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Copier-Coller du Site AppleInsider.com Apple Inc. is finalizing plans for its first Canadian flagship shop, a spacious multi-story retail outlet to be located in the heart of Montreal, a source tells AppleInsider. The Cupertino-based gadget maker is reported to have secured some 9,300 square feet of space along the 1300 block of Rue Ste-Catherine Ouest, where it plans to heavily alter -- but not raze -- an existing structure. According to a set of initial design plans, the company has proposed that the ground floor of the building be raised and that existing column structures on the property be relocated. Plans also call for the building to receive a new roof and stainless steel facade. On the interior, Apple's proposal calls for two stories of retail sales space to be joined by a trademark glass staircases, similar to the one found at its SoHo, New York and Regent Street, London locations. Office space, a back-end stock room, and bathroom facilities will consume a portion of the 9,300 square feet, trimming the retail sales area to approximately 8,000 -- leaving the Montreal location a couple thousand square feet short of Apple's Manhattan-based shops. Although Apple presently operates four retail locations in Canada, none of the stores are designated as flagship locations. Montreal would represent just the 10th high-profile location for Apple, joining its eight existing flagships spread across the U.S., U.K., and Japan, as well as a ninth under development in Manhattan's Meatpacking district. Apple's flagship shops have been strategically placed in the world's most densely populated shopping districts and are conceived as projections of the Apple brand with their architecture and interior design. Each year, the company spends an undisclosed sum on marketing costs for the the high-profile locations, ranging up to $10 million. Unexpected delays withstanding, Apple hopes to begin operating out of the Montreal location during the summer or early fall of next year, according to the source.