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Saint Laurent to Open 10,400 Square Foot Flagship Store on Toronto’s Bloor Street Luxury Run [Exclusive]

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Kering-owned French luxury fashion brand Saint Laurent will open a flagship next year on Bloor Street in Toronto. The store will become one of the largest in the world for the brand, and marks a milestone in the ongoing transformation of Bloor Street West as a luxury retail address. 

Saint Laurent will occupy an expansive 10,400 square foot street level space at 110 Bloor Street West where previous tenants J.Crew and Brooks Brothers once operated. The store design for Saint Laurent will be unlike other locations in Canada, marking a new chapter for the brand’s retail design. 

Arlin Markowitz of CBRE’s Urban Retail Team negotiated the lease deal on behalf of Saint Laurent and ProWinko. ProWinko Canada owns the retail podium of 110 Bloor Street West. Markowitz and the CBRE Urban Retail Team co-listed the space, as well as other retail spaces at 110 Bloor, with Philip Traikos and Carmen Siegel of Cushman & Wakefield. 

Click image for interactive Google Map
Bloor Street looking towards 110 Bloor St. W., December 2022. Photo: Dustin Fuhs

ProWinko is a landlord and developer that also recently completed the Ace Hotel in Toronto and owns luxury retail addresses at 1200 Bay Street, 94 Cumberland Street as well as 77 Yorkville Avenue where luxury brand Isaia is located. ProWinko is also developing other projects including the 1091 Yonge Street mixed-use tower in Toronto. 

Other new retail tenants at 110 Bloor Street West will include upscale brands Alexander Wang and Anne Fontaine. Construction is now underway for both tenants that will open next year, in a retail podium that is also seeing an exterior facade overhaul. Toronto-based wellness concept Othership will open on the concourse level of 110 Bloor below the new Saint Laurent flagship. Negotiations are said to be under way for a casual restaurant concept, known for its healthy meal options, that would locate behind Saint Laurent next to a Starbucks. 

Saint Laurent’s opening on Bloor marks a pivotal moment for the street, which is seeing a flurry of leasing activity and interest among luxury brands. In an interview, Markowitz said that the opportunity to help Saint Laurent secure a deal on Bloor that will lead to more brands wanting to lease space nearby. 

Saint Laurent will have an expansive storefront, replacing J.Crew and Brooks Bros. at 110 Bloor St. West. Photo from the Summer of 2022 prior to podium renovations, by Dustin Fuhs
Future rendering of 110 Bloor St. W. — note that rendering tenants Calvin Klein, Giorgio Armani and J.Crew are not part of the future plans for the site. Image supplied

“The opening of Saint Laurent solidifies Bloor as Canada’s luxury retail street, joining other significant brands that already have stores nearby as well as new luxury retail brands that will be opening next year,” Markowitz said. “There is strong interest from other luxury players looking to open on Bloor Street and negotiations are currently under way for new tenants in the Bloor-Yorkville area”. 

Across the street from the new Saint Laurent will be a first-in-the world Salvatore Ferragamo concept store that will open next year. Rolex, in partnership with Royal de Versailles jewellers, will open a large store at the corner of Bloor and St. Thomas Streets at the base of the 101 Bloor Street West office tower. Markowitz and the Urban Retail Team are working with CBRE’s National Investment Team on the sale of the retail and part of the office building at 101 Bloor. 

“I’m also excited about the leasing activity on Yorkville Avenue,” said Markowitz, noting a recent deal that he was part of that will see upper contemporary women’s fashion brand Veronica Beard open a storefront on the street. He said that several other exciting brands have signed leases nearby, including two youthful fashion brands that will bring an expanded and monied demographic into the neighbourhood. The CBRE Urban Retail Team includes Arlin Markowitz, Alex Edmison, Jackson Turner, Teddy Taggart and Emily Everett, who have been active in leasing in the area. 

Retail podium of 110 Bloor St. W. in the early 1980s — tenants included Celine, Byblos, Marc Laurent and others. Photo: City of Toronto archives.

The commercial buildings at 83-95A Bloor Street West will eventually be demolished for a new mixed-use tower that will include opportunities for more luxury retail, according to Markowitz. The opportunity for new purpose-built retail space means that more big brands, currently not in the area, have an opportunity for a Bloor Street address. 

The Bloor Street Saint Laurent flagship will become the largest in Canada, by far, being more than double the size of the 4,800 square foot two-level Saint Laurent storefront in Vancouver that was the first to open in Canada in the summer of 2016 at 746 Thurlow Street. Saint Laurent operates two Toronto locations, both measuring about 3,000 square feet. That includes a standalone store at Yorkdale which opened in November of 2016 and a street-level ‘world of’ concession at Holt Renfrew at 50 Bloor Street West which opened in the spring of 2018, both of which house men’s and women’s ready-to-wear as well as footwear, bags and accessories. 

During the pandemic in late 2020, Saint Laurent opened a 2,900 square foot storefront at West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton. The store is said to be doing so well that it will be expanding by annexing adjacent retail space with details to follow. 

Saint Laurent streetfront facade at Holt Renfrew, 50 Bloor St. W. in Toronto on December 6, 2022. Photo: Craig Patterson
Saint Laurent Yorkdale. Photo by Michael Muraz

Saint Laurent operates an outlet store at Toronto Premium Outlets in Halton Hills that opened in the winter of 2018. The brand also operates concessions within the Holt Renfrew Ogilvy store in downtown Montreal for women and men. In Vancouver, Saint Laurent operates concessions at Nordstrom including shops for handbags and women’s ready-to-wear. 

Earlier this year Saint Laurent shut a bag/accessory concession on the main floor of Saks Fifth Avenue in downtown Toronto. That followed the closure of a ready-to-wear space for the brand on the third floor. 

Designer Anthony Vaccarello is the designer for Saint Laurent, having replaced Hedi Slimani in 2016. Fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent founded the brand in 1961 and in the 1980s and 90s, Yves Saint Laurent was considered to be the pinnacle of fashion globally. The company had stores around the world including a substantial number of units in the United States. Department stores were an important part of the ‘Saint Laurent Rive Gauche’ expansion strategy. Stores such as Marshall Field’s, Dayton’s, Wanamaker, Rich’s, L.S. Ayeres, Kaufman’s, Halle’s, Nan Duskin, I.Magnin, and others featured Rive Gauche shop-in-stores. 

In Canada, Yves Saint Laurent boutiques once operated in Toronto at Hazelton Lanes (now Yorkville Village) as well as at 1330 Sherbrooke Street West in Montreal. Department stores such as Simpson’s (now the Hudson’s Bay Company) and Morgan’s also carried the brand in decades past.

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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