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Massive new Target store coming to downtown Toronto

Posted by Derek Flack / March 20, 2014

Target downtown torontoTarget has announced plans to build a massive new anchor store in downtown Toronto. Part of the sweeping development at the foot of York Street known as Harbour Plaza, the retail outlet is slated to occupy 145,000 square feet, a significantly larger presence than the company's "City" branded stores in the US, which are at least somewhat scaled to the urban milieu in which they're located. Not so here. On the contrary, this will be one of the biggest Target locations in Canada.

That's good news if you live in one of the many condos south of Front Street, but it also raises some concerns about how the area is being developed. Even as the neighbourhood we've mostly agreed to call South Core has seen a rise in amenities over the last couple of years, the retail presence still lags well behind the residential boom. This, no doubt, is why the location is so attractive to the company. Still, a bit of diversity might not be a bad thing.

Along with Target, Harbour Plaza will feature an additional 50,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, a number that pales in comparison to what's allotted for the superstore. On the bright side, the presence of the retail complex will extend the PATH southward when it opens in late 2016. That should increase the connectedness of the condo-heavy area south of Front and send a hell of a lot of people through Target.

What do you think? Will this be a welcome addition to South Core?

Photo by jp1958 in the blogTO Flickr pool

Discussion

44 Comments

annakarenina / March 20, 2014 at 10:05 am
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amazing.
Tracey / March 20, 2014 at 10:18 am
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***groan*** _ really ?
BillyO / March 20, 2014 at 10:20 am
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I both live and work in the area and though I doubt I'll be a regulator shopper, it definitely will do well here.

And before anyone starts with 'toronto is so lame, no big cites have target downtown' Chicago got one last year (about the same size prominently on State Street - their equivalent of Yonge) and more are planned for DC, Bay Area and maybe even NYC
Ryan / March 20, 2014 at 10:27 am
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WalMart or Target; the time is now, heroes.

https://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/the-good-people-of-toronto-turn-honest-ed-s-into-a-walmart

I look forward to your support.
Soren / March 20, 2014 at 10:27 am
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This will enhance the waterfront because cheap stuff.
Drew replying to a comment from Ryan / March 20, 2014 at 10:36 am
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You think a petition can force a private developer to change plans and sell the building to Walmart?
Bay St. Guy / March 20, 2014 at 10:39 am
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Oh god, I live (admittedly rent) right there. Looks like I know when I need to move by. Nothing against the store per so but I have no idea how the infrastructure down there is going to support the every increasing traffic. Is there anyone at city hall who considers infrastructure/population density or do they just focus on superfluous nonsense like, this building's taller than the ones around it.

It's already a disaster and they're opening three enormous buildings at essentially the same intersection.
Whil those carts are HUGE... / March 20, 2014 at 10:39 am
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...I'm still not entirely sure they'll be able to hold all of Rob and Doug's weekly crack/booze shipments.
Ryan replying to a comment from Drew / March 20, 2014 at 10:45 am
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Do you have problems reading anything longer than a Buzzfeed article?
Addie / March 20, 2014 at 10:46 am
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Sure there will be naysayers, but I like this. We already have a Wal-Mart at Dufferin Mall, and I for one want a discount store that isn't small, cramped, and packed but also doesn't require me to go to Mississauga.
Dogma / March 20, 2014 at 10:46 am
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Meh
Todd / March 20, 2014 at 10:47 am
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I think it's fantastic that the developers pursued another Canadian company to move into a new build downtown, to go alongside other prominent Canadian companies that lend their diversity of goods to our downtown core, like Starbucks, H&M, The Gap, American Apparel, Best Buy, Five Guys, Wendy's, McDonalds, 7-11, Old Navy, Marshall's, and Carl's freaking Jr. I guess it's a good thing that small American start ups don't even get a call back from developers when inquiring about leasing space in new builds.

Last Canadian retailer left in the core, please turn out the lights before we surrender our passports and get new American ones.

Andrew / March 20, 2014 at 10:48 am
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Almost any development that extends the PATH system is a good development in my eyes. I seldom walk the streets of Toronto but when I do I take advantage of the PATH anytime in winter.
Mike / March 20, 2014 at 10:55 am
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At least Target is cleaner and better organized than Wal-mart. It makes for a better shopping experience.
Ivy / March 20, 2014 at 11:06 am
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I thought I'd be happy about Target but every time I've visited one in the Toronto area, I've gotten the heebie-jeebies. I just don't like it there and I'll likely stick to shopping at the combo of stores I currently frequent (Canadian Tire, etc.)
lister / March 20, 2014 at 11:07 am
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Yay! I live and work downtown so one less trip out to the 'burbs.
Drew replying to a comment from Ryan / March 20, 2014 at 11:16 am
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Do you have problems reading and answering the questions posed at you when asking for support?

