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The Rideau Centre at Christmas
|Location||Ottawa, Ontario, Canada|
|Opening date||March 16, 1983|
|Developer||Viking Rideau, Eaton's|
|No. of stores and services||171|
|Total retail floor area||739,842 sq ft (68,733.6 m2)|
|No. of floors||3|
|Parking||1,590 spaces in two indoor lots and a surface lot|
Rideau Centre (Centre Rideau in French) is a three-level shopping centre on Rideau Street in Downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It borders on Rideau Street (and the Byward Market), the Rideau Canal, the Mackenzie King Bridge, and Nicholas Street.
At the time of its construction in 1981 and 1982, the Rideau Centre was somewhat controversial: a whole block of stores was torn down to make room for the Rideau Centre, and many people were opposed to their destruction. Others feared the impact of increased traffic and buses on the area. The Eaton's department store chain, one of the partners in the development, caused further controversy when it attempted to rename the mall the "Rideau Eaton Centre" while it was still under construction; the company backed down in the face of local opposition to the name change.This mall was officially opened on March 16, 1983.
Features and surroundings
The Rideau Centre complex includes approximately 180 retailers, the 487-room Westin Hotel, a rooftop park and the Ottawa Convention Centre (Old Congress Centre). At 740,757 sq ft (68,818.6 m2) in size, it is the fourth largest shopping centre in the Ottawa-Gatineau area (behind the St. Laurent Centre, Les Promenades Gatineau and Bayshore Shopping Centre).
Rideau Centre security and maintenance staff have been the subject of a number of controversies. In 2002, security staff handcuffed and detained two men for carrying an Israeli flag in order to enforce a mall rule prohibiting political signs. The men claimed that abusive comments were made towards them as Jews but a police investigation was unable to sustain the allegations of anti-semitic abuse. In 2011, security staff handcuffed and detained a man who was attempting to cancel a gym membership. The man was released when police arrived and the Rideau Centre's tenant GoodLife Fitness suffered a media-backlash over the incident. That same year, as 9 people, including a former Speaker of the House of Commons and other dignitaries were trapped for more than an hour and a half in the mall elevator, a former Senator criticized the Rideau Centre for its slow response time.
Expansion and renewal
Significant changes are underway at the Rideau Centre. A 360 million dollar modernization and expansion project is being undertaken. Of this, roughly 100 million dollars is going towards re-cladding the exterior of the mall, modernization of the entire interior and preparing the top two floors of the former Sears space for its reopening as Nordstrom in 2015. The first floor of the Sears space is being converted to a new food court, leaving the old concessions on Rideau street open for future street level retail. Plans have not yet been announced for the movie theatre on the rooftop terrace, which closed on March 21, 2013.
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- "Sens, Habs rivalry may have to do", National Post, April 16, 2006