Sources: Apple to Expand Crowded Eaton Centre Store in Toronto, More Evidence of Yonge-Bloor Flagship Emerges [Updated]

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Apple's efforts to modernize its chain of over 500 retail stores around the world may extend to Canada soon.

Apple plans to relocate its oft-crowded store at the Eaton Centre shopping mall in Downtown Toronto to a much larger space in the mall that is currently occupied by apparel chain Abercrombie & Fitch, which will also be relocating within the mall as part of the shuffle, according to people familiar with the matter.

A view of the existing Apple and Abercrombie & Fitch stores at the Eaton Centre

It is certainly possible that Apple could also take over a few additional units surrounding Abercrombie & Fitch for an even larger store.

Just this week, Abercrombie & Fitch erected a temporary barricade for its new store, slated to open in spring 2019. This suggests Apple could take over Abercrombie & Fitch's current space within three to five months from now and begin constructing its new store for a potential grand opening by 2020.


Apple is currently located on the third floor of the Eaton Centre, while the existing Abercrombie & Fitch is situated almost directly beneath Apple on the second floor near the Queen Street entrance to the mall. Apple's mall-based stores are frequently in prime locations near entrances and escalators.

The biggest reason for Apple's planned move would be additional space. Abercrombie & Fitch has a 10,680-square-foot unit, more than twice the size of Apple's current 4,977-square-foot unit, according to an Eaton Centre floor plan.

Eaton Centre is North America's busiest shopping mall, with more than 50 million people passing through its atrium in 2017 according to one study. It is also home to Apple's only store in Downtown Toronto. An expansion would surely be a sigh of relief for not only customers but the team staffing the busy store.

Apple's current store at the Eaton Centre

Apple has greatly expanded both its product lineup and retail initiatives since the store first opened in 2006, one year prior to the iPhone. The additional space would better accomodate customers in many ways, ranging from Apple Watch try-ons to Today at Apple sessions to Genius Bar appointments.

The new store would also have an updated aesthetic. Apple's latest retail design typically includes large glass doors, large video screens for Today at Apple sessions and product marketing, and wall-mounted sequoia wood shelves called Avenues that display Beats headphones, iPhone cases, and other accessories.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment. Eaton Centre owner and management company Cadillac Fairview declined to comment.

Taller Ambitions

Another move that could help with the traffic at Apple Eaton Centre is Apple's rumored flagship store at the ground level of The One, a super-tall 85-floor condominium under construction at the corner of Yonge Street and Bloor Street, one of the busiest intersections in Toronto and bordering the downtown core.

A render of The One upon completion

Early last year, Toronto-based photographer, writer, and urban planning aficionado Pedro Marques uncovered a reference to Apple in a planning document for the condominium. The architecture firm behind the project is Foster + Partners, which has partnered with Apple on many retail stores and its Apple Park headquarters.

Marques has now tipped MacRumors to another reference to Apple in a brochure for an adjacent condominium project at 19 Bloor Street West.


The brochure claims that The One will be "the future home of Apple," with the longest side of the store opening to Bloor Street's upscale shopping area Mink Mile. Excavation is underway for construction of the condominium, expected to be completed by late 2022, but its retail space may open as early as 2020.

The southwest corner of Yonge and Bloor is the former site of men's clothing store Stollery's, which closed in early 2015 after 114 years in business.

Apple has four existing stores in Toronto at Yorkdale, Sherway Gardens, Fairview, and the aforementioned Eaton Centre, but all of them are within shopping malls. The One would finally provide Toronto with a long-desired street-facing Apple Store.

Updated: These plans have now been confirmed by a City of Toronto building permit application.

Article Link: Sources: Apple to Expand Crowded Eaton Centre Store in Toronto, More Evidence of Yonge-Bloor Flagship Emerges [Updated]
 
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ipedro

macrumors 601
Nov 30, 2004
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Toronto, ON
Cadillac Fairview is embarking on a massive shuffle at Eaton Centre, assembling a large number of stores around and below the current Apple Store.

Apple is moving to the Abercrombie space which will be expanded to include the corner where Scotch & Soda and Baby Gap are moving out of.

Directly above is the existing Apple Store. With Lulu Lemon moving out, that sits on the edge of Abercrombie below. Just Ann Taylor stands in the way of a potential 2 story Apple Store.

I have more info. Continuing to investigate.
 

Mr_Brightside_@

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2005
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Good stuff @ipedro. This is my old store and I love hearing these rumours but feel like they've been coming out for a decade now! Downtown Toronto could easily handle a multi storey Eaton Centre store and something at Yonge and Bloor IMO.
 

LordVic

macrumors 603
Sep 7, 2011
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Cadillac Fairview is embarking on a massive shuffle at Eaton Centre, assembling a large number of stores around and below the current Apple Store.

