Toronto’s Bloor Street luxury run, formerly the ‘Mink Mile’, is seeing a transformation unlike anything in decades. This year saw many changes to the street, including new flagship luxury retailers, and more will come in 2024 as leases are signed and new stores open.
As we progress through December, several new retailers have recently opened on the street and more are on the way. That includes a newly opened Rolex store at 101 Bloor Street West that is operated by Royal de Versailles, a luxury multi-brand jewelry store located in the same building. The Rolex store features a unique limestone facade and bright interior, spanning about 2,250 square feet. DWSV Realty listed the space that was formerly occupied by Cole Haan.
Another interesting move on the street involves an 18 month lease at the iconic Lillian Massey building at 157 Bloor Street West. Retailer Club Monaco formerly occupied the Bloor Street-facing part of the building, which has been vacant (other than some pop-ups) since the retailer’s exit in March of 2021. Fashion retailer Brooks Brothers will occupy the former Club Monaco space for about a year and a half, moving from a temporary spot that Brooks Brothers moved into in the summer of 2022. Prior to that, Brooks Brothers operated a two-level space at 110 Bloor Street West that will soon be home to luxury brand Saint Laurent. Oberfeld Snowcap represented Brooks Brothers in the lease deal. CBRE’s Toronto Urban Retail Team listed the space under the direction of Arlin Markowitz.
And speaking of Saint Laurent, construction is delayed on the 10,400 square foot one-level flagship store that is being built at 110 Bloor Street West. When it opens next year, Saint Laurent will feature a soaring facade and will be one of the largest locations for the brand on the continent. Despite the tall facade, however, Saint Laurent will occupy the main floor while Winners/HomeSense will continue to operate a large store upstairs. Arlin Markowitz negotiated the deal and the CBRE Toronto Urban Retail Team co-listed the space with Cushman & Wakefield.
Two other retailers are set to open at 110 Bloor, both still under construction. That includes French women’s brand Anne Fontaine, which will open a narrow storefront next to the recently opened Alexander Wang flagship store. Paris Baguette will open on the Bloor Street side of 110 Bloor as well, while a Mandy’s restaurant is under construction at the back of the building facing Cumberland Street. Downstairs, health concepts Othership and Jaybird recently opened.
Next door at 130 Bloor Street West, US-based women’s retailer St. John Knits is said to be closing with Gucci taking over the space for an expansion of its adjacent store. St. John opened its Bloor Street store in December of 2019, in a retail space occupied before that by Hermes. After Gucci expands into the St. John space next year (menswear is said to be the focus in the new space), Gucci’s Bloor Street store will span about 8,500 square feet on one level and have a broader facade presence on the street.
At 111 Bloor Street West, where a Dolce & Gabbana store was recently located, a Loro Piana store is currently under construction. Loro Piana is taking the entire building which spans more than 10,000 square feet, and will build its Canadian flagship on-site. DWSV Realty negotiated the lease deal for Loro Piana and Tom Balkos of P3 Global Realty Advisors, along with Alex Edmison and Brett Taggart of CBRE represented the landlord. Sources tell Retail Insider that Loro Piana will open more standalone stores in Canada with details to follow.
At 151 Bloor Street West, there’s been some movement of its retail tenants. Children’s retailer Bonpoint recently opened in the building, while the Peloton store next to it recently shuttered. Several months ago tenants Max Mara, Montblanc, and Peloton were all said to have signed five year leases at 151 Bloor. Footwear retailer Stuart Weitzman vacated its space in the building last year and that space is now occupied by Bonpoint. Peloton has said that it plans to close various showrooms globally as the company struggles financially. CBRE’s Urban Retail Team under Arlin Markowitz handled the deals.
Across Avenue Road, three luxury watch brands and a multi-brand L’ORO jewellery store are about to open at the base of the Park Hyatt Hotel, marking a significant move of luxury retail on Bloor west of Avenue Road. L’ORO will occupy a retail space along with Bloor-facing boutiques for Panerai, IWC and Roger Dubuis, each operating independent boutiques. The spaces look beautiful from what we can tell, though the stores were not open at press time but should be next week.
The Colonnade at 131 Bloor Street West recently saw the opening of a flagship Ferragamo store, and more changes are expected with new retail tenants. Jordan Karp of Savills negotiated the Ferragamo lease deal with landlord Morguard. The former Escada space in The Colonnade is currently occupied by a pop-up store for a menswear brand called Eric Sana.
Burberry will be exiting its space at 144 Bloor Street West for the main floor of the former Pottery Barn store at 100 Bloor Street West. The 144 Bloor space could attract a major brand, given that the entire facade of the building (including the office tower above) can be branded for the retailer at the base. CBRE is listing the space. From the early 1950s to 1978, Holt Renfrew occupied the building before moving to its current home at 50 Bloor Street West. JLL listed the space and negotiated the deal.
The 100 Bloor Street West podium will be an interesting one to watch, because in about a year the 16,500 square foot Holt Renfrew Men’s store in the building will be relocating back to the 50 Bloor Holts flagship. The 100 Bloor Holts Men’s space is currently being marketed for lease, with the potential for a luxury brand to occupy the entire space. Either a brand already on Bloor may look to relocate, or a new-to-market brand could choose to lease part or all of it.
Moving east of Bay Street along Bloor, new retailers have opened and now there’s basically no retail space for rent on the street until you go east of Yonge Street. Browns Shoes recently opened a bright retail space featuring soaring ceilings at 60 Bloor Street West next to Alo Yoga. And beside Browns is Holt Renfrew, which features an expansive facade and a concession for Saint Laurent that has its own door onto Bloor Street. The Saint Laurent concession is expected to close and be replaced by another luxury brand in 2024, coinciding with the opening of the new Saint Laurent flagship at 110 Bloor, close by.
On the other side of Holt Renfrew, Vancouver-based outdoor retailer Arc’teryx is building its largest store globally in a nearly 10,000 square foot street-facing retail space at the Holt Renfrew Centre (a CBRE Urban Retail Team deal by Arlin Markowitz). And a bit further east at the corner of Yonge and Bloor, Vancouver-based Lululemon will be opening a three-level store spanning more than 12,000 square feet in early 2024.
Other big changes are coming to the Yonge and Bloor intersection, including The Ballroom bowling concept that will include an elevated dining concept. The Ballroom replaces a McEwan grocery store that once occupied the basement of 1 Bloor Street East. A fitness concept by Altea Active will occupy the second level of the former Nordstrom Rack at 1 Bloor East, and more information about some lease deals in the building will be released soon.
Some financial challenges recently impacted Sam Mizrahi’s tower project at 1 Bloor Street West called ‘The One’, and ground floor retail tenant Apple is said to have pulled out of the project. We’re very much hoping that Apple will reconsider opening there, given that Apple is said to have recently signed a lease for a large store in Montreal (after opening a flagship in downtown Vancouver a year ago).
We’ll continue to report on what’s happening with retail on Bloor Street, given its importance and history to retailing in Canada. The street is looking festive with lights, and the area has been activated with some interesting displays ahead of the holidays.