Nordstrom and Saks to Transform Yonge Street Retail

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Toronto’s Yonge Street will continue to see an influx of national and international retailers move into the area, according to a brokerage working extensively in the area. Saks Fifth Avenue is about to open its Canadian flagship and in September, Nordstrom will open its Toronto flagship in part of the former Sears space at CF Toronto Eaton Centre. Although much of the existing retail space reflects Yonge Street’s gritty past, the street is set to transform as new retailers and development takes place along the strip. 

Next Thursday, February 18, Saks Fifth Avenue will open its Canadian flagship at the southeastern end of CF Toronto Eaton Centre’s Hudson’s Bay building. The 163,000 square foot Saks store will span four levels. The store’s basement level will feature a luxurious grocery store operated by Pusateri’s Fine Foods (opening mid-April), and Saks will occupy three levels above. With windows along Yonge Street, Queen Street West and Richmond Street West, Saks will boast almost 600 feet of street frontage. 

Nordstrom will open its Toronto flagship on September 16, 2016 at the north end of CF Toronto Eaton Centre. The 213,000 square foot three-level store will be visible from busy Yonge-Dundas Square, and will feature almost 300 feet of frontage along Yonge Street. The store will no doubt be busy, with some predicting that it will be one of Nordstrom’s top-performers.

According to Ashlar Urban Realty Sales Representative Brandon Gorman, the addition of Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue will elevate Yonge Street, particularly between Queen Street (where Saks is going) and Dundas Street (near Nordstrom).  Yonge Street north of Dundas will also evolve greatly in the near future with substantial residential intensification taking place from Gerrard Street north to Bloor Street. Many of these residential development sites will create new, larger format opportunities for retailers to enter the market and service the growing urban population base at a lower cost than CF Toronto Eaton Centre”.

Ashlar Urban has a number of retail properties available in the immediate area, which is increasingly seeing interest from a variety of retailers. The magnificent three-level retail space at 229 Yonge Street, for example, features 16,571 square feet with 200 feet of frontage along Yonge Street and Shuter Streets. That property has seen interest from multiple retailers seeking flagship space in the city. 

Mr. Gorman noted that retailers also paying more attention to Yonge Street north of Dundas , as the entire area continues to evolve. Ashlar Urban Realty has a 1,700 square foot retail space available at 512 Yonge Street between Grosvenor Street and Breadalbane Street, a short-term 1,764 square foot opportunity at 480 YongeStreet, and a second-floor 4,542 retail space at 401 Yonge Street (near the corner of Gerrard Street). Click each link for a full PDF package. 

Other retail experts are also weighing in on Yonge Street’s latest transformation, particularly with the addition of Nordstrom and Saks. Antony Karabus, CEO of HRC Advisory, said: “I expect CF Toronto Eaton Centre will add new and some more upscale retailers over time as Saks and Nordstrom start operating in 2016 in that area. Retail rental rates have already risen so much in that shopping centre that many traditional mid-priced retailers with lower productivity and lower average unit retail prices are learning that they cannot profitably operate there. The anticipated large number of new residents in the area due to the enormous wave of new condo buildings, both those already built and many others that are in the process of being built between Bloor and Queen, will steadily demand both better restaurants and better shopping in that area over time. We don’t see it happening overnight but rather gradually over time as the area transforms”.

As Yonge Street continues to evolve, retailers will continue to move into the area. Ashlar Urban Realty is continuing to place retail and restaurant tenants along Yonge Street and throughout downtown Toronto, as tourist and residential populations continue to explode. For more information, you may contact Brandon Gorman Directly at: 416-205-9222 x 239 or by email:


Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Publisher & CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Advisor at the University of Alberta School Centre for Cities and Communities in Edmonton, former lawyer and a public speaker. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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