It has now been just over four years since the former Sears Canada store closed its doors at the Toronto Eaton Centre, but the Sears offices above what became Nordstrom remained in operation until the recent bankruptcy. Future plans for the now-vacant space were revealed earlier today when BMO Financial Group CEO Darryl White and Cadillac Fairview President and CEO John Sullivan were joined by Mayor John Tory to announce plans to repurpose the massive space at 290 Yonge Street. Hailed as “Tomorrow’s Workplace”, Canadian banking titan BMO plans to open a four-storey “urban campus” capable of supporting up to 3,500 employees with progressive workspaces equipped with advanced digital technology, open floorplans, and multiple collaborative work areas.

'BMO Campus' Urban Workplace, BMO, Cadillac Fairview, Toronto'BMO Campus' Urban Workplace, overlooking Yonge and Dundas Square opening in 2021, image courtesy CNW Group/BMO Financial Group)

The 346,000 ft², four-storey project (each floor containing more than 80,000 ft² of space) will be constructed above the Nordstrom department store at the mall's north end, just south of the Yonge and Dundas intersection. While an architect has not been confirmed for the transformation, a rendering shows a recladding of the office floors, replacing most of the opaque enamelled paneling with glazing. Plans also include the incorporation of the four-storey atrium and light well from the original Eaton's department store into the new office floors, bringing light into the middle of the vast floors. 

'BMO Campus' Urban Workplace, BMO, Cadillac Fairview, TorontoFuture site of the 'BMO Campus' Urban Workplace, image via Google Street View

"This urban campus is central to the business transformation that's underway at BMO. We're unified in our focus on the customer and now we're accelerating, moving ahead ready to capitalize on every advantage: our wealth of customer insights, the right investment in technology and the discipline to keep things simple. This step we are taking is all about our customers because ultimately, it is they who lead our bank," reads a statement issued by BMO CEO Darryl White. "We're positioning the bank to be at the forefront of change and lead the industry. This new workplace will be a centrepiece for how we drive value."

'BMO Campus' Urban Workplace, BMO, Cadillac Fairview, Toronto'BMO Campus' Urban Workplace, overlooking Yonge and Dundas Square opening in 2021, image courtesy CNW Group/BMO Financial Group)

With the project expected to add another few hundred thousand square feet of space to BMO's portfolio in 2021, the banking institution has reaffirmed a commitment to maintaining their headquarters at First Canadian Place, with the company's lease within the tower recently having been extended another 15 years.

We'll return as more information becomes available. In the meantime, you can keep track of this and other elements of the Eaton Centre's ongoing renovations by visiting the project's database file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the filed provided at the bottom of this page.