The former Bay branding on the tower connected to the Hudson’s Bay Centre in downtown Toronto has been removed after almost 50 years. The logo at one time was a beacon for the Hudson’s Bay flagship store that opened on the site in 1974.
The Hudson’s Bay Centre replaced several smaller buildings at the northeast corner of Yonge and Bloor Streets and became an anchor for the rapidly developing area. The 340,000 square foot Hudson’s Bay department store became the company’s flagship upon completion, taking the title away from the massive downtown Winnipeg flagship Bay store (which shuttered permanently several months ago).
The Yonge and Bloor Bay store lost its status as the company’s flagship in 1991 when the Hudson’s Bay Company converted the massive Simpsons department store at the southwest corner of Queen Street and Yonge to the Hudson’s Bay banner. The Hudson’s Bay Company acquired the Simpsons chain in 1978 which coincided with the decommissioning of the Simpsons-Sears store banners.
The Hudson’s Bay Centre connects to the subway interchange below with a mall retail component spanning 213,000 square feet according to landlord Brookfield Properties. Tenants include The Bay department store as well as a Longo’s grocery store, Dollarama, LCBO, and tenants in the concourse-level mall and a food court. The 35-storey office tower above it spans 535,000 square feet and was designed by architect Craig & Boake. The centre also includes a soon-to-open W Hotel which is currently under construction — it replaces a Marriott Hotel that operated on the site for years with a rental apartment building located directly above it.
When it was built, the 2 Bloor East office tower housed offices for the Hudson’s Bay Company and with Workmen’s Compensation Board — both tenants were announced in 1971 before the tower’s completion.
The Urban Toronto forum recently included conversations that the Hudson’s Bay store at the Hudson’s Bay Centre would be closing. Retail Insider reached out to the Hudson’s Bay Company who denied that the rumours are true.
The Hudson’s Bay store has recently seen a size reduction on some floors already and departments being downsized. The photo above shows the third-level women’s floor which lost several thousand square feet with walls covering former retail space leading to a set of washrooms.