Mike Kehoe Comments on The Core

The Square Foot had the opportunity to ask a few questions to Calgary Retail specialist, Mike Kehoe and Jay De Nance of Fairfield Commercial and part of the Rocket Retail banner, about The Core Shopping Center in downtown Calgary.

The CORE Shopping Centre, which consists of the former Calgary Eaton Centre, TD Square, Lancaster Building and the Holt Renfrew Building, is the dominant shopping complex located in the downtown core of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It spans three city blocks and contains approximately 150 retailers on four levels. The property also contains four major office towers (TD Canada Trust Tower, Home Oil Tower, Dome Tower) and the historic Lancaster Building. It is the hub of downtown Calgary’s skywalk system, and as such is the busiest shopping centre in the City by pedestrian count, with around 250,000 visitors passing through each week. A major redevelopment and re-merchandising project is nearing completion, which has unified the complex under one continuous, suspended glass skylight. As of October 29, 2010, The CORE offers free evening and weekend parking at its underground lots.

The CORE is bounded by 8th Avenue SW (Stephen Avenue pedestrian mall) on the south, 7th Avenue SW (LRT Corridor rapid transit line) on the north, and extends above 3rd Street SW (Barclay Parade) and 4th Street SW. The mall is directly connected to the neighbouring retail complexes of Bankers Hall (south) and Scotia Centre/Hudson’s Bay Store (east) via the skywalk system. It also contains the Devonian Gardens, a unique 2.5-acre glass-enclosed indoor botanical park, currently closed for renovations (scheduled to re-open Spring/Summer 2011).

Click on the player below for an industry perspective from Mike Kehoe and Jay De Nance of 


Historic Eaton’s façade still remains.

The T. Eaton Co. opened its original department store on the site in 1929. In 1977, it was joined by TD Square (originally named Oxford Square) to the east. TD Square, an office and shopping complex, covered four levels over an entire block and contained the original Devonian Gardens indoor botanical garden. In 1990, Eaton's store was relocated into a new building one block west and a four-level shopping centre, the Calgary Eaton Centre, was built on its original site. The historic front facade of the original Eaton’s store was carefully preserved and remains today in its original location. Following the closure of the Eaton’s chain in 2002, Sears acted as an anchor store until 2008 when it was closed to make way for the current redevelopment. The combination of the two centres resulted in the property being rebranded “The CORE”, however the TD Square portion of the building is still referred to as CORE- TD Square.


Installation of the new skylight. 

Work is nearly complete on a multi-million dollar redevelopment project which has unified the complex under a continuous 85-foot-wide (26 m), 656-foot-long (200 m) suspended glass skylight. The skylight was completed in November 2009, and is the largest point-supported structural glass skylight in the world.

The new skylight creates the feel of an outdoor streetscape on the third floor, which incorporates two-storey retail facades with exterior grade materials. The renovation also widened the concourses, replaced all interior finishes, and added a structural glass bridge on the fourth floor of the complex. Heavy construction work forced numerous retailers to close or relocate, many of which have renovated or expanded. On October 27, 2010, The Core announced it would offer free evening and weekend parking at its underground lots to promote visits to the centre.


The Core Shopping Centre is anchored by:

  • Holt Renfrew Flagship (151,000 sq.ft.)
  • Devonian Gardens (107,640 sq.ft. Re-opening Spring/Summer 2011)
  • Harry Rosen Flagship (30,500 sq.ft.)
  • H&M Flagship (26,000 sq.ft. opening Spring 2011)
  • Brooks Brothers Flagship / Brooks Brothers Country Club (22,000 sq.ft)
  • Jacob/Jacob Connexion (expanding to 16,060 sq.ft in 2011)

The complex currently contains approximately 150 other retailers and two large food courts, with space for approximately 10 more retailers once the redevelopment concludes. Junior anchors include Banana Republic, Birks, Eveline Charles Salon & Academy (opening in Spring 2011), Gap/Gap Kids, HMV, Indigo Spirit Books & Music, and Shoppers Drug Mart. 

on December 10, 2010