Growing up in Ottawa had its many perks, but shopping wasn’t really one of them. No offence Ottawa, but this was never your strong suit… until now. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I moved back here, but this city is growing and fast. From the expansion of the Rideau Centre to the rebranding of many of our other malls, exploring the newest additions to Canada’s Capital is one of my favourite things to do.
I used to travel to Montreal to buy clothing when I was in my early 20’s. This was mainly due to the fact that my favourite store in Canada has its closest location to Ottawa there. I’m talking about Simons. If you have ever been blessed with a shopping experience there, you’ll understand why I have made trips specifically to visit them. Well, when I found out that they are opening not one, but two locations even closer to me, I might have peed a little. But not really, ew.
The 175-year old family owned fashion retailer has just opened its tenth location, at a whopping 80,000 square feet, just as Les Promenades Gatineau has unveiled its complete mall development. “Les Promenades Gatineau is undergoing an impressive transformation to create the kind of shopping centre where Simons belongs,” said CEO Peter Simons. “We look forward to serving our loyal customers from this area as well as introducing new customers to our unique shopping concept that mixes distinctive merchandise with compelling store environments.”
I was fortunate enough to be taken on my own personal tour of their newest location, so I thought I would share some of my shopping highlights with you. Want to see the whole store? Well, you’ll just have to check it out for yourself!
Twik has the latest styles for young female shoppers.
Miiyu is an intimates boutique filled with all of the comforts a woman needs. Morphodynamique, an art installation by Quebec’s own Julie Tremblay is a two-piece sculpture of aluminum mesh that appears to spill down out of the central skylight.
iFive is active wear for men and women. And it’s RIGHT up my alley!
Simons also carries their very own collection of fashion accessories.
Maison is a selection of home fashions for the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.
“The newest concept to be added to Les Promenades location is Ève, a Simons owned and operated café. Inspired by Simon’s French-Canadian roots, the menu will include fresh casual items like Montreal-style bagels, French onion soup, chicken fricassee and treats like beignes. The 45-seat café has a clean, classic French diner feel with small white bistro tables and a combination of banquette, chair and stool seating”.
“Canada’s current retail landscape is a dynamic place to do business and Simons will be a significant part of its evolution,” says CEO Peter Simons. “Our stores offer consumers a unique shopping experience with our innovative fashion mix and our commitment to designing engaging environments that celebrate Canadian art and architecture.”
Oh but wait, didn’t I tell you that they’re opening up TWO locations near Ottawa? Well, with seven more stores in the works, Simons has added Ottawa central to their list. Their newest Ottawa location is set to open in August 2016 right in the heart of the Rideau Centre. Their expansions will also include Vancouver, Mississauga and Calgary. Stay tuned for more coverage on these exciting developments in the next year!
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Catherine Sugrue, CNP