Vaughan Mills is one of the largest shopping centres in Canada located adjacent to Canada's Wonderland at the southeast corner of Highway 400 and Rutherford Road, in Vaughan, Ontario. The mall opened on November 4, 2004, and was the first regional enclosed shopping complex to be opened in the Greater Toronto Area since the Erin Mills Town Centre in 1990 as well as the first in the GTA built in the 21st century. It is the largest shopping mall in York region with almost 1.3 million square feet (110,000 m²) of retail space.

The shopping centre was designed and built by Ivanhoé Cambridge and the Mills Corporation, the latter of which owns a portfolio of malls across the United States. JPRA served as the design architect for the centre, with Bregman + Hamann Architects as the project architect. Like its American counterparts, Vaughan Mills incorporates a " race track " layout to maximize the exposure of the mall tenants. The complex has over 200 retail stores, restaurants, and entertainment outlets. Fifteen anchor retailers are present, including Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, H&M, The Children's Place, and Urban Planet. Entertainment located on the site includes the first Legoland Discovery Centre in Canada. [4]

In August 2006, the Mills Corporation sold its stake in Vaughan Mills to partner Ivanhoé Cambridge. In January 2013, plans were announced to add 150,000 square feet and 50 new stores to the mall, which opened in late 2014.

York Region Transit buses connect to this mall at Vaughan Mills Terminal.

History

When Vaughan Mills was conceived in fall 1999, it was meant to be a slightly larger complex at 1.4 million square feet (130,000 m²), with up to 18 anchor retailers and a combined 245 stores and services. [2]

The shopping centre was intended to be a stepping stone for American retailers wanting to enter the Canadian market, however Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World was the only U.S. retailer to make its exclusive launch there, while other anticipated retailers such as Bed, Bath and Beyond and Burlington Coat Factory ending up never coming to Vaughan Mills. [6] In September 1999, Bed Bath & Beyond and Sun & Ski Sports were among the six American retailers that were announced as Vaughan Mills' first anchor tenants. An ESPN X Games Skatepark was also planned as the main entertainment venue site.

The mall had its 2 millionth visitor less than 2 months after its opening. [7]

On October 23, 2014, the expansion of the mall with 50 new stores opened.

On March 17, 2016, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th opened a 32,000 square feet (3,000 m 2 ) store in the mall.

Vaughan Mills receives over 13.5 million patrons per year. [2]

Anchors

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Outdoor World
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Toys "R" Us at Vaughan Mills

Two anchors closed in early 2012: Style Sense (20,703 sq ft (1,923 m 2 ) and NASCAR SpeedPark (39,691 sq ft (3,687 m 2 )., 15,134 sq ft (1,406 m 2 ). mezzanine, 54,503 sq ft (5,063 m 2 ). total).

Exemption to the Retail Business Holidays Act

The Region of York passed an exemption to Ontario's Retail Business Holidays Act to allow businesses in Vaughan to open on the following statutory holidays: New Year's Day, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Civic Holiday, Labour Day and Thanksgiving Day. [9]

Vaughan Mills closes its doors only three days a year: Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Christmas Day [9] compared to Tsawwassen Mills where it's closed on Christmas Day.

Similar malls in Canada

Ivanhoé Cambridge stated in 2011 their strategic plan was to have four sister malls in Canada, with Vaughan Mills as the first, and additional locations to be located near Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal. As of October 2016, two additional malls have opened.

CrossIron Mills, located outside of Calgary, Alberta, opened on August 19, 2009. It has a number of the same retailers as the Vaughan Mills Mall, including Bass Pro Shops. The CrossIron Mills location opened in the spring of 2009, several months ahead of the main mall. The construction, leasing, and opening of the mall has paralleled Vaughan Mills to a degree, as it, too, has occurred during an economic recession.

Tsawwassen Mills, located in Delta, British Columbia, at Highway 17 and 52nd Street on Tsawwassen First Nation Lands south of Vancouver. Construction began in January 2014 and the mall opened on October 5, 2016. Tsawwassen Mills is designed in a similar format to its sister malls and includes approximately 111,500 square metres (1,200,000 sq ft) of retail. Plans call for 16 anchor retailers, including the first Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World location in British Columbia announced as the first anchor tenant.

Ivanhoé Cambridge had originally planned to build what would have been called Laval Mills in Laval, Quebec near Montreal, at the intersection of Quebec Autoroute 440 and Quebec Autoroute 25. However, after 3 years of planning and analysis these plans were abandoned in May 2011 citing that their criteria of feasibility and profitability were not met, partly because environmental issues as construction would have disrupted a number of wetlands on or in direct connection to the project. At the time the project was cancelled Ivanhoé Cambridge stated they would continue plans for a Mills mall to be built in the Montreal region.

See also

Other outlet malls in the Greater Toronto area: