Empress Walk

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Empress Walk is a large condominum and retail complex at the intersection of Yonge Street and Empress Avenue in the North York Centre area of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Developed by Menkes Development, Phase 1 was completed in 1997 and Phase 2 by 2000. The lower portion is a three-storey retail mall (lower level with access to the North York Centre subway station) covering 240,000 square feet (22,000 m2) topped with a 95 feet (29 m) dome, the highlight being the longest unsupported escalator in North America[1] to give access to the movie theatre from the ground floor. There is a 3035-seat Cineplex Cinemas movie multi-plex featuring an IMAX Theatre. Above are two 34-storey residential towers with a total of 745 units between them.


Behind the Empress Walk complex on its east side is Princess Park, commemorating the original sites of the first municipal building and fire hall of North York. The clock tower from the fire hall has been reconstructed and serves as the centrepiece for the park. Across the street, and connected via the TTC tunnel, are Mel Lastman Square, the North York Civic Centre, the North York City Centre office tower and Novotel. Next door, and connected via a passageway is the 5075 Yonge Street tower, with Scotiabank and Upper Madison College.

It was built as part of Mel Lastman's bid to create a downtown in North York to rival the old city of Toronto. It remains a hub of activity with condominium projects being built north and south of it today.

In 2000, the property was acquired by RioCan REIT, a Canadian real estate investment trust.

The rear of the build features the façade of the former Township of North York Municipal Offices from the 1940s and the bell tower of the fire station that was on the site.

Major retailers and former store[edit]

Loblaws at Empress Walk
  • Cineplex Cinemas (originally Famous Players SilverCity & Empire Theatres) (63,644 sq ft.). Cineplex had merged with Famous Players in the 1990s and sold off their Empress Walk location as they had a nearby Cineplex Sheppard Grande theatre at Sheppard Avenue and Yonge Street. In 2013, when Empire Theatres exited the Ontario market, Cineplex reacquired and renovated the Empress Walk location, while the Cineplex Sheppard Grande was demolished in 2016 as part of a major renovation of Sheppard Centre. Sheppard Grade will be replaced by a La Fittnes and Longos in early 2018 at Yonge Sheppard Centre.
  • LCBO (3,238 sq ft.)
  • Loblaws Empress Market (60,100 sq ft.)
  • Best Buy Canada (formerly Future Shop, prior to that Sport Chek)
  • Wendy's
  • Dollarama (formerly Fabricland, prior to that Tower Records) (3.934 sq ft. and 10,100 sq ft (940 m2). respectively
  • Pet Smart-Opening Soon (formerly Solutions, Staples, prior to that Chapters Indigo) The future Pet Smart location is going under major renovations including removing the former second floor retail space, this unit was not renovated since when Chapters was there. Pet Smart will only feature one floor the second floor space which used to be connected to this unit is under renovation and expansion as well after it will be vancat. [1]


Coordinates: 43°46′07″N 79°24′44″W / 43.768673°N 79.412221°W / 43.768673; -79.412221