Yorkdale Shopping Centre
The main entrance to Yorkdale
|Location||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Address||3401 Dufferin Street, North York|
|Opening date||February 26, 1964|
|Owner||Oxford Properties/OMERS (50%)
Alberta Investment Management Corporation (50%)
|No. of stores and services||250|
|No. of anchor tenants||6|
|Total retail floor area||1,541,725 ft2 / 130,495.9 m2 (soon to be 1,845,725 ft2)|
|No. of floors||3|
Yorkdale Shopping Centre (also often shortened to simply Yorkdale) is a large retail shopping mall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is located several kilometres north-west of downtown Toronto, at the interchange of Ontario Highway 401 and the Allen Road expressway, and on the Yonge-University-Spadina rapid transit line, in the former suburb of North York. The mall contains over 250 stores, including many luxury retailers. It is the fifth largest shopping mall in Canada and also enjoys the second highest sales per unit area of any mall in Canada, after Vancouver's Pacific Centre, with current merchandise sales levels at over $1,100 (CAD)/square foot. It is currently owned by a joint venture between the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System through its subsidiary Oxford Properties Group Inc. and the Alberta Investment Management Corporation.
The mall opened on February 26, 1964, under ownership from the Trizec Corporation. Its gross leasable area (GLA) was over 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2), by far the biggest in Canada at the time. It was also one of the largest shopping centres in the world.
Yorkdale generated a tremendous amount of excitement when it first opened. It was the first Canadian mall to include two major department stores: Simpson's and Eaton's, under the same roof. Before large suburban malls like Yorkdale became popular, most people in the Toronto area did their major shopping downtown. Yorkdale was at the edge of the urbanized city. The new shopping centre also spurred the construction of the Spadina Expressway (now called Allen Road) as the developers would not proceed until the expressway was approved for construction.
The mall was constructed with a novel system for its retailers to receive merchandise. While other Canadian shopping centres had their receiving doors located at the back side, Yorkdale was constructed with a one-way, two-laned road for trucks running beneath the centre that leads directly to retailers' basement storages.
The shopping centre has a 60-foot (18 m) tall atrium, 40-foot (12 m) wide halls and 27-foot (8.2 m) tall ceilings which was, and still is, rare. As a result, Yorkdale is much less susceptible to overcrowding and stuffiness that have plagued more contemporary shopping mall designs. The corridors still retain this look and feel although renovations in 2006 replaced the ceilings, windows, and skylights.
The statue in the west parking lot was originally located at the base of the CN Tower.
Renovations and expansions
In 1999, Yorkdale completed a major overhaul adding a Rainforest Café restaurant, a Famous Players SilverCity movie theatre (which has since been taken over by Cineplex Entertainment), and an Indigo Books and Music store on the north side of the mall, facing Highway 401.
In 2005, a $60 million expansion on the former site of its Eaton's department store increased the size of Yorkdale to 1,404,646 square feet / 130,495.9 m2, and increased the number of stores from about 210 to 260. It added Old Navy, Zara, H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, and Home Outfitters as sub-anchors. This gave Yorkdale the title of the third largest mall in Ontario after Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga and Toronto Eaton Centre, ahead of Scarborough Town Centre in terms of retail floor space. In April 2008, Yorkdale opened a Michael Kors and have recently opened an Armani Exchange, bebe, Crate & Barrel, BOSS store, and a Tiffany & Co.
A unique element of this expansion was the construction of a 60 foot (18.3 m) high glass atrium running 300 feet (91.4 m) in length, which hangs from an exterior support structure. It is the first of its kind in Canada and the largest in North America.
This project has continued to include a complete renovation of the rest of the mall from 2006 to 2007. This renovation matched the dated sections of the mall to the same modern and stylish details of the 2005 expansion. Key elements of this project included new public washrooms, opening of a Moxie's Grill and Bar restaurant, and new sliding automatic doors at all entrances. The advertising campaign, branded as "Change It Up!" for the latest renovation and redevelopment of Yorkdale, received a MAXI Award from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) in 2007. MAXI Awards are one of ICSC's highest awards, and various awards are presented annually to shopping centres around the world for achieving high standards in marketing strategies and campaigns.
In January 2011, a press release stated an intention to expand the mall, adding another 145,000 square feet (13,500 m2), sufficient for 40 store fronts, and 800 underground parking spaces. The expansion will also relocate and double the number of seats at the food court, improve public access, and landscape portions of the property. The new food court opened on June 2, 2012 and the rest of the expansion was opened on November 16, 2012.
