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Retail Profile: CF Rideau Centre in Ottawa, Ontario (Summer 2021)

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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.

Exterior of CF Rideau Centre (Aug 2021)
Exterior of CF Rideau Centre (Aug 2021). Photo: Dustin Fuhs.

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).

Nordstrom in North End of Level 3 at CF Rideau Centre (August 2021). Photo: Dustin Fuhs.

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.

Rideau Centre construction on September 14, 1981. Lynne Ball/Ottawa Citizen 81-5172
Rideau Centre construction on September 14, 1981. Lynne Ball/Ottawa Citizen 81-5172

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 SpadeStuart WeitzmanTed 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.
Interior CF Rideau Centre (August 2021)
Interior CF Rideau Centre (August 2021). Photo: Dustin Fuhs.

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 of CF Rideau Centre in Ottawa.
Level 3 of CF Rideau Centre in Ottawa. Photo: Cadillac Fairview with overlay by Retail Insider.
Level 2 of CF Rideau Centre in Ottawa
Level 2 of CF Rideau Centre in Ottawa. Photo: Cadillac Fairview with overlay by Retail Insider.
Level 1 of CF Rideau Centre in Ottawa
Level 1 of CF Rideau Centre in Ottawa. Photo: Cadillac Fairview with overlay by Retail Insider.
  • 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

South end of CF Rideau Centre on Level 3
South end of CF Rideau Centre on Level 3. Photo: Cadillac Fairview Map with overlay by Retail Insider.
South End of Level 3 at CF Rideau Centre (August 2021)
la Vie en Rose at South End of Level 3 at CF Rideau Centre (August 2021). Photo: Dustin Fuhs.

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:

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.

Nespresso and Marc Cain in South End of Level 3 at CF Rideau Centre (August 2021). Photo: Dustin Fuhs.

Level 3 (North End) at CF Rideau Centre

North end of CF Rideau Centre on Level 3
North end of CF Rideau Centre on Level 3. Photo: Cadillac Fairview Map with overlay by Retail Insider.
North End of Level 3 at CF Rideau Centre (August 2021).

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:

Other select retailers include L’Occitane En Provence, Tumi, Talbots, Stitch It, A Buck or Two, Bikini Village, Frank & Oak, Rudsak, and Michael Kors.

Exterior of Nordstrom within CF Rideau Centre (August 2021). Photo: Dustin Fuhs.
Tiffany & Co, Ted Baker and Michael Kors in North End of Level 3 at CF Rideau Centre (August 2021). Photo: Dustin Fuhs.

Level 2 (South End) at CF Rideau Centre

South end of CF Rideau Centre on Level 2
South end of CF Rideau Centre on Level 2. Photo: Cadillac Fairview Map with overlay by Retail Insider.
Level 2 at CF Rideau Centre (August 2021). Photo: Dustin Fuhs.

Moving down a level, the second floor is home to a number of internationally recognized retail tenants featured in Retail Insider, including:

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.

Michael Hill in South End of Level 2 at CF Rideau Centre (August 2021). Photo: Dustin Fuhs.

Level 2 (North End) at CF Rideau Centre

North end of CF Rideau Centre on Level 2
North end of CF Rideau Centre on Level 2. Photo: Cadillac Fairview Map with overlay by Retail Insider.
Peoples Jewelers in North End of Level 2 at CF Rideau Centre (August 2021). Photo: Dustin Fuhs.

Moving northward, the other half of the second floor is home to a number of internationally recognized retail tenants featured in Retail Insider, including:

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

Level 1 of CF Rideau Centre in Ottawa
Level 1 of CF Rideau Centre in Ottawa. Photo: Cadillac Fairview with overlay by Retail Insider.
Joey Rideau Restaurant at CF Rideau Centre (August 2021). Photo: Dustin Fuhs.

The lowest retail level includes access to the LRT as well as a couple retailers featured in Retail Insider, including:

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.

Article Author

Lee Rivetthttps://retail-insider.com
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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