Ottawa is the capital of Canada and the fourth largest city in the country with approximately 900,000 people living within its city limits. One of the most defining characteristics of the city is its blend of the English and French cultures which is reflected in the citys shops and restaurants. Ottawa is known to be one of the focal points of Canadian history and culture, boasting the National Art Gallery, the Canadian Museum of History located just across the river in Gatineau, Quebec, along with the Canadian War Museum.
Ottawa is also home to numerous festivals, with over 45 festivals taking place every year, including the world renowed BluesFest and Winterlude.
Best characterized as a government town, with approximately 131,000 people employed with the federal government, Ottawa has faced some hardships due to the public sector austerity measures that have taken place over the last three years. However the vast majority of the cuts to employment have occurred and employment figures have stabilized. Tourism is also a key component to the city’s economic health as it is widely recognized that the tourism industry is the region’s third largest employer. It is estimated that tourists currently spend $300 million dollars in the region.
The City of Ottawa has various retail nodes with the most notable being the Downtown/Byward Market area, the Glebe area that is located at the southern edge of the citys downtown area, the western suburban market which includes Kanata, and finally the Westboro area that is located on the western fringe of the downtown area. Westboro currently commands the highest street retail rents in the city, with new retail asking close to $50 per square foot.
CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICTHome to the CF Rideau Centre, the city’s premier enclosed shopping mall. The majority of the other retail in the Central Business District caters to the office worker who completes the majority of their shopping over the lunch hours. As a result you will find numerous coffee chains, drug stores, and places to eat. As downtown condominiums continue to rise it is expected that the retail landscape will evolve as people work, and increasingly begin to live, in the downtown core area.
THE BYWARD MARKETThis area is directly adjacent to the downtown core. Popular with locals and tourists alike this area boosts a multitude of restaurants, boutiques, and speciality food stores. Within just a four block area marks the highest concentration of bars, restaurants, and nightclubs located in the entire city.
THE GLEBEOne of the more trendier areas of the city, the Glebe is located to the south of the downtown and reaches to the Rideau Canal. The stretch of Bank Street that runs through the Glebe is home to numerous local shops, cafes, and boutiques. Landsdowne Park is on the southern edge of this neighbourhood and just completed a major redevelopment that includes 360,000 sf of retail space.
WESTBORO VILLAGEWestboro is the newest, and currently the hottest, area in the city. This neighbourhood boosts an eceltic mix of both local speciality shops and national retailers such as Lululemon, Mountain Equipment Co-op, and Bushtakah.
CF RIDEAU CENTRELocated in the downtown core CF Rideau Centre recently completed a $250 million expansion and renovation and in 2015 was ranked 8th in Canada in terms of productivity with sales of $1,018 per square foot. Based on this it is no surprise that this centre is the preferred destination for new, particularly high-end, retailers arriving in Ottawa with recent entrees that include Coach, Michael Kors, Tiffany & Co., and Kate Spade . In early 2015 Nordstrom opened one of its first Canadian locations in the Rideau Centre.
BAYSHORE SHOPPING CENTREThis mall is located in the western suburbs of the city and like CF Rideau Centre has just undergone a $200 million expansion and renovation which added 300,000 sf of retail space. Each year close to 7 million people visit the centre and is home to tenants such as The Apple Store, Forever 21, and notable women’s fashion retailer White House Black Market, which recently opened their first Eastern Ontario location at Bayshore.
TANGER OUTLET MALLOttawa’s first, and only, outlet mall opened in the fall of 2014 in the suburb of Kanata. It is comprised of 292,000 sf of retail and includes 75 designer retailer outlets such as Nike, Calvin Klein, Gap, Tommy Hilfiger, and more recently Saks Fifth Avenue off 5th. Plans are in the works for a Phase II which would include a variety of stand alone restaurants and a hotel.
|KEY AREAS / STREETS/SHOPPING CENTERS||CONSUMER PROFILE||MAJOR RETAILERS PRESENT||NEW ENTRANTS||TYPICAL RENT FOR UNIT OF 2,000 SQFT||RANGE OF UNIT SIZES|
|CF Rideau Centre||CBD employees, tourists, students, locals||The Bay, Old Navy, Apple, Michael Kors, Coach||Nordstrom, Kate Spade, Tiffany & Co., Simons||$100-$120 psf||All Sizes|
|The Byward Market||CBD employees, tourists, students, locals||Roots, Chapters||Urban Outfitters||$25-$45 psf||1,000-2,000 sf|
|The Glebe||Locals, artists||Moore’s, Sleep Country||Whole Foods, Sporting Life, Winners||$30-$40 psf||1,000-2,000 sf|
|Westboro Village||Trendsetters, locals, fitness enthusiasts||Lululemon, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Bushtakah||$30-$40 psf||1,000-2,000 sf|
Data as of October 2016
Ottawa has more restaurants per capital than almost anywhere else in the country. No matter what your taste or budget, there is a restaurant, bistro, or cafe that will suit what you are looking for.
Casual dining options dominate the local restaurant landscape. However there are a few notable exceptions. The most well known is Beckta Dining & Wine. This fine dining establishment has been consistently voted the number one restaurant in Ottawa and is praised for being both delicious and inventive – making a table at this establishment the most sought over in town.
The city is probably most well know for its local establishments, as opposed to the larger Canadian and International chains. However the landscape is changing. In the past couple of years Five Guys Burgers and Fries have opened up numerous locations within the city. The redevelopment of Landsdowne Park has also attracted new restaurant chains to the city such as Joey, Local Public Eatery, and South St. Burger.
|KEY AREAS||CONSUMER PROFILE||FOOD & BEVERAGE OPERATORS INCLUDING||RENT FOR 3,500 SQFT UNIT|
|CBD/Byward Market||Mix of tourist-oriented restaurants/bars along with upscale restaurants||Beckta, Hard Rock Café, The Courtyard, The Keg, Social, Empire Grill||$35.00 - $40.00|
|Elgin Street||Mix of restaurants, pubs, and nightclubs||Elgin Street Diner, Lieutenant’s Pump, Johnny Farina, Anthony’s, town||$20.00 - $35.00|
|Westboro||Trendy and upscale||The Works, Trio Lounge, Fratelli’s, Milagro Grill||$30.00-$40.00|
|Hintonberg/West Wellington Village||Up and coming neighbourhood||Back Lane Café, Hintonburger, Hintonberg Public House, Tennessy Willems||$35.00 - $40.00|
|Little Italy||Mix of tourists and locals||Giovanni’s, La Dolce Vita, Pub Italia, La Roma Restaurant||$20.00-$40.00|
Data as of October 2016