If you come on here to self promote your idea/petition and say you appreciate the support, than at least be able to answer the question posed at you before one supports. Clearly you don't appreciate the support your just tagging your article on this one hoping to get some free cheap traffic and easy signatures.

Forget it. I can easily walk to the Walmart from Bloor and Bathurst to Dufferin mall in 20mins, or can easily ride a bike or take ttc. NO NEED.
Donnie replying to a comment from Drew / March 20, 2014 at 11:23 am
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Dew don't engage this clown. 4 supporters in 5 months HA HA HA clearly its a joke don't waste your time there.
Ravi / March 20, 2014 at 11:25 am
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The Safety and Security of big money can't be beat. Frankly though this is a terrible idea for Canada. It exports our money to a USA company. It's like we're the colony for the USA empire.
Ravi / March 20, 2014 at 11:27 am
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To clarify ::

It exports the Big money ( CEO salaries, top food chain ) to USA. I'm not talking about the peanuts salaries.
Chris / March 20, 2014 at 11:33 am
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what a pile of crap. why are citizens never asked their opinions on these issues? This is the first I think most of us are hearing about a Target and I for one would have preferred Oxford Place to this cheap box store. If there was any doubt that our city planners are absolute idiots this clarifies it...
Perry Como / March 20, 2014 at 11:41 am
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This store will not do well. Target has been a total failure ever since coming to canada. The location is horrible.
KM / March 20, 2014 at 12:06 pm
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Why won't they build one that is actually accessible to people? I do not currently have a car, and each location requires at least 3 transfers on the TTC and a very long period of time to get to (minus any delays). Plus, if I purchase anything there's the lot trip home with bags. This store falls under the same category.
Ryan replying to a comment from Drew / March 20, 2014 at 12:10 pm
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WHOOSH
Layz bag / March 20, 2014 at 12:18 pm
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Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.
Ali replying to a comment from KM / March 20, 2014 at 12:21 pm
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Not sure where you've chosen to live, but this new location will be minutes from both my home and work, by walking, so I'm all for it. I don't care if it's a Target or a Walmart or a Joe's store - as long as I can get the stuff I need at a reasonable price.
iSkyscraper / March 20, 2014 at 12:31 pm
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Viewed from the perspective of the real world, this is pretty great news. Go elsewhere to cry over the consolidation of so many former great names in the dept store business (Hudsons, Eatons, Simpsons, Filene's, Marshall Fields...) That's just the state of the world of retail today.

What matters is that in Toronto department stores are opening, not closing. Nordstrom is replacing Sears (hardly a straight swap), Saks will be shoehorned on top of the Bay and now a new Target. Show me another downtown with three 150,000+ department stores under construction. Most cities are just trying not to lose theirs:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/22/us-sears-chicago-idUSBREA0L01420140122
http://www.stltoday.com/business/columns/building-blocks/macy-s-to-close-downtown-st-louis-store/article_a98b2c16-508a-5167-bed2-0b279c249039.html
http://www.minnpost.com/two-cities/2013/01/macys-reportedly-close-its-downtown-st-paul-department-store
http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/business&;id=9021211

The new Target should be very comparable to their recent downtown stores in the US, some of which are just as large:

http://www.livesoma.com/2012/10/10/inside-city-target-metreon-photos/
http://articles.latimes.com/2012/oct/15/business/la-fi-target-downtown-20121015
http://www.miamibeach411.com/news/target-miami-opening
http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200110/09_hughesa_newtarget/
http://www.oregonlive.com/window-shop/index.ssf/2012/10/downtown_portland_target_to_op.html

A good sign for the health of the core. Next up: someone please lease Apple a proper flagship store - the city deserves better than a suburban-type mall shop.
Astin / March 20, 2014 at 12:48 pm
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My biggest concern here is the traffic.

The store isn't going to be some giant red box, it will likely be a Target sign on the outside glass of One York. It's not in an area that's hurting local merchants or wiping out heritage. It is providing retail to a still under-served area that keeps adding residents.