Apple is moving to the Abercrombie space which will be expanded to include the corner where Scotch & Soda and Baby Gap are moving out of.

Directly above is the existing Apple Store. With Lulu Lemon moving out, that sits on the edge of Abercrombie below. Just Ann Taylor stands in the way of a potential 2 story Apple Store.

I have more info. Continuing to investigate.
I haven't been down to Eaton Centre in probably a decade. Was down their during the christmas break (went to see a play accross the street).

The whole mall is a zoo. it's crazy how packed it is all the time. Guess being one of our tourist attractions and a massively large mall that's even open on holidays helps.

The Apple store was absolutely jam packed. Which is a far cry different than the Apple stores in other malls in the GTA. due to location, I've been to the Markville Mall location frequently and the Apple store there is massive, but mostly empty everytime I see it.

it's generally about market. Eaton Centre being core downtown and touristy tends to attract a certain class of spender. Similar to Yorkdale.

for all my GTA friends here:. Go Leafs Go ;)
 

HiVolt

macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2008
558
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Toronto, Canada
Wow, about freakin time. The Eaton Center store is a freakin sardine can.

I still wish they would open one in Scarborough Town Centre. Though an Apple Reseller has opened up there, Jump+.

But their return policy blows. Final sale on all Apple products that are opened. I'm not sure if that's even legal in Canada.
 

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
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Existing Apple Store is too small, so expansion would be great.

Makes sense to keep the Eaton Centre store, rather than move it to Yonge / Bloor since Eaton Centre is #1 visited location in GTA ( aside from transportation hubs - Pearson etc )
 
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Mr_Brightside_@

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2005
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Wow, about freakin time. The Eaton Center store is a freakin sardine can.

I still wish they would open one in Scarborough Town Centre. Though an Apple Reseller has opened up there, Jump+.

But their return policy blows. Final sale on all Apple products that are opened. I'm not sure if that's even legal in Canada.
Used to work for them, they're terrible, but did have a return policy with a restocking fee. Are you sure it's final sale?
 

ipedro

macrumors 601
Nov 30, 2004
4,671
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Toronto, ON
Existing Apple Store is too small, so expansion would be great.

Makes sense to keep the Eaton Centre store, rather than move it to Yonge / Bloor since Eaton Centre is #1 visited location in GTA ( aside from transportation hubs - Pearson etc )
They’re getting both. Eaton Centre was never going to move. It was always about adding a store in the upscale Yorkville shopping neighbourhood.

Apple can easily support even a third Apple Store. There are rumours of one being negotiated for The Well development near King West.
 

MVallee

macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2007
805
181
Ontario, Canada
This is very much needed. It's one of the smallest Apple Stores I have ever been to and it's the only store in Downtown Toronto, so it's always beyond packed and impossible to browse. It actually smells like a gym locker room in there because of how many people pack inside. Hopefully the expansion doesn't take too long.
 

lunarworks

macrumors 68000
Jun 17, 2003
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Toronto, Canada
About time. This was needed like 5 years ago.

The whole mall is a zoo. it's crazy how packed it is all the time. Guess being one of our tourist attractions and a massively large mall that's even open on holidays helps.

..

it's generally about market. Eaton Centre being core downtown and touristy tends to attract a certain class of spender. Similar to Yorkdale.
Touristy is a small part of it. Toronto has a massive creative class gathered in the downtown core, probably the third largest in North America, and outside of some long-established indie stores, the Eaton Centre Apple Store is the only location to service them. Add to that the major universities nearby, the condo crowd, and all the 9-to-5'ers in the business district who may pop in during lunch, and it's way overcrowded.

I still wish they would open one in Scarborough Town Centre. Though an Apple Reseller has opened up there, Jump+.
STC would be a great location, it's a wonderful mall, but there's still the old Scarborough stigma.
 

bodonnell202

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2016
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
The Apple Store in Chinook Centre, the busiest mall in Calgary (Canada) is also about this size and it's always an absolute zoo (probably not as bad as Toronto Eaton Centre from the sounds of it). Hopefully this is a sign that Apple is looking to update more of their Canadian stores.
 

BuffaloTF

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2008
858
704
Existing Apple Store is too small, so expansion would be great.

Makes sense to keep the Eaton Centre store, rather than move it to Yonge / Bloor since Eaton Centre is #1 visited location in GTA ( aside from transportation hubs - Pearson etc )
Yonge/Bloor is an excellent location for the general populous - closer to more general living spaces within the city. The Eaton Centre is so close to the downtown attractions you'll always have the tourist traffic since it is a stop on the bus tour and is just in plain easy walking distance from the tower/aquarium/HOF...
 

