Oakridge Centre Retailers to Close Until 2024 Amid Vancouver Mall Redevelopment [Exclusive]

Retail industry news delivered directly to you. Subscribe to Retail-Insider.

Almost all of the retailers at Vancouver’s Oakridge Centre will close their doors at the end of September until 2024 to help accelerate the process of the mall’s incredible overhaul. When Oakridge reopens, the mixed-use ‘city centre’ will be unlike anything in Canada and will be the single biggest development in Vancouver’s history.

“Not only does this repositioning allow for existing and additional retailers to be in the redeveloped shopping centre sooner, it also means that the public park will come online in an earlier phase of the development,” said Andy Clydesdale, Executive Vice President of Retail for QuadReal Property Group, one of the co-developers of the new Oakridge city centre along with Westbank Corp. “We are committed to opening the reimagined Oakridge as quickly as possible and look forward to welcoming back our world-class tenants.”

Some retailers in the mall had already closed ahead of the redevelopment. That includes Harry Rosen, Michael Kors, Coach, and others.


A handful of retailers will stay open throughout the construction process. That includes the 182,000-square-foot Hudson’s Bay anchor store which before 1993 was the flagship location for local department store chain Woodward’s. The Crate and Barrel store at Oakridge as well as the food court and services such as medical/dental offices will also remain open during construction.

Shutting most of the mall is a bold move given the prior productivity of the shopping centre. The Retail Council of Canada Shopping Centre Study in 2018 (authored by Retail Insider’s Craig Patterson) showed that annual sales per square foot for Oakridge were approaching $1,600 and were growing quickly, particularly given the mall’s high-end stores such as Tiffany & Co. and Harry Rosen.

The original plan was to renovate the retail centre in phases while keeping most retailers open during the process.

A representative from QuadReal said that the landlord made the decision to shut most of the mall temporarily to “dramatically accelerate large portions of the development” which will allow the majority of the retail component, community amenities, international-style food hall and nine-acre park to open and serve the Vancouver community upon completion in 2024.

The new Oakridge Centre, which is envisioned as a mixed-use community in the heart of Vancouver’s affluent West Side, will be a mixed-use, transit-oriented neighbourhood hub that will offer nearly one million square feet of unique, experiential retail in addition to office space, residential towers, and a nine-acre public park and community centre, in addition to many other amenities that support the arts, seniors and the neighbouring community.

The existing 574,000-square-foot shopping centre, which sits on 28 acres of land will be transformed into a major 4.5 million square foot hub of retail, residential, workspace, parks, and civic space. Included will be a massive community centre, public library, performance facility, dance academy, daycare, culinary experiences, a park, office space, and residential towers that will house about 6,000 people in more than 2,600 homes.

Oakridge will anchor an up-zoned neighbourhood that is projected to grow by more than 50,000 people within a kilometre radius over the next two decades. QuadReal partnered with Westbank Corp. and together engaged Henriquez Partners Architects, Tokyo-based interior design firm Wonderwall, and other design partners for this initiative that will be a model for future high-density retail mixed-use redevelopments globally.

About 26 million shoppers are expected to visit the expanded centre annually, making it one of Canada’s busiest malls in terms of footfall. Oakridge’s retail component will see an overhaul that will be almost unrecognizable, with the existing retail space set to almost double in size to about 1-million square feet, including indoor retail as well as an outdoor pedestrian street.

The retail centre itself will include a collection of conceptualized streets that will house a variety of retail tenants. These are described with terms such as “luxe run”, “trend experience”, and a “high street”. The mall’s “luxe run” is expected to house more than 20 international luxury retailers, including some that currently lack a presence in the market or in Canada. Given the real estate constrictions of downtown Vancouver, Oakridge could end up housing tenants that would ultimately have the centre become a second ‘luxury zone’ for Vancouver.

Oakridge’s pedestrian-only high street will be part of the mall’s outdoor component that will run north-south along the length of the mall’s western perimeter. A new perimeter road will also run along the western edge of the property.

