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This article is about the shopping centre; for the subway station named after it, see Yorkdale (TTC).
Yorkdale Shopping Centre
The main entrance to Yorkdale
Location Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Opening date February 26, 1964
Developer Oxford Properties
Management Oxford Properties
Owner Oxford Properties
No. of stores and services 260
No. of anchor tenants 6
Total retail floor area 1,404,646 ft2 / 130,495.9 m2
Parking Outdoor parking as well as a multi level parking garage
No. of floors 2

Yorkdale Shopping Centre is an upscale shopping mall in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It contains over 250 stores and is located in the community of Downsview, in the former City of North York, a former suburb of Toronto. It is the fifth largest shopping mall in Canada and also enjoys the highest sales per square foot of any mall in Canada, with current merchandise sales levels at approximately $1,000(CAD)/square foot.[1][2] The centre draws in approximately 400,000 customers a week.[3]



This ramp is the exit point for Yorkdale's underground receiving areas. The "Universal Man" statue, moved to Yorkdale in 1994, is visible behind it.

The mall opened on February 26, 1964, under ownership from the Trizec Corporation.[4] It was the first mall to include two major Canadian department stores: Simpson's and Eaton's, under the same roof. At the time of its opening, it was the largest shopping centre in the world. However, the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu, Hawaii took this title as the largest mall in the world just two years after Yorkdale opened.[4] Yorkdale generated a tremendous amount of excitement when it first opened. 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, with only farmland around it. It was strategically located next to the interchange of Highway 401 and the proposed Spadina Expressway, as well as the nearby Dufferin Street, and all three major routes now have ramps dedicated to serving the mall. Yorkdale Road forms the perimeter of the north and east sides of the mall. A subway station on the Spadina line that runs in the median section of Allen Road (formerly the Spadina Expressway), and an intercity bus terminal was later connected to Yorkdale by way of a footbridge.

Its gross leasable area (GLA) was over 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2), by far the biggest in Canada. Parking is still free, and now includes a total of 7,200 spaces. 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 mall was constructed with a novel system for its retailers to receive merchandise. Most shopping centres have their receiving doors located at the back side, while Yorkdale was constructed with a one-way, two-laned road for trucks running beneath the centre that leads directly to retailers' basement storages.[4]

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 Silver City movie theater (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[1], 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 and Barrel, BOSS store, and a Tiffany & Co.

A unique element of this expansion was the construction of a 60 foot (18.3 metres) high glass atrium running 300 feet (91.4 metres) 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 restaurant, and new sliding automatic doors at all entrances.[5] 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.[6] 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.

Store renovations

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.[4]

Canadian firsts

Apple Store at Yorkdale, the first Apple Store in Canada

Because of Yorkdale's high productivity, central location, and image, it has been the point of entry into the Canadian market for many widely-acclaimed international retailers. Stores that have opened or plan on opening their first Canadian store at Yorkdale include:

  • Bath & Body Works — An American retailer specializing in fragrant lotions, and various bath and personal care items will open 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.[7]
  • Crate and Barrel — The United States premium home retailer announced that it will open 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, will be constructed on the northern part of the property, facing Highway 401. The store will be mainly marketed to serve female customers between the ages of 30 and 60.[2][8]
  • GEOX — Opened on May 3, 2005. GEOX is an internationally recognized Italian manufacturer of shoes using waterproof and breathable materials.[9]
  • Mango [2] — Mango is a multi-national company that sells women's clothing and accessories.

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 and Barrel revealed that their first store outside the United States would open here in 2008.[6]

Anchors and majors

Current anchors

  • The Bay [10] — Originally Simpson's, opened in 1964. (300,870 sq ft./27,951.7 m2)[7]
  • Cineplex Entertainment[10] — (59,612 sq ft./5,538.1 m2)[7]
  • Holt Renfrew[10] — Currently the mall's most exclusive department store, with a strong fashion focus. (65,047 sq ft./6,043.1 m2)[7]
  • Sears[10] — 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)[7]


Indigo Books, Music, and Café at Yorkdale

Former anchors

  • 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 new and modern 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.[11]

See also


External links

Coordinates: 43°43′32″N 79°27′10″W / 43.725599°N 79.452696°W / 43.725599; -79.452696


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