Toronto is Canada’s largest market with the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) making up over 15% of the country’s population. In addition to being a gateway to the rest of Canada’s increasingly affluent population, Toronto is attractive for retail growth given the city’s sophisticated, globetrotting residents who reside in a thriving, prosperous urban environment.

The retail real estate market in the GTA continues to be a bright light in the gloom of the ongoing recession, with high demand, low vacancy rates and rising rental rates. The sustained success of the retail market has brought investment levels into the market that reached new heights in 2011.

Vacancy rates for street front retail continues to decline and sits at about 9%. Power centers and regional malls are doing even better with a vacancy of about 3%. While smaller neighborhood malls have vacancies of approximately 8.5%, some under-performing strip centers are being sold and redeveloped into mixed-use projects. With vacancies at such low levels, rental rates in most categories increased in 2011 by an average of 3% from 2010.

The GTA retail investment markets took over 23% of the total commercial investment in 2011, accounting for $3 billion dollars of sales. Pension funds, which sat on the sidelines last year, have been very active in the market. The average cost of retail real estate was $368 psf with an average cap rate of approximately 6.5%.

Cushman & Wakefield Inc, Toronto

loading map - please wait...

Queen Street West: 43.648311, -79.398365
Spadina Avenue: 43.648684, -79.396391
Eaton Centre at Yonge-Dundas: 43.656025, -79.380257
Bloor Street West: 43.669300, -79.391670
Yonge-Eglinton: 43.707027, -79.398732
Sherway Gardens shopping centre: 43.609813, -79.558011
Yorkdale Shopping Centre: 43.725599, -79.452696
Vaughan Mills: 43.827344, -79.547195
Square One shopping center: 43.593041, -79.642797
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo

Eaton Centre at Yonge-Dundas

The Eaton Centre at Yonge-Dundas is Canada’s largest downtown mall and a focal point of the central core, boasting a sales productivity of $1,300 per SF.
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo


Yonge-Eglinton is the city’s uptown retail market, and has become a major center due to the influx of young, urban professionals living in the area.
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo

Yorkdale Shopping Centre

Yorkdale Shopping Centre, located on the northern fringe of the central city, has begun a major expansion of 140,000 sf that will increase its footprint by 10% and allow for the addition of new luxury brands. The expansion space is already fully leased.
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo

Queen Street West

Queen Street West is the most urban, young, and trendy of all retail markets in the GTA featuring many independent, hip boutiques alongside established design conscious brands.
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo

Spadina Avenue

Spadina Avenue, intersecting with Queen Street West, caters to city residents of Chinatown and the downtown with urban, gritty, and eclectic independent retailers.
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo

Square One shopping center

Like Sherway Gardens, Square One shopping center also caters to mass market consumer profiles with a range of offerings from mid to upmarket outlets with a large catchment area extending north and west from the GTA.
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo

Sherway Gardens shopping center

Sherway Gardens shopping center caters to mass market consumer profiles with a range of offerings from mid to upmarket outlets with a large catchment area extending north and west from the GTA.
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo

Vaughan Mills

Vaughan Mills is the city's home of tourist and entertainment attractions and provides a mix of factory outlets and concept stores, making it a paradise for fashionistas and recessionists alike.
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo

Bloor Street West and Yorkville

Bloor Street West, and adjacent Yorkville, make up the city’s most upscale retail market and demand Canada’s highest retail rents, a 2011 average of $315 psf.

Yonge/Dundas (Eaton Centre) Mass market Sears, Indigo, Apple, Old Navy, Forever 21, Abercrombie & Fitch J. Crew, Juicy Couture $50 PSF/ANNUM 800 to 8,000 SF
Queen Street West Trendy, young consumers Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, Parasuco, Structube, Lululemon, independent boutiques, music stores CB2 $95 PSF/ANNUM 800 to 5,000 SF
Spadina Avenue Lively retail, food and leisure area catering to downtown and Chinatown residents, visitors Large stock of independent retailers with an eclectic mix of food, apparel, electronics, discount outlets Various Independents $30 PSF/ANNUM 500 to 10,000 SF
Bloor Street Luxury and designer conscious Gucci, Tiffany, Holt Renfrew, Cartier Victorinox, Intermix $315 PSF/ANNUM 500 to 25,000 SF
Yonge & Eglinton Local mid-to-upmarket residents. Young, urban professionals Indigo, Toys’R’Us, Metro, Kitchen Stuff Plus, Black’s Urban Outfitters $55 PSF/ANNUM 1,200 to 10,000 SF
Yorkdale Shopping Centre Increasingly upscale, luxury alongside mass market Apple, Williams-Sonoma, Gap, Sears, MAC, The Bay, Banana Republic, Holt Renfrew Cartier, Topshop $160-$200 PSF/ANNUM 3,000 to 15,000 SF
Sherway Gardens Shopping Centre Mass market Abercrombie & Fitch, Foot Locker, American Eagle, Guess, The Bay Forever 21 $100-$130 PSF/ANNUM 2,000 to 15,000 SF
Square One Shopping Centre Mass market American Eagle, H&M, Apple, Sephora, Running Room Zara, Michael Kors $100 PSF/ANNUM 1,500 to 15,000 SF
Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre Mass market (factory outlets and concept stores)Adidas, Champs, Guess, BCBG, Gap, H&M, Lacoste Stitches, Sunglass Hut $75 PSF/ANNUM 5,000 to 15,000 SF

Data as of August 2012

Canada is blessed with a multicultural population and abundant food retailers, offering a full range of global cuisine at all price points.

New, increasingly health-conscious brands entering the Fast Food market include Toronto-wide Freshii and Sandwich Box.

Continuing to hold casual dining market presence are Canadian chains Jack Astors and Milestone with recent expansion overlooking Yonge-Dundas square.

Hero Burger, South St. Burger and Big Smoke Burger are all taking over the fast food quality burger category with locations GTA-wide.

The Eaton Centre has recently completed a $48 million renovation to its foot court. The “Urban Eatery” includes express locations of Toronto restaurants, including Indian brand Amaya and vegetarian brand Urban Herbivore.

Fine dining chain Oliver & Bonacini continues to build its mid-market focus with Bannock at Yonge-Queen in The Bay, Canteen at the TIFF Centre and their chain of O&B Cafes expanding at Yonge-Front and Bayview Village.

Origin, located in the St. Lawrence Market area and opened by executive chef Claudio Aprile of Colborne Lane, has recently announced expansion plans into Liberty Village and Bayview Village for 2012.

Casual fine dining brands currently experiencing growth include Teroni, Pizza Libretto, and Guu with outlets strategically placed in trendy, exciting parts of the city like Queen Street West, the Danforth, the Annex and Yonge-Summerhill.

Downtown West Entertainment district. Trendy night clubs Mid Range $30 PSF/ANNUM
Downtown Financial Core Business crowd. Theatre district All Categories $40 to $70 PSF/ANNUM
College Street Trendy, lively and leisure district Mid Range $25 PSF/ANNUM
Downtown East Primarily services local condo dwellers Mid Range $25 PSF/ANNUM
Yonge & Eglinton Young professionals, singles, bar scene Mid to High End $40 PSF/ANNUM
Danforth Avenue Multi cultural dinningLow to Mid Range $30 PSF/ANNUM
Bloor/Yorkville Upscale dinningMid to High End $45 - 55 PSF/ANNUM
Yonge & Eglinton Entertainment district. Trendy night clubs Mid Range $30 PSF/ANNUM

Data as of August 2012