorus of opposition from local residents. Eaton’s, which was a development partner, cancelled its plans to rename the mall to “Rideau Eaton Centre” due to negative community sentiment.
Cadillac Fairview spent $360 million to redevelop CF Rideau Centre in 2013 after 30 years of operation which was completed in three phases:
- The first phase was completed in August of 2014 with the opening of the mall’s new enhanced ‘food hall’, in a lower-level space formerly part of a 240,000 square foot Sears store.
- Phase two involved the opening of a 157,000 square foot Nordstrom store above the food hall in March of 2014, which was Nordstrom’s second Canadian location, following the opening of Nordstrom’s Calgary CF Chinook Centre store in September of 2014. The Ottawa centre has since seen new interior improvements, as well as the addition of new upscale retailers such as Tiffany & Co., Kate Spade, Stuart Weitzman, Ted Baker, and an impressive replacement store for luxury menswear retailer Harry Rosen.
- The third phase occupies the northeast corner of the property, once occupied by an Ogilvy department store. For years the site remained under-utilized until Cadillac Fairview initiated an ambitious expansion to grow the centre to nearly a million square feet of retail space. CF Rideau Centre is considered to be one of Cadillac Fairview’s flagship properties, being located in downtown Ottawa on busy Rideau Street. The centre sees traffic from tourists, university students and locals, and is strategically located adjacent to the city’s popular ByWard Market.
Aside from the retail and interior space additions and renovations, the redesigned centre included significant façade enhancements along Rideau Street including a refurbished Charles Ogilvy heritage façade. The interior renovation included new quartz flooring, enhanced lighting, glass guardrails and improved amenities.
Breaking up CF Rideau Centre
CF Rideau Centre has three retail levels which we will follow from top to bottom for this tour.
- Level 3 (South/Left and North/Right): Main anchors include Nordstrom, Simons and Harry Rosen.
- Level 2 (South/Left and North/Right): Main anchors include H&M and Zara which continue up to the lower level.
- Level 1: Main anchors include H&M and Zara which continue up to the upper level.
Level 3 (South End) at CF Rideau Centre
The top-most retail level at CF Rideau Centre is the level with the highest retail density and major anchor tenants. Due to the volume, we split the level in half. Starting on the south side, a number of retailers were featured in Retail Insider including:
- Sport Chek: National sporting goods retailer opened its ‘Hero Concept’ format store in August 2017.
- Change Lingerie: Danish lingerie and fashion brand opened a 705 square foot location in February 2019.
- Monaco Jewellers: Luxury watch brand Omega (by Monaco Jewellers) opened in March 2019.
- ECCO: Danish footwear brand opened its 29th Canadian store location in August 2016.
- Birks: Upscale Montreal-based jeweller 2,704 square feet location opened in 2015 replacing the mall’s 7,250 square foot Birks flagship.
- Canada Goose: Toronto-based fashion brand, known particularly for its warm outerwear, opened its ninth standalone Canadian store spanning 4,100 square feet in September 2020.
- DAMAT/ TWEEN: Turkish upscale men’s fashion brand opened its first Canadian store spanning 2,654 square feet in July 2019. More news will be revealed about this brand in Retail Insider as changes are in the works.
Additional select retailers include LensCrafters, Soft Moc, Fernandino, Mobile Klinik, Bluenotes, La Vie En Rose, Aveda, Marciano, Lululemon Athletica, FYE, Coach, Fancy Sox, Banana Republic Men, Swarovski, Nespresso, Kiehl’s Since 1851 and Femme de Carriere.
Level 3 (North End) at CF Rideau Centre
Continuing to the north side of the top-most retail level at CF Rideau Centre reveals another group of retailers featured in Retail Insider including:
- Nordstrom: American upscale department store chain opened its second Canadian location spanning 153,725 square feet in March 2015.
- Simons: Quebec City-based large-format retailer opened in August 2016 and occupies almost 104,000 square feet on levels three and four in the new expansion wing. The new Simons store is the second in Ontario (following the opening of a Mississauga store in the spring of this year) and is Simons’ 13th Canadian store. Ottawa’s Simons features an in-store cafe called Eve (as with several other locations) and also boasts substantial designer offerings for both men and women, as well as Simons’ expansive collection of value-priced in-house labels.
