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Canada’s 5 Most Expensive Retail Corridors

Toronto Retail

A report out yesterday from Cushman & Wakefield ranks the world’s most expensive main streets based on retail rents. Here are this nation’s five priciest places to set up shop.

1. Bloor Street West (Toronto)


Price per square foot: $325

Action: Bloor Street—where Morguard plans a 71-storey residential tower rising behind a revamped flagship Holt Renfrew (above), and The One will have nine levels of luxury retail in TO's next tallest tower—is this country’s costliest retail corridor. But it can’t hold a candle to New York’s Fifth Avenue, which has the world's highest rents: $3,500 per SF.

2. Robson Street (Vancouver)


Price per square foot: $210

Action: Women’s fashion boutique Aritzia plans to expand its presence on Robson, one of the busiest retail centres in Vancouver, joining a host of other high-end shops that have recently opened along that stretch, including Sephora, L'Occitane and Lululemon Athletica. And Roots Canada is expanding its flagship there.

3. Ste-Catherine Street West (Montreal)


Price per square foot: $180

Action: Montreal’s main drag—home to the Centre Eaton (above), and new arrivals COS and Victoria’s Secret mega-store—will be undergoing a public realm revamp as the city tears up the street to replace aging infrastructure. This will bring new life to the aging boulevard, with more trees, heated sidewalks, free WiFi and street furniture.

4. Queen Street West (Toronto)


Price per square foot: $110

Action: Toronto’s second-most-expensive retail corridor, and stomping ground for the city’s hipster population, Queen West is where Anthropologie recently opened its fourth Toronto location in an old church (above), and where MEC will be relocating its King Street flagship, citing the opportunity to be a part of a “vibrant retail destination.”

5. 17th Avenue SW (Calgary)


Price per square foot: $50

ActionCowtown's official retail and entertainment district (nicknamed the Red Mile during the Flames’ 2004 playoff run), 17th Avenue has seen the arrival of a host of high-end retailers in the past year, including Frank & Oak, West Elm and luxury goods shop Modern Duke (provincial rival Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue is $43 per square foot).