Ottawa Retail Market on Target for Growth

Ottawa’s commercial retail market has plenty of room for growth as Target and several other new outlets prepare to introduce near unprecedented growth in the number of options available to local consumers.

Some of the new names that are coming to Ottawa storefronts will include Target, H&M, Nordstrom, Whole Foods and possibly Simons.

Additionally, several business improvement areas (including those for Sparks Street and Bank Street) have been looking at getting more high-pull tenants on to their streets.

H&M already opened a store at Bayshore in October, and Target stores have opened several locations within the Ottawa area. Target will replace the Zellers market that the Canadian retailer vacated in the wake of Target’s takeover

Meanwhile, Lansdowne Park is being redeveloped into a shopping complex, a Bayshore Shopping Centre expansion is under way and the Rideau Centre is seeing big changes in the wake of Sears Co. and Empire Theatres vacating their large spaces.


The city of Ottawa is a mid-price, mid-quality retail market.

Several statistics about Ottawa’s commercial retail space point to a market that is in need of growth.

– Most cities in North America have 30 per cent of their space as big-box retail. Ottawa’s is 24 per cent.

– Ottawa’s average price of $485 per square foot is far above the North American average of $400 per square foot in most cities.

– In the industry, the norm is to have 30 to 40 square feet of retail space per resident. Ottawa’s is 28 square feet.

– Ottawa’s vacancy rate of three per cent is below the industry standard of eight to 10 per cent.

He did not cite any region of the city that would benefit any more than another, but said the big challenge for most BIAs is to find specialty stores, ones that will cater to the local neighbourhood, since they cannot compete with the indoor shopping malls.

Lansdowne has its own challenges, as it is hampered by poor transit access and a lack of parking.

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  • Anonymous

    Please…oh please… bring Whole Foods here

Disclaimer: has No Affiliation with the City of Ottawa or the OSEG. We are a local blog providing news & sports updates on Lansdowne Park.