- Tiffany & Co.: American luxury jewelry and specialty retailer opened its first free-standing Ottawa location in summer 2015.
- Marc Cain: Upscale German fashion brand opened its 1,400 square foot location in late 2017.
- Stuart Weitzman: American footwear brand opened in March 2019.
- Rudsak: Montreal-based leather and fashion brand opened in August 2016.
- Harry Rosen: Upscale menswear retailer opened its 15,483 square foot store in November 2014 replacing an adjacent location which was about half its size.
- Kate Spade: American fashion brand opened in June 2015.
- Ted Baker: British fashion brand opened its 3,000 square foot store in spring 2015.
Other select retailers include L’Occitane En Provence, Tumi, Talbots, Stitch It, A Buck or Two, Bikini Village, Frank & Oak, Rudsak, and Michael Kors.
Level 2 (South End) at CF Rideau Centre
Moving down a level, the second floor is home to a number of internationally recognized retail tenants featured in Retail Insider, including:
- Sport Chek: National sporting goods retailer opened its ‘Hero Concept’ format store in August 2017.
- Levi’s: American clothing company particularly known for its denim jeans opened its Rideau Centre location in August 2019.
- Lacoste: French fashion brand opened its second Canadian new-concept store in July 2019.
- Saje Natural Wellness: Vancouver-based private-label wellness product retailer opened its Rideau location in 2015.
- Matt & Nat: Montreal-based, eco-friendly, vegan accessory fashion brand opened its third location in May of 2017.
Other select retailers in the area include American Eagle Outfitters, Judith & Charles, Pandora, Banana Republic Women, L’Intervalle, Urban Planet, Michael Hill, Sunglass Hut, Sephora, Little Burgundy, The Body Shop, Key West, Lucky Brand Jeans, Lush Cosmetics, Nike, Fossil, New Balance, GAP, and Swatch.
Level 2 (North End) at CF Rideau Centre
Moving northward, the other half of the second floor is home to a number of internationally recognized retail tenants featured in Retail Insider, including:
- UNTUCKit: New York City-based men’s casual brand opened in June 2019.
- Browns Shoes: Montreal-based multi-brand footwear retailer opened a 3,740 square foot location in July 2016.
- October’s Very Own (OVO): World-renowned Canadian musical performer Drake’s fashion retail concept opened its sixth Canadian store spanning about 2,520 square feet in fall 2020.
- Icebreaker: New Zealand-based outerwear retailer opened in May 2017.
- Bailey Nelson: Australian eyewear retailer opened in December 2018.
- Aesop: Upscale Australian skin care brand opened in February 2021.
- Indochino: Vancouver-based made-to-measure menswear company opened in August 2016.
Other tenants include Old Navy, Anthropologie, H&M, Zara, Spence Diamonds, Steve Madden, Zulu + Wolfe, Browns Shoes, Aritzia, MAC Cosmetics, Apple, Dynamite, People’s Jewellers, Aldo, Bath & Body Works, Eddie Bauer, DAVIDsTEA and Purdy’s Chocolate.
Level 1 at CF Rideau Centre
The lowest retail level includes access to the LRT as well as a couple retailers featured in Retail Insider, including:
- Farm Boy: Ottawa-based fresh market food store opened an 8,000-square-foot location in December 2017.
- BonLook: Montreal-based eyewear company opened in fall 2016.
Other retailers in the area include Shoppers Drug Mart, Nutrition House, Bentley, Foot Locker, Call it Spring, Garage, Hot Topic, Lids, Nature Collection, Miniso, The Source, Urban Planet, EBX, Sirens, Sketchers, Roots, Disney Store, Vans.
We had a very interesting photo walk around CF Rideau Centre in Ottawa and we hope you enjoyed coming along with us. Don’t forget to check out our other retail photo tours over the past few months. Thank you for taking this tour with us.
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