Rideau Centre entrance, 2019
|Address||50 Rideau Street|
|Opening date||March 16, 1983|
|Developer||Viking Rideau, Eaton's|
|No. of stores and services||180|
|Total retail floor area||1,545,113 sq ft (143,545.7 m2)|
|No. of floors||4|
|Parking||1,590 spaces in two indoor lots and a surface lot|
|Public transit access||Rideau STO|
The Rideau Centre (French: Centre Rideau) (corporately styled as CF Rideau Centre) is a four-level shopping centre on Rideau Street in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It borders on Rideau Street, the ByWard Market, the Rideau Canal, the Mackenzie King Bridge, and Nicholas Street in Downtown Ottawa. Over 20 million people visit the mall annually. It is the largest shopping mall and the main transit hub in the National Capital Region. The Rideau Centre complex has approximately 180 retailers, a 487-room Westin Hotel, a rooftop park, and the Shaw Centre (formerly the Ottawa Convention Centre). Independently operated from the mall, Hudson's Bay is linked via a skywalk, while the National Defence Headquarters building is linked through an underground tunnel.
During its construction from 1981 to 1982, the construction of the Rideau Centre is speculated to have been largely controversial and widely opposed by local residents & business owners, as a whole block of stores south of Hudson's Bay Company's "The Bay" on Rideau Street would've required demolishing, solely to make room for the new building, and vehicle traffic was most likely to increase substantially upon its completion. The Eaton's department store chain, one of the partners in the development, faced intense local opposition when it attempted to rename the mall the "Rideau Eaton Centre" while it was under construction, eventually backing down as a result of the backlash. The mall was officially opened on March 16, 1983.
On September 26, 2013, Cadillac Fairview began the expansion of the 30-year-old shopping centre. The redevelopment project expanded the Rideau Centre by 230,000 square feet and renovated retail and dining spaces. A key feature of the redevelopment project was a 35,000-square-foot dining hall offering 16 eating establishments, seating for 850 people, and reusable dinnerware, glassware, and metal cutlery. The projected cost of the redevelopment project was CA$360 million.
As part of the renovation, Tiffany & Co., Kate Spade New York, and Stuart Weitzman opened locations in the mall. Large retailers added during the redevelopment included a 153,725 sq. ft. Nordstrom and a 103,874 sq. ft. Simons. Across the street, the Hudson's Bay Company announced plans for major renovations following the announcement of Nordstrom's opening; the 335,000 sq. ft. downtown flagship will be completely overhauled. This expansion has prompted many retailers already in the Rideau Centre to pursue renovations. Stores such as Harry Rosen have undergone major renovations, capitalizing on the Ottawa area's density of high income salaried government employees. While the Rideau Centre does not have plans to focus on high-end luxury, the company says that the city is more of an “aspirational luxury” marketplace, one step removed from shops such as Louis Vuitton and Prada. Aside from the retail and interior space additions and renovations, the redesigned centre included significant façade enhancements along Rideau Street including a refurbished Charles Ogilvy heritage façade. The interior renovation included new quartz flooring, enhanced lighting, glass guardrails and improved amenities. The two pedestrian bridges crossing Rideau St were taken down, with one being demolished and the other renovated. The expansion at the Rideau Centre opened to the public on August 11, 2016, bringing the total retail floor area to over 969,000 sq. ft.
Rideau Centre security and maintenance staff have been the subject of a number of controversies. In 2002, security staff handcuffed and detained two men for carrying an Israeli flag to enforce a mall rule prohibiting political signs. The men claimed that abusive comments were made towards them as Jews, but a police investigation was unable to sustain the allegations of anti-semitic abuse. In 2011, security staff handcuffed and detained a man who was attempting to cancel a gym membership. The man was released when police arrived, and the Rideau Centre's tenant GoodLife Fitness suffered a media backlash over the incident. That year, nine people, including a former Speaker of the House of Commons and other dignitaries, were trapped for more than an hour and a half in the mall elevator. A former Senator criticized the Rideau Centre for its slow response time.
In May 2016, a 19 year old man was stabbed in the abdomen in the mall’s rooftop garden.
Since September 14, 2019, the Rideau Centre is served by Rideau station on the Confederation Line of Ottawa's O-Train network. Two of the station's four entrances are located within the mall; one near the intersection of Colonel By Drive and Rideau Street, and an accessible entrance near a crosswalk to Hudson's Bay.
The Rideau Centre and the adjacent National Defence Headquarters building were served by a stop located on Mackenzie King Bridge, which was a major transit hub on the central Transitway before the opening of the Confederation Line. It is now served by two local routes.
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