Yorkdale's new food court Dine On 3 opened in the summer of 2012 to replace a previous food court that was adjacent to Holt Renfew. The food collection was a part of a major $35 million expansion to the mall. Dine On 3 is located on the third level of the former Eaton's department store and features a wide variety of food options including; Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria, Amaya Express, SU & SHI by Spring Rolls, and the world's largest Illy Espressamente Café. Dine On 3 also includes some regular food chains like; A&W, KFC, and Subway. The food court covers 45,000 square feet (4,200 m2) and features 18 different eateries.
On April 8, 2013, Yorkdale announced another expansion which will add an additional 298,000 sq ft of retail featuring a 188,000 sq ft Nordstrom store. The expansion is scheduled to open in Fall 2016.  On June 14, 2013, Sears Canada announced that they will be closing their store at Yorkdale along with Square One as of March 9, 2014. 
In 2013, two shootings occurred at the mall. The first one took place in the external surface lot late on a Saturday night in March 2013, leaving one man dead and one man injured. In May 2013, a man was injured by shots fired into the Joey restaurant at midnight on a Friday night.
Yorkdale's management has focussed on attracting high-value retailers, especially those selling clothing and accessories. As of 2013[update], the mall hosts locations of Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada, Michael Kors, Juicy Couture, Cartier, Mulberry, Tiffany & Co., Hugo Boss, Coach, Ferragamo, Stuart Weitzman, Harry Rosen, Diesel, and True Religion. The mall is also anchored by Holt Renfrew. Yorkdale will welcome Nordstrom in 2016 after completing a $330 million dollar expansion scheduled to begin in January of 2014.
When each tenant renews their lease with the mall, they are required to renovate their stores in order to continually ensure a modern and fresh look.
Because of Yorkdale's high productivity, central location, and image, it has been the point of entry into the Canadian market for many widely known international retailers. Stores that have opened or plan on opening their first Canadian store at Yorkdale include:
- Apple Store — opened in May 2005, relocated to new wing in December 2012 (old location to be replaced by Lego Store in Spring 2013).
- Bath & Body Works — An American retailer specializing in fragrant lotions, and various bath and personal care items opened their first Canadian store in September 2008. The store will be located directly across from the first Canadian Crate and Barrel store, also opening at approximately the same time.
- Crate & Barrel — The United States premium home retailer opened its first Canadian flagship store at Yorkdale in the fall of 2008. A new two-story 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) building, similar to other newly opened Crate and Barrel stores in the US, was constructed on the northern part of the property, facing Highway 401.
- GEOX — Opened in May 2005. GEOX is an internationally recognized Italian manufacturer of shoes using waterproof and breathable materials.
- Kate Spade New York - opened in November 2012.
- LOFT - opened in November 2012.
- Microsoft Store - opened in November 2012.
- Ted Baker - opened in November 2012.
- Tesla Motors - opened in November 2012.
- True Religion - opened in October 2010.
- Zara Home - opened in August 2013.
- John Varvatos - opened in November 2013.
- David Yurman - opening Winter 2013.
- AllSaints - opened in April 2013.
- Salvatore Ferragamo Italia S.p.A. - opened in July 2013.
- White House Black Market - opened in October 2013.
- Tumi - opened Novemeber 2013
According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, more than 30 American retailers contacted mall management, wanting to open their first Canadian stores in Yorkdale after Crate & Barrel revealed that their first store outside the United States would open here in 2008.
- Holt Renfrew — A high-end clothing and accessories department store. (65,047 sq ft./6,043.1 m2)
- Hudson's Bay — Originally Simpson's, opened in 1964. (300,870 sq ft./27,951.7 m2)
- Sears — Was originally constructed for The Bay. When the Hudson's Bay Company merged Simpson's and The Bay, the Simpson's location was rebranded as the Bay and the Bay's store was sold to Sears. For a short period from 2002–03, the Sears store was located in the former Eaton's location as the current store was expanded and renovated. (190,000 sq ft./17,651.6 m2) The store is scheduled to close on March 9, 2014.
- SilverCity — Cinema complex. (59,612 sq ft./5,538.1 m2)
- Home Outfitters (33,200 sq ft./3,804.4 m2)
- Crate & Barrel (approximately 30,258 sq ft.)
