Mink Mile Colonnade Sees New and Expanded Luxury Retailers

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Morguard-owned ‘The Colonnade’ at 131 Bloor Street West in Toronto is seeing substantial changes, including new and expanding stores. The complex is considered to be one of the most prestigious retail addresses in Canada.

The Colonnade opened in 1963 and was the first mixed-use building in Canada, with office and residential located above two levels of retail. The complex, designed by architect Gerald Robinson, has a remarkable history as an anchor to Bloor Street’s transformation into one of the world’s best known luxury retail locations.  

Newly published floor plans show how tableware/giftware retailer William Ashley will be configured in its new space in The Colonnade, spanning two levels and taking over some existing common areas within the building. Last week, we reported that William Ashley will relocate from its current location at the Manulife Centre at 55 Bloor Street West. A temporary pop-up William Ashley, to be located in part of The Colonnade’s former Sephora space, will open on February 1 in about 3,545 square feet. The new permanent William Ashley store, which will include an 860 square foot main level and 11,665 square feet upstairs, will open in seven-to-eight months. 

The Colonnade will continue to maintain a small ground floor public lobby with an entrance that leads to the second floor La Société restaurant. An elevator as well as an existing marble staircase will provide access upstairs. The new lobby will also provide access through The Colonnade towards a rear entrance, which is adjacent to the residential lobby for The Colonnade’s upscale rental apartments, located upstairs. 

Italian luxury brand Moncler will take 3,100 square feet of Sephora’s retail space, according to plans, and will be adjacent to William Ashley’s street-front pop-up. Construction has yet to commence on Moncler, which is expected to open later this year. Bloor Street will be Moncler’s third freestanding Canadian store, following the opening of locations at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre and on Thurlow Street in downtown Vancouver. 

Chanel closed its 7,300 square foot two level store in The Colonnade at the end of December of 2016, in anticipation of moving into an 8,700 square foot flagship at nearby 98 Yorkville Avenue this spring. Christian Dior will replace Chanel in The Colonnade, with a ground level of 3,117 square feet and an upper level of 10,194 square feet. When it opens later this year, sources say that Bloor Street’s Dior will be the largest in North America. 

Prada is also expanding its current 5,889 square foot store in The Colonnade, by adding a second level with 7,738 square feet of retail space. The new 13,600+ square foot store will become Canada’s largest Prada store, surpassing the 8,200 square foot downtown Vancouver flagship that opened in March of 2016. 

Plans also indicate that Cartier may end up expanding into some existing second level space currently leased to Michael Kors, to be utilized for storage. Cartier’s Colonnade store just completed a minor renovation to its facade, and is currently the largest in Canada, at about 4,200 square feet over two levels. 

The Colonnade continues to house a number of prestigious retailers, including Mulberry, Escada, Agent Provocateur, Black Goat Cashmere, Michael Kors and Coach. Bloor Street, overall, is seeing substantial changes that will include the addition of new retailers, as well as developments towards Yonge Street that could cost into the billions of dollars. We’ll do an updated article shortly on what’s happening on Bloor Street West, aka the ‘Mink Mile’, as it will become one of the most active urban areas for retail leasing and development in Canada between now and 2020. 

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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