The updated retail centre will feature two larger anchors, as well as several junior anchors that will be part of the retail mix. Hudson’s Bay will continue to be Oakridge’s largest anchor tenant in a brand new 140,000-square-foot ‘next generation’ store which will replace the existing Bay location. Oakridge will also house a major grocery tenant, Sobeys, which will replace the centre’s existing Safeway store (both are owned by Empire Company).

Oakridge Centre google Map – Click for Interactive Map

QuadReal said that it is is working to bring back former key retailers including Harry RosenApple, and Tiffany & Co. to create unique experiential concepts that will be aligned with its future thinking for retail.*

Other future-proofing for the centre will include provisions made for e-commerce fulfillment — a trend that has already accelerated quickly amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Other offerings at the new Oakridge will include ‘five-star concierges’ for shoppers with capabilities of being able to deliver packages to one’s car or residence, for example.

Approximately 6,000 parking spaces are planned for the centre, the majority of them with electric vehicle charging stations. Valet parking will be an important part of the mix. Underground bicycle silos will allow riders to quickly stow their bikes below ground in a secure 11-metre deep well. With a simple swipe of a pass, bikes will be retrieved or stored in about 13 seconds. QuadReal said that it is planning for a future where transportation will be different as self-driving cars are expected to proliferate in the coming years.

The Oakridge Centre redevelopment will be one of the most interesting in Canada to watch over the next several years. Its scale is unprecedented and its design is groundbreaking. The centre is anticipating to eventually see about 42-million visitors a year, including 26-million shoppers, five-million cultural visitors, five-million park visitors, four-million residential visitors, and two-million library patrons.

*This article has been updated to reflect updated information from the landlord.

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.

More From The Author

Upscale Pusateri’s Fine Foods to Close Yorkville Grocery Store in Toronto After...

The 5,500 square foot store opened to much fanfare in 2003, with valet parking, private chefs and pricey goods. 

Factory Direct to Shut All 14 Stores Amid Bankruptcy, Liquidation to...

The company, founded in 1995, is one of Canada’s largest privately owned discount retailers which struggled with declining sales and increasing costs following the pandemic.



  1. has anyone heard of things being too big? I couldn’t get around the mall in a full day, as it was….looking at the plan makes me expect to see The Jetsons flying around. I think its too much and all those towers are kind of ugly..I knew the mall when it was mainly Woodwards, and you walked outside (under a roof though) to go to other stores. Then they started getting bigger. The mall they tore down was too big, I am sure there was plenty of money made for the businesses, this is just too much, as far as I am concerned…certainly wouldn’t go back to that at all.

    • I mean, I agree that what is being constructed is excessive to be labelled a “shopping mall” but the Oakridge Centre was faaaar from “too big”. Metrotown, Guilford Mall, Pacific Centre and the Richmond Centre are all bigger than the Oakridge Centre… Oakridge was not a huge mall by 21st century standards—especially for a metropolitan city like Vancouver. Either you haven’t left the 1960s or you haven’t left your tiny corner of the world if you think that was “too big”…

      • Hi Joanie,

        When I was 10 I used to walk to the Mozart Konditerei to buy marzipan with my mother. I loved that mall and when they took away Woodwards and put in the previous mall I was ok with it but missed the outside small store experience. I am sad at the change buit looking forward to this modernization of homes and a walkway bring the original outside mall back , And Dear Boomers, I hear you about not leaving the 60’s and her perspective of too big- but we all use landmarks as a way to define our location and even identities. Were grieving the loss of a dear friend in a way. Not something to make her wrong for. buyt hey you are right too and I hope we can all embrace Vancouver over the next 20 – 30 years as she grows exponentially. Im so glad to move back to my old neighbourhood from the suburbs as it becomes a mini town center. Cheers to you both!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

No posts to display

Follow us


all-time Popular