But at that size, it's clearly gunning for more than the local condo-dwellers and downtown workers. It's also Target, so public transit and pedestrian/bike traffic isn't going to work for a lot of purchases. This means cars have to be accommodated, which means traffic, which is just going to be ugly.
hugh replying to a comment from Ryan / March 20, 2014 at 01:48 pm
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Careful with posting links online that contain your full name, others can find your profiles on linked in etc.
NativeTorontonianAl replying to a comment from Ravi / March 20, 2014 at 02:36 pm
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You nailed it, especially with your last line about being a colony. To the USA and the UK. That's what some have been saying and what others still don't see. It's either a colony or cash-cow/testing ground. That's far from being a true developed place. No balls. A true country and developed one is one that has balls and identity.
fwef / March 20, 2014 at 03:39 pm
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why all the negs
Alex replying to a comment from Perry Como / March 20, 2014 at 03:50 pm
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Agreed! I went to one in GTA about 8 months after they opened. The store just didn't have quality merchandise I would see in Target USA, it was dirty and the employees were very absent. Nothing about it makes me want to go back.
Hank / March 20, 2014 at 04:22 pm
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Thats because you went in a Target that was formally a run down Zellers. This will be a completely new Flagship store. Also this is a great location, this will be more convienient and provide competition for the Loblaws Joe fresh at QueensQway and Jarvis.
Jess / March 20, 2014 at 04:25 pm
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Agreed Hank. Great location waterfront is packed all summer long and I hate the walk over to Loblaws
Okay / March 20, 2014 at 05:35 pm
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The Waterfront is nothing more than a vertical suburb. Building a massive Target out of scope like this will just further cement the area as being a isolated mess from the rest of the city.

Also, it doesn't help that the Target Canada launch was botched either. Target tried to give is a knock-off version of the USA stores and Canadians quickly realized it was a bait-and-switch and have largely stayed away (in lower numbers then the firm expected). Many say that downtown Toronto has too much retail -- and now I am starting to agree.

Many of the new condo towers have the bottom retail with many 'For Lease' signs. At least with the office development going up you can see a lot of demand as the units get swooped up quickly, vacancy rates are very low, but this is the exact opposite of the retail scene which has a abundance of supply present.
J.L. / March 20, 2014 at 07:08 pm
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The one in downtown Minneapolis is really nice, it's two levels, and because most of the affluence has left downtown, it's become a busy store that makes a lot of money. More people today shop at Target than at Sak's Fifth Avenue, or Marshall Field's or those types of stores.

Gee replying to a comment from Chris / March 20, 2014 at 07:13 pm
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"why are citizens never asked their opinions on these issues? " Chris, actually they are - when someone shops there. Some people don't like chain stores, but someone must like them, because lots of them are the most successful retailers in the country.
LC replying to a comment from Hank / March 20, 2014 at 07:15 pm
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Hank, Target Canada's problems extend beyond the physical (ugly) stores. The shelves are empty or massed out with one or two items, prices are high. Target Canada was arrogant and misjudged the Canadian retail market.

And BillyO, the Target in downtown Chicago is in the historic Carson Pirie Scott storefront so it's a pre-existing department store location and facade. It's the equivallent of Target opening in the Bay at Queen and Yonge. They did a wonderful job of preserving the old store's architecture.
linden / March 20, 2014 at 07:58 pm
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I went to Target at Square One, once, and it looked like your tipical suburbian store, just another Wallmar but less packed. I don't really picture Target at One York. Waterfront residents have more class.
Reg / March 20, 2014 at 09:46 pm
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SO Sobeys in Maple Leaf Square and Loblaws Joe Fresh on QueensQuay and Jarvis makes sense?

Lukas / March 21, 2014 at 01:24 am
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It doesn't really matter....in my opinion it will not last. there will be one hot minute of interest and then like most of the other Targets in Canada it will simply be empty and void of shoppers. You can get better deals at Metro or Shoppers Drug Mart or even Walmart if you wish to shop at a box store. I have been in 3 GTA Targets just to check out what the fuss is about...and I tell you what Zellers was better. American's may do it bigger..but Canadians do it better.
Randy / March 26, 2014 at 12:46 pm
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Target Canada's been itching like a crakhead to break into the downtown area. Theyre well aware of the growing condo market dwellers. Which is kinda ironic since their demographic are moms with kids. Downtown aint exactly known for housing families, just yonge+eligibles. This could be their game-changer. It aint like Toronto people are havin kids. Target knows this and is prolly eyeing the new batch of ppl: ignorant overeducated silver-spoonfed trust-fund adults still mooching off their just-as-clueless moms/dads who never taught them any manners. Im guessing this new target will be filled with the soon-to-be-fired, tony fisher-esque tra$h like starbukz, video games, really $hitty electronics, tight clothing, microwave dishes and LOT$ of medication and makeup, to help keep up appearances.
Perry Como / May 9, 2014 at 11:19 am
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bring back honest eds
Manuel replying to a comment from Bay St. Guy / August 15, 2014 at 10:18 am
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I totally agree, I think they need to do something with infrastructure now, it is going to be a mess.

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