HiVolt

macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2008
558
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Toronto, Canada
Used to work for them, they're terrible, but did have a return policy with a restocking fee. Are you sure it's final sale?
That's what they told me when I inquired about the Apple Pencil and what the return policy was.

I just turned around and left.
[doublepost=1547049488][/doublepost]
STC would be a great location, it's a wonderful mall, but there's still the old Scarborough stigma.
Meh, the STC has renovated and its pretty nice inside. Plus a store at the STC could attract more people from Pickering and surrounding areas where it's not as long a drive.
 

Mr_Brightside_@

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2005
3,091
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Toronto
That's what they told me when I inquired about the Apple Pencil and what the return policy was.

I just turned around and left.
[doublepost=1547049488][/doublepost]

Meh, the STC has renovated and its pretty nice inside. Plus a store at the STC could attract more people from Pickering and surrounding areas where it's not as long a drive.
Ugh. How recent was this?
 

seat_hydrant

macrumors newbie
Mar 22, 2017
4
8
Cadillac Fairview is embarking on a massive shuffle at Eaton Centre, assembling a large number of stores around and below the current Apple Store.

Apple is moving to the Abercrombie space which will be expanded to include the corner where Scotch & Soda and Baby Gap are moving out of.

Directly above is the existing Apple Store. With Lulu Lemon moving out, that sits on the edge of Abercrombie below. Just Ann Taylor stands in the way of a potential 2 story Apple Store.

I have more info. Continuing to investigate.
I believe this a lot more than Apple just moving into Abercrombie. Apple stores, to my knowledge, are always on the top floor with the most light, unless it’s multiple stories.

I would’ve really liked it if they took over the 2 Queen West heritage building, but I believe Harry Rosen is taking that. It’d be perfect with street access next to a subway and a real flagship location.
 

dona83

macrumors 6502
Nov 26, 2004
317
47
Kelowna, BC
The Apple Store in Pacific Centre Vancouver (also managed by Cadillac Fairview) is also tiny and could use an expansion. Mind you, I haven't been there in almost four years and perhaps they did move and I'm severely behind the times.
 

chriskYYZ

macrumors newbie
Jun 23, 2016
2
0
Beyond overdue. Even though I live downtown I try my best to avoid going to the existing shop due to its terrible congestion.

About two years back I had an after-hours tour of the store led by an Apple Canada corporate manager - when the question came up of relocation he said they were constantly looking for a better space inside the Eaton Centre, but it needed to be an appropriately high-profile flagship location, and that other sites had come up within the mall, but had been personally vetoed by Steve Jobs because they weren't grand enough.

I'll believe it when I see it. This has been overdue for so long and had so many rumours that it's a joke between customers and the staff. This info seems the most credible of anything I've seen, though.
 

DeepIn2U

macrumors 603
May 30, 2002
6,038
1,621
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Existing Apple Store is too small, so expansion would be great.

Makes sense to keep the Eaton Centre store, rather than move it to Yonge / Bloor since Eaton Centre is #1 visited location in GTA ( aside from transportation hubs - Pearson etc )
What most people don’t realize why Apple Eaton Centre is so busy is it’s connected to the P.A.T.H. meaning all the corporate businesses such as Royal Bank, CIBC, BMO, ScotiaBank, KPMG, PWC, etc are all within a 20min or less walking distance without being exposed to poor weather conditions. All these business are major clients (iOS at the least) of Apple.

Tourist attraction and being on the TTC subway line at two stops (Dundas and Queen) make it very ideal.

The One condo will take some time. That location seems to be very ideal for thieves as well!!
- quick grab and dash across Bloor St and you can disappear into Bloor/Danforth TTC (scan your presto inconspicuously; and you’ll blend in very quickly before you hit the first stairs to subway North/South).
- also the back street south of the condo ... run into the public parking and you’re gone. Heck you can end up and chill at Brass Rails lol. I’ve seen a cop walk in and out arresting some guy years ago as I passed by.

Would be great to have an Apple Store in the Niagara / Hamilton region!!
LMAO surely you do not mean downtown Hamilton right? Were people in the summer walk with nothing but bedsheets were the Jacksonville mall needs a community college to survive cause 60% of mall goers can not afford deodorant?! 3 lake front condos are taking 3yrs to be built because it’ll take that long to convince people to move there. Maybe at Limeridge mall above the escarpment, but anything far away from Hess Village downtown not going to survive for long.

Hamilton no ... uh-uh!
Sad really cause the city has some great history dating back to WWI yet even the monuments at James and King look like a bums chill area now. Really sad.
 
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Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
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Would be great to have an Apple Store in the Niagara / Hamilton region!!

There is - Fairview Mall in Burlington. QEW/403 split.
EDIT: Might be Mapleview Mall. Or something. But it's right where the 403/QEW split off to Brantford and Hamilton.