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Rents for prime retail space in Canada’s swankiest fashion districts may seem high by Canadian standards, but the most expensive storefronts in the country are still being rented at bargain-basement prices compared to other global centres.


Montreal’s Saint Catherine Street and Toronto’s Bloor Street districts were the priciest in the country, with average lease rates at $294.12 (U.S.) a square foot. The cost of space placed the cities in a tie for 32nd place in the world, sandwiched between Honolulu and Amsterdam.


Globally, space along the Champs Élysées in Paris was the most expensive at $1,255.90 a square foot. New York’s Fifth Avenue, Hong Kong’s Russell Street and London’s Bond Street all saw rents higher than $1,100 a square foot.


“Regardless of what is happening in suburban shopping malls and on secondary streets, there’ll be strong demand for the number one retail street in most markets,” said Jim Smerdon, director of retail and strategic planning with Colliers International, which did the survey.


“When you look at who the retailers are on these streets in Canada, for the most part they’re many of the same stores we see in regional shopping centers, but with a higher volume of sales and in high street locations, they are willing to pay significantly more rent to be there.”


Vancouver’s Robson Street sat in 51st place, at $196.08. Other Canadian sites included Calgary’s 17th Avenue SW ($73.53), Edmonton’ downtown ($44.12), Halifax’s Spring Garden Road ($49.02), Ottawa’s Byward Market ($49.02), Saskatoon’s 21st Street E. ($27.45) and Victoria’s Government Street ($10.77).


Toronto and Halifax were the only Canadian markets to see prices rise in Canadian dollar terms, 7.14 per cent 5.26 per cent respectively. Calgary’s rents dropped 25 per cent, Vancouver pulled back 16.67 per cent and Victoria’s rents fell 10.77 per cent.


The other cities saw no change.


(Courtesy of The Globe and Mail)


I am quite surprised Montreal and Honolulu were so close together. Plus Oahu quite expensive, but I guess compared to other islands its cheaper.

Honolulu has way more high end boutiques. Even Ala Moana shopping mall full of high end stores.

The most predominate tourist in these high end boutiques are Japanese or were. Seeing I haven't been to Honolulu in quite a while. Last time I was there. There was more and more Russians. Could have changed, more Chinese could have been coming also.


Plus I am also surprised Montreal and Toronto were tied. I would have thought Toronto would have been a few hundred bucks more expensive.

Edited by jesseps
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Toronto's Bloor St. and Montreal's Ste. Catherine St. are Canada's most expensive retail corridors, according to Colliers International's 2010 Global Retail Report, released yesterday.


Ste. Catherine St. is tied in 32nd position with Toronto's Bloor St. on the global list of shopping hot spots.


Merchants in the two most popular Canadian shopping areas pay an average lease rate of $300 per square foot, according to the report.


The 2010 Winter Olympic festivities in Vancouver were not enough for the city's marquee retail stroll -Robson St., with its average rate of $200 per square foot -to overtake Toronto and Montreal's premier retail streets on the list.


Jim Smerdon, director of retail and strategic planning with Colliers, said the retailers themselves set the lease rates according to the importance of the location.


"The hallmark of strong retail streets is a blend of the size of the market, things like accessibility and parking, and a host of intangibles such as the history of the street as a commercial destination," he said.


Even though Toronto is larger than Montreal and the commercial capital of Canada with more head offices and wealthy residents, it's not surprising that Ste. Catherine St.'s shops can command the same rent, Smerdon said.


Ste. Catherine St., which is often thick with pedestrians night and day, is an experience, he acknowledged.


"Montreal is more of a destination for shoppers than Toronto is ... and Ste. Catherine is more of a lifestyle experience," he said.


In 31st spot on the Colliers list was Honolulu's Kalakaua Ave. and 33rd spot was occupied by Amsterdam's Kalverstraat.


The report shows that Canada's most exclusive streets are a bargain compared with the world's priciest, in such places as Paris, New York, Hong Kong and London, where rates per square foot exceed $1,000.


Topping the list was the Champs Elysees in Paris, with an average lease rate of about $1,256. All figures in the report are in U.S. dollars.


The information comes from surveys and material supplied by Colliers staff in 61 countries, Smerdon said.


(Courtesy of The Montreal Gazette)

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