- Indigo Books and Music (27,155 sq ft./2,522.8 m2)
- Sport Chek (26,701 sq ft./2,480.6 m2)
- H&M (25,890 sq ft./2,405.3 m2)
- Old Navy (23,490 sq ft./2,182.3 m2)
- Pottery Barn (22,955 sq ft./2,132.6 m2)
- Rainforest Café (21,221 sq ft./1,971.5 m2)
- Zara (21,220 sq ft./1,971.4 m2)
- Harry Rosen (15,026 sq ft./1,396 m2)
- Anthropologie (9,630 sq ft./894.7 m2)
- Eaton's — Opened in 1964, the location was acquired by Sears Canada in 1999 after the decline and bankruptcy of the Eaton's company. The store was completely renovated in 2000, and reopened as part of Sears' upscale "Eaton's" experiment. Eaton's, however, proved to be unprofitable, and the store was once again closed in 2002. Sears itself temporarily occupied the location from 2002-03 while its current store was undergoing expansion. The space has since been renovated as a new mall corridor consisting of large multi-level stores such as Old Navy, Zara, H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, and Home Outfitters as sub-anchors, completed in 2005.
- Simpson's — Opened in 1964. In 1978, Simpson's was acquired by the Hudson's Bay Company. The Yorkdale location continued to operate under the Simpson's name as an upscale brand of the Hudson's Bay Company. The upscale brand was unsuccessful and in 1991, the Yorkdale location as well as all other Simpson's stores were converted to the traditional Hudson's Bay department stores.
- Dominion — A grocery store chain, operating under the Food Emporium banner. Holt Renfrew has occupied this space since the 1990s.
- Famous Players — A six-screen theatre was located in the area west of the bus terminal and was demolished after the 'SilverCity' complex opened in 1999. Yorkdale originally housed a small two-screen theatre when the mall opened, which later expanded to three screens, and once again in 1986 to six screens. The original two-screen theatre, known as "Yorkdale Theatres", was the first dual auditorium facility of its kind in Canada when the mall first opened.
Yorkdale is accessible by private automobile, rapid transit and commuter buses. Parking is free, and includes a total of 7,200 spaces. The spaces are a mixture of above-ground surface lot, an above-ground parking garage and an underground garage. The mall is located next to the interchange of Highway 401 and Allen Road, as well as the nearby Dufferin Street, and all three major routes have road connections dedicated to serving the mall. Yorkdale Road forms the perimeter of the north and east sides of the mall. The Yorkdale subway station on the Spadina line is located just east of the mall. An intercity bus terminal is located east of the mall. It is a terminus for GO Transit commuter buses. The transit facilities are connected to the mall by a pedestrian bridge.
- "AIMCo 2011 Annual Report". Alberta Investment Management Corporation. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
- Real Estate Weekly Newsletter
- Flavelle, Dana (April 4, 2007). "Yorkdale attracts top U.S. retailer". Toronto Star. Retrieved April 5, 2007.
- "Many happy returns", The Globe and Mail, Plan Electric Company did the major electrical work for the Centre including the Eaton's Store and numerous others under the direction of its president, Sid Cohen. February 21, 2004
- [dead link]
- Yorkdale is Changing it up!
- "Presenting the 2007 MAXI Award Winners". International Council of Shopping Centers. Retrieved December 23, 2007.
- "Yorkdale Mall to add 40 stores, 800 parking spaces in $220M expansion". Toronto Star. The Canadian Press. January 25, 2011. Retrieved January 25, 2011.
- Sears Canada to close two, possibly three, Toronto area stores | Toronto Star. Thestar.com (June 14, 2013). Retrieved on July 26, 2013.
- "One person dead after double-shooting at Yorkdale mall | Toronto Star". Thestar.com. 2013-03-30. Retrieved 2013-10-30.
- "Yorkdale mall shooting sends man to hospital | Toronto Star". Thestar.com. 2013-05-11. Retrieved 2013-10-30.
- "Yorkdale Mall enlists Wayne Gretzky and the band Train to promote expansion". Toronto Star. November 13, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
- "Yorkdale Shopping Centre: Ground Level Floor Plan". Oxford Properties. Retrieved May 24, 2008.
- "Yorkdale welcomes Canada's first Crate and Barrel". Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Archived from the original on August 15, 2007. Retrieved January 2, 2008.
- "GEOX takes off in Canada by opening its first two Canadian stores". Marketwire. Retrieved February 1, 2008.
- "Yorkdale Shopping Centre: Building Facts". Oxford Properties. Retrieved January 26, 2008.
- Sears pulls out of up to 3 Toronto malls - Toronto - CBC News. Cbc.ca (June 17, 2013). Retrieved on July 26, 2013.
- "Yorkdale Shopping Centre General Info: History". Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Archived from the original on October 22, 2007. Retrieved February 25, 2008.
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