Bloor Yorkville becomes coveted retail hub in Toronto

The Bloor Yorkville neighbourhood earned the tag of one of the poshest and expensive retail corridors of Canada sometime back. In fact, it is the fifth most expensive retail corridor of North America with rents averaging at about $430 per square foot. According to new reports, there are a number of factors that have made the location so expensive. Experts have stated that the region is indicative of the shift in high-street retail and the urban market in Toronto.

Toronto is considered the most active real estate city in North America and this is definitely another reason behind this retail hub gaining so much attention. The success of the Bloor Yorkville retail hub has also boosted nearby real estate markets and shored up demand up organized retail in an entire region.

More about the neighbourhood

The location of this corridor is also extremely good. Bloor Yorkville lies between Avenue Road and Yonge Street, two of the most centrally located streets in Toronto. It is also very close to both the east-west and north-south subway lines. This retail hub can sustain its ‘rich’ tag as some of the wealthiest neighbourhoods of Toronto such as Forest Hill, Rosedale and The Annexe are in close proximity. There are a number of luxury condominiums and star category hotels in the corridor itself, drawing a huge number of affluent tourists and residents to the place.

Some of the most expensive retail hubs such as Upper Fifth Avenue of New York or the Beverly Hills Triangle in Los Angeles would require you to pay a rent touching 4 figures and Bloor Yorkville has earned its place in the top five. The only other retail hub from Canada in the top 10 is Vancouver’s Robert Street where the annual rent per square foot ranges somewhere around $300.

Due to a sharp rise in valuation of properties and a substantial property tax in Toronto, the rents in this neighbourhood kept on rising and for historical reasons, the bigger retail outlets have a special affinity to this location. At the same time, many of the outlets such as Chanel, Louboutin etc. are moving out to adjacent streets and as a matter of fact, rentals have doubled in only the last few years, a phenomenon that has been seen across adjacent streets too.

What experts predict

There are a number of large scale construction projects in the corridor and about 11 more are proposed and waiting for approval. More than 90 percent of the under-construction units are already pre-sold and with growth rates of about 42 percent in the next few years, it is expected that Bloor Yorkville will draw in a higher number of big-spenders.

It is projected there will be an addition of about 270,000 square foot of retail space to the existing 2.2 million square foot currently available. This will help in increase of inventory by 13 percent and provide an opportunity for new retailers to enter the market. With an average annual household income of $300,000 in the neighbourhood, there is plenty of appetite for the market to grow and sustain itself. The influx of wealthy residents and the growth of the premium outlets strikes the perfect balance for this retail corridor.

Major upcoming projects

Some of the mega projects lined up for this corridor are as follows:

  • The One

This 85 storey residential building will become Canada’s tallest condo building and will feature multi-level retail space as well. There will be more than 400 residential suites along with a boutique hotel.

  • Park Hyatt Toronto

Oxford Properties is working on the redevelopment of this hotel and will convert it to a five-star category property along with adding 33,000 square feet of retail space.

  • Cumberland Square

The Cumberland terrace will undergo a major facelift and KingSett Capital is planning to add new public open spaces along with three towers, encompassing 1,500+ residential units and retail and office spaces.

  • 1 Bloor St. E

This 72 storey building features 85,000 square feet of retail space which includes the McEwan Gourmet Grocery store. There are 702 premium condos in the tower as well.

  • Eataly

This Italian giant is expected to open its first Canadian outlet at the Manulife Centre at Bloor St. It will occupy 50,000 square feet spread across three floors.

Several online stores are also planning to go the omnichannel way by setting up shop in this coveted location. Fire and Flower is a Cannabis retail chain, for instance, which is based in Edmonton and will have a store here in the near future along with MCM, the luxury leather brand and biggies like H&M. The entire corridor is thus catering to both ends of the spectrum and should keep witnessing steady residential, commercial and retail growth over the next few years.