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A project that could have seen the amalgamation of Montreal’s Ogilvy and Holt Renfrew stores has been delayed. The building’s owner, Selfridge’s Group, is reevaluating plans to demolish an adjacent hotel for a new 17-story hotel and condominium tower. 

There have been rumours that Holt Renfrew’s 83,000 square foot Sherbrooke Street West store would close so that a combined Holt Renfrew/Ogilvy store could operate on Sainte-Catherine Street. Holt Renfrew won’t confirm these plans so we can’t say that they were certain. We’ve been given word, however, that plans for the project, generally, will be modified. 

There’s no word yet if the project’s delay stems from Saks Fifth Avenue‘s revelation that it will open within the downtown Montreal Hudson’s Bay store. Hudson’s Bay is also on Sainte-Catherine Street, about 800 metres East of Ogilvy.

A few months ago, we were provided with initial plans that indicated Ogilvy occupying much of its current space, with entrances to an adjacent retail space featuring an atrium and escalators. The image above reflects the exterior of the plans we viewed and, again, we’re not confirming that Holt’s will move beside Ogilvy. 

Current Holt Renfrew store in Montreal

Holt Renfrew’s Montreal store opened in 1937. Until an expansion in the mid-1990’s, the store only had about 38,000 square feet of retail space over four floors. The store has expanded in stages, taking over the facades of adjacent townhomes and even expanding into a former theatre and the ground floor of an office tower. Despite the expensive additions and renovations, the store continues to be smaller and more awkwardly laid out than more contemporary Holt Renfrew flagships. 

Ogilvy’s 160,000 square foot store has recently seen renovations and continues to be a popular shopping destination for locals and tourists. Ogilvy was purchased by Selfridge’s group in July 2011. Selfridge’s Group also owns Holt Renfrew as well as Selfridge’s in England, Brown Thomas in Ireland and de Bijenkorf in the Netherlands. 

[Holt Renfrew website]

[Ogilvy website]



  1. What I have always found endearing about Holt's Montreal is the very awkwardness of the layout. It reminds me, though it of course is tiny in comparison, to Harrods Knightsbridge because it too is a store that grew by acquiring bits and pieces of the neighbours as-it-were. Ogilvy, like Holt's, is a Grand Dame of Canadian retailing. To have the two stores side-by-side could make for a very high impact-high end shopping destination.


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