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Simons to Open at CF Rideau Centre in Ottawa
Fashion retailer sits atop former Ogilvy building and features installation by Ontario artist Shayne Dark
Simons, the 176-year-old family-owned fashion retailer from Quebec City, will open its first Ottawa store on August 11, 2016. The downtown CF Rideau Centre location marks Simons' 13th store, the second in Ontario. The two-storey, 100,000 square foot space sits on the top of the newly expanded wing of the mall at the corner of Rideau and Nicholas Streets.
The exterior of the store mixes modernity with a proud Canadian retail heritage. The top (fourth) floor is encased in glass which wraps up and over to form part of the roof. The resulting effect is as though a glass box has been placed carefully on top of the existing heritage façade. Simons' bottom floor (third floor of the expansion), resides in the beautifully reconstructed façade of the original Ogilvy Department Store. Cadillac Fairview carefully removed, cleaned and catalogued each brick and reinstated the exterior to preserve the façade's architectural significance.
“We want to be part of the recently renewed energy in Ottawa's downtown core where culture, government and commerce converge,” said CEO Peter Simons. “Our new Ottawa location is particularly significant because of our shared Canadian retail history with the Ogilvy family.”
Simons' trusted architecture firm, Lemay Michaud, created the store's overall framework to fit within CF Rideau Centre's expansion design which features an immense skylight and multiple curved atriums bringing light to all levels of the mall, including Simons' top floor.
Each Simons' store features a significant work from a Canadian artist. At the CF Rideau Centre location, Torrential Red, a striking installation by Shayne Dark, is suspended in the centre of the store in Simons' escalator atrium connecting the bottom and top floors. Dark used ironwood saplings gathered from the forest floor near his home in Kingston, where he saturated the trees in a brilliant red pigment. He then intertwined and assembled the ironwood elements to create a 22-foot tall, 8-foot wide suspended sculpture which represents the contrast between urban and natural environments.
Simons has also collaborated with the Ottawa Art Gallery to exhibit the works of several artists from Ottawa and the surrounding region in the store (Adrian Baker, Sharon Kelly, Kenneth Lochhead, Jake Morrison, Brad Snow and Yvonne Wiegers). The partnership gives the artists exposure to store traffic and is aligned with Simons' commitment to supporting local creativity.
“We strive to create beautiful stores which include world class art for everyone to enjoy,” added Peter Simons. “We hope our focus on art and architecture in the store paired with our distinctive fashion offering will inspire and engage shoppers.”
Simons' branded environments house an extensive and fashion-forward collection of its own exclusive and innovative private label brands for men and women, complemented by a selection of leading labels, exclusive discovery brands from around the world and an edited collection of international designers, making it well known for its exceptional selection of merchandise for everyone. Simons also carries home fashions for the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.
Bottom Floor – 3rd Floor of CF Rideau Centre (35,000 square feet)
Djab: cutting edge, urban streetwear for young men
iFive: stylish active wear for women
Miiyu: feminine lingerie and loungewear for women
Twik: dynamic fresh looks for young women
Top Floor – 4th Floor of CF Rideau Centre (56,000 square feet)
Contemporaine: elegant women's career and casual wear
Edito: men's and women's designer collections
Icône: cosmopolitan styles for the modern woman
iFive: stylish active wear for men
Le31: classic and avant-garde fashions for men of all ages
Maison: modern décor elements for the home
Rounding out the fourth floor is Ève Café, a counter service café with seating for 12.
Award winning firm figure3 designed the CF Rideau Centre location by incorporating and bringing Ottawa shoppers some of the most celebrated elements featured in the Simons Edmonton and Anjou, Quebec stores like high gloss, bold colour fitting rooms, decorative woven animal heads and porta pottie change rooms for young men.
Unique to this store is a separate set of stairs connecting the men's shopping areas, allowing men to enjoy their own shopping space without having to venture through women's fashions. The top floor of the men's environment features large windows with a view of CF Rideau Centre's rooftop garden.
Views of the Byward Market and the newly created Ogilvy Square (a pedestrian area on Nicholas at Rideau) are seen from iFive for women on the bottom floor and from Ève Café and Maison on the top floor.
Also unique in this store is the position of Djab and Twik together – the brands which appeal most to younger shoppers and have direct access from the mall. At ground level Simons has a significant window presence looking on to Rideau Street and an elevator to bring guests directly to both the third and fourth floors.