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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)|
|Parking||1,590 spaces in two indoor lots and a surface lot|
|No. of floors||3|
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.
The Rideau Centre opened on March 16, 1983, and today it is a major transport and shopping hub in downtown Ottawa. The centre's proximity to the shops in the ByWard Market and on Rideau Street, and its location near most of the city's main attractions, contribute to its status as one of the region's top shopping and tourist destinations.
Features and surroundings
The Rideau Centre was built with the agreement that it would become a pedestrian right-of-way. The malls doors are open 24 hours a day to allow pedestrians access between Rideau Street and the Mackenzie King Bridge. This by-law was passed upon the opening of the Rideau Centre in 1982. Similarly, the Freiman Mall, which is, along with The Bay, attached by an overpass to the Rideau Centre, is also a pedestrian right of way for access to the ByWard Market.
The Rideau Centre also has a rooftop garden with views of part of the ByWard Market, the Rideau Canal, the Château Laurier, and the Parliament buildings. During the annual Tulip Festival, the garden is filled with tulips.
The Rideau Centre complex also includes approximately 180 other 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 coming to the Rideau Centre in the near future. Plans call for 360 million dollar modernization and expansion project. Of this, roughly 100 million dollars will go towards the modernization of the entire mall and preparing the top two floors of the former Sears space for its reopening as a Nordstrom in 2015. The first floor of the Sears space is to be 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. Another newcomer to the Rideau Centre and the Ottawa metropolitan area is La Maison Simons. H&M is also expected to open its second location (after opening a Bayshore Shopping Centre location in the fall of 2013) at the mall.
They will also build a 230,000 sq ft (21,367.7 m2) expansion to be bordered by Rideau, Nicholas and Besserer streets. It will include a two-level underground parking garage, bringing the total parking capacity of the complex to 1,700. The rooftop terrace is to be extended over the new expansion. For this expansion, the Rideau Centre opted to demolish the former Charles Ogilvy Limited department store on the corner of Rideau and Nicholas. It's worth noting that the 1907 facade will be retained and restored. Recent images of the expansion show Simons occupying the space behind the Ogilvy façade as well as an expanded theatre on the roof. The expansion is expected to open in the Fall of 2016.
Not included in this budget are multiple mall entrances to the Rideau subway station to be completed in 2017. Entrances planned include one inside the Rideau Centre on the corner of Rideau and Colonel By, inside the historic Transportation Building, and an elevator near the skywalk to the Freiman Mall. It is expected that a third entrance to the complex will be built inside the mall near the Ogilvy corner. Another entrance not funded by the Rideau Centre will be across the street on the eastern corner of Rideau Street and the William pedestrian mall.
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There are 156 stores in the mall:
- Sears - closed October 31, 2012 to be replaced by Nordstrom
- Empire Theatres - closed March 21, 2013
- La Maison Simons - to open in 2015
- American Apparel
- American Eagle Outfitters
- Apple Store
- Banana Republic
- Club Monaco
- Eddie Bauer
- Forever 21
- Gap, Gap Kids
- Harry Rosen
- Le Chateau
- Michael Kors
- Old Navy
- The Source
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rideau Centre.|
- "Sens, Habs rivalry may have to do", National Post, April 16, 2006