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Hard Rock Café at Yonge-Dundas to be replaced by Shoppers Drug Mart: report

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Mar 14th, 2017

Trading in rock n’ roll for rolls of toilet paper and antibiotics may not sound like a prescription for fun, but it could be the new reality in the epicentre of Toronto’s bustling downtown core.

According to Retail Insider, The Hard Rock Cafe at 291 Yonge Street in the heart of Yonge-Dundas Square is set to become a Shoppers Drug Mart.

Loblaw, which owns Shoppers Drug Mart, confirmed that its store at 10 Dundas Street is being relocated to Yonge and Dundas, with its sights set on opening towards the end of 2017.

In a statement, the PR company representing Hard Rock Cafe confirmed with CityNews that the popular Toronto tourist destination, one of three in Canada, is seeking a new home.

Its other locations are in Niagara Falls and Vancouver.

“In May, the lease for Hard Rock Cafe Toronto … will expire,” Coyne PR said. “Hard Rock International is reviewing other opportunities, both in Toronto and elsewhere in Canada, to expand its cafe, hotel and casino brands.”

The Hard Rock Cafe has occupied the downtown Toronto space since 1978.

Hard Rock Cafe on Yonge Street at Dundas Square as seen in 1978-1980. CITY OF TORONTO ARCHIVES

In its pitch for a new client, commercial real estate company CBRE called Yonge-Dundas Square Canada’s “Times Square” and touted its high pedestrian traffic with over 60 million potential customers per year.

The location offers 22,002 square feet of retail space.

But it will also come with a mammoth price tag: Annual rent on the new lease, according to CBRE, will be $2 million.

Bruce Winder, of the Retail Advisors Network, told CityNews the move makes sense for Shoppers Drug Mart which has has been re-branding as a top destination for beauty products.

“If you think about where they’re going in terms of the beauty category and trying to create a flagship, its pretty understandable because when you think of that intersection, its really the fashion capital of Canada,” he said.

“It’s a great place for Shoppers Drug Mart to really showcase and drive its beauty (products) and make a statement to their investors about who they are.”

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