CF Toronto Eaton Centre Adding New Tenants Amid Upgrades and Downtown Traffic Disruptions [Interview]

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While downtown traffic in Toronto is still lagging from pre-pandemic levels, the iconic CF Toronto Eaton Centre continues to be a beehive of leasing activity with the addition of several new tenants in the past year and more to come.

Patrick Murray

Patrick Murray, Property Manager for the shopping centre, said the mall is consistently evolving its retailer offering.

“Overall, retailer health is quite good. It continues to be strong. Productivity has recovered to our pre-pandemic levels,” he said. “We are absolutely and actively looking for different and new clients and we’re thrilled that over the last three months we’ve had a number of significant additions to the property.

“We just went through a really exciting and big wave of openings. As we look forward to the future we’re seeing some significant food and beverage offerings that will be opening here as well.”

CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

Those include Tucci, Wireless Fix, Conspiracy Comics, Haight & Ashbury, Alo, FOX HOME, Chick-fil-A, Sukoshi Mart, Kiokii and… Inc., Athleta, LINE FRIENDS & B21, and Mango.

Pilgrim and Osmow’s is coming soon. Future openings include The Constance Taverne and the Oliver & Bonacini Queen’s Cross Food Hall (a 17,000-square-foot concept with 15 chef-driven establishments opening early next year). A new, renovated La Senza is also opening in early July. Studio Dental will open by the end of this year.

The shopping centre is about two million square feet as part of a mixed-use complex with four office towers and a total overall 4.5 million square feet of office and retail. There’s about 250 tenants in the retail component.

“When we look at CF Toronto Eaton Centre, it’s true that the office downtown traffic isn’t back but when we look at our other key core demographics being tourism we’re really starting to see the influx of tourism back where last year we saw certainly the Canadian tourists come back and the American tourists. Now we’re starting to see a greater presence and it’s really amazing with international tourists to the property as well,” said Murray.

“Despite office not being back to what it was, a lot of the other key clients that we rely on here for our overall health have come back nicely and the other thing we’re really seeing here as well is the emergence of another key demographic which is that downtown urbanite.

“Over the last four or five years, there’s been a lot of residential growth down in the centre of Toronto, down at the core. We’re starting to see more and more, call it, local visitors. People who live, work, shop in the neighbourhood and are really part of that Toronto Eaton Centre community.” 

CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
Uniqlo and the Shuttered Nordstrom Canada at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

With the departure of American retail giant Nordstrom from the Canadian market, like many other shopping centres across the country CF TEC is trying to determine what to do with that vacant space.

“While the Nordstrom news was disappointing, overall retailer health continues to be strong and retail sales productivity has recovered to pre-pandemic levels. CF’s leasing teams continue to sign new deals and growing with existing clients,” said Murray. 

“At Cadillac Fairview we’re evaluating all options concerning the future of the Nordsom Box at CF. Although there is nothing we can specifically share at this point in time we are confident that the end outcome will be a positive result for CF Toronto Eaton Centre and our customers.”

Shuttered Nordstrom Canada at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

Murray said one of the big things happening at the shopping centre is the galleria skylight roof revitalization.

“We are about halfway through the galleria dome replacement here at CF TEC. I would describe this project as absolutely transformative. We are replacing the famous dome that all of our visitors know and expect and see and appreciate. It’s been with us since day one,” he said.

“The new look, feel of our brand new galleria dome is going to be transformative. It’s really going to change the overall environment at the top level of CF TEC. It’s a massive investment ($60 million). It is just stunning how the new galleria dome changes for the better the look and feel of our top level of the shopping centre.”

Future Urban Eatery Elevators and staircases at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

CF is also investing $17 million to improve shoppers’ movement and accessibility with the addition of three new staircases in the South Court and Urban Eatery, improvements to elevators, and the installation of a larger cab in an existing elevator to better accommodate strollers and mobility scooters. The enhancements will facilitate convenient connections, while creating a more welcoming environment throughout the property.  

Since 2010 Cadillac Fairview has invested more than $1.6 billion in CF Toronto Eaton Centre, including the redevelopment of the Queen Street pedestrian bridge, the purchase of the Hudson Bay Centre block and 401 Bay Street; the buyback of the Sears space and its redevelopment to accommodate Nordstrom, as well as the creation of the BMO Urban Campus opening in 2022, to name only a few of the revitalization projects undertaken.

“When we look at client and customer experiences, these development projects are absolutely focused on improving the experience when you’re in the Toronto Eaton Centre,” added Murray.

CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

Additional Photos from CF Toronto Eaton Centre

CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
Ontario Line Construction at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
Future Queen’s Cross at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
Tucci at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
FOX Home at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
Sukoshi Mart at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
Conspiracy Comics at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
Conspiracy Comics at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
Studio Dental at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
Future La Senza at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
Future Pilgrim at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
Scotch & Soda Closing at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
Kiokii and… at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
Recently Opened Haight & Ashbury at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
BMO Corporate Offices at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
Future Queen’s Cross at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
La Senza at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
alo at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
New Chick-fil-A at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
Future Osmows at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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