Scenes From a Mall: Ottawa's Bayshore Shopping Centre Redevelopment

Ottawa’s Bayshore Shopping Centre needed more than a touch of lipstick to create a high-end retail experience for discerning Ottawa shoppers. It needed a makeover. The mall opened in the early 1970s, expanded in the 1980s, and has undergone many tweaks in the years since. The mall décor was dated, and the parking structures, after years of repairs, had reached the end of their service life. Now, with some glamorous, modern upgrades; more parking; improved retail variety; and an expanded, relocated food court, the shopping center is ready to take its place as one of Ottawa’s premier shopping destinations.
The sprawling new food court more than doubled in
size and features multiple new curtain wall sections
that provide plenty of natural light. 

The mall refresh included the addition of new floor
tile, modern light fixtures, stainless steel railings
with glass balustrades, and many modern touches
for a high-end shopping experience.

This $200 million joint venture between Ivanhoé Cambridge and KingSett Capital included construction of a new five-level parking garage that increased parking to more than 4,000 spots, making it Ottawa’s largest parking garage; a 225,000-square-foot, three-level addition to accommodate more retail space; the renovation of existing mall space; and a complete upgrade to the electrical system.

Sky-High Scaffold

Sometimes the best solution is the simplest. In order to complete paint and repair work on five skylights that run the length of the mall, the construction team required a scaffold system. While scaffolds are typical on a construction project, this job required the scaffold to reach to 80 feet, from the main floor to the skylights—30 feet higher than the mall’s top (third) level. The original budget included a series of scaffolds to be assembled and dismantled as the construction team completed work at each skylight.

With a more efficient option in mind, PCL worked with mall management and key subcontractors to devise a rolling scaffold system from the third level that would move sequentially through the mall while crews perform the work. Because the rolling system required fewer materials and less assembly time than the standard version, the PCL team reduced the schedule for the skylight work from nine months to three, saving the client money and time on this part of the renovation.

The Road Less Traveled

When it comes to traffic, the construction site could have posed an inconvenience for shoppers trying to navigate their way around the mall, which remained open during construction. Inside the mall, the construction team took care to complete all renovations after hours, including the installation of 90,000 square feet of new floor tile. It was also important to keep construction buzz outside of the mall to a minimum because of Bayshore Centre’s location in a densely populated residential neighborhood.

Early on, PCL obtained permission from OC Transpo (the City of Ottawa’s public transit authority) to use a small section of the transitway to move construction vehicles to and from the mall construction site. The team also built a temporary construction road from the adjacent bus station into the construction site to keep the neighborhood free from construction traffic.

The PCL team completed Bayshore Centre’s renovation on October 30, 2015, in plenty of time to inspire shoppers during the holiday season. Now with a new look, new stores, and 190 fashionable retailers, the mall has secured a spot on the shopping mall A-list and is ready to dazzle six million visitors a year.​​​​​​​​​​


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