Saks Fifth Avenue
Saks Fifth Avenue is an American chain of luxury department stores owned by the oldest commercial corporation in North America, the Hudson's Bay Company. Its main flagship store is located on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Saks Fifth Avenue is the successor of a business founded by Andrew Saks in 1867 and incorporated in New York in 1902 as Saks & Company. Saks died in 1912, in 1923 Saks & Co. merged with Gimbel Brothers, Inc., owned by a cousin of Horace Saks, Bernard Gimbel, operating as a separate autonomous subsidiary. On September 15, 1924, Horace Saks and Bernard Gimbel opened Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City, with a full-block avenue frontage south of St. Patrick's Cathedral, facing what would become Rockefeller Center; the architects were Starrett & van Vleck, who developed a reticent, genteel Anglophile classicizing facade similar to their Gimbels Department Store in Pittsburgh. When Bernard's brother, Adam Gimbel, became president of Saks Fifth Avenue in 1926 after Horace Saks's sudden passing, the company expanded, opening seasonal resort branches in Palm Beach and Southampton, New York, in 1928.
The first full-line year-round Saks store opened in Chicago, in 1929, followed by another resort store in Miami Beach, Florida. In 1938, Saks expanded to the West Coast, opening in California. By the end of the 1930s, Saks Fifth Avenue had a total of 10 stores, including resort locations such as Sun Valley, Mount Stowe, Newport, Rhode Island. More full-line stores followed with Detroit, Michigan, in 1940 and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1949. In Downtown Pittsburgh, the company moved to its own freestanding location one block from its former home on the fourth floor in the downtown Gimbel's flagship; the San Francisco location opened in 1952, competing locally with I. Magnin. BATUS Inc. acquired Gimbel Bros. Inc. and its Saks Fifth Avenue subsidiary in 1973 as part of its diversification strategy. More expansion followed from the 1960s through the 1990s including the Midwest, the South in Texas. In 1990, BATUS sold Saks to Investcorp S. A. which took Saks public in 1996 as Saks Holdings, Inc. In 1990, "Saks Off 5th" was launched, an outlet store offshoot of the main brand, with 107 stores worldwide by 2016.
In 1998, Proffitt's, Inc. the parent company of Proffitt's and other department stores, acquired Saks Holdings Inc. Upon completing the acquisition, Proffitt's, Inc. changed its name to Inc.. Since 2000 Saks has opened international locations in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan and Mexico City. In August 2007, the United States Postal Service began an experimental program selling the plus zip code extension to businesses; the first company to do so was Saks Fifth Avenue, which received the zip code of 10022-7463 for the eighth-floor shoe department in its flagship Fifth Avenue store. During the 2007–2009 recession, Saks Fifth Avenue had to close some stores and to cut prices and profit margins, thus according to Reuters "training shoppers to expect discounts, it took three years before it could start selling at closer to full price". In the following years, the company closed stores in locations including Orange County, Pittsburgh, Chicago and in June 2013 its last Dallas store to implement the "strategy of employing our resources in our most productive locations".
As of 2013, the New York flagship store, whose real estate value was estimated between $800 million and over $1 billion at the time, generated around 20% of Saks' annual sales at $620 million, with other stores being less profitable according to analysts. On July 29, 2013, the Hudson's Bay Company, owner of the competing chain Lord & Taylor, announced it would acquire Saks Fifth Avenue's parent company for US$2.9 billion. Plans called for up to seven Saks Fifth Avenues to open in major Canadian markets. Expansion into Canada is expected to compete with Canadian Holt Renfrew chain and challenge Nordstrom's expansion into Canada, which began in summer 2014 with the opening of a Nordstrom store in Calgary. In January 2014, HBC announced the first Saks store in Canada would occupy 150,000 sq ft in its flagship Queen Street building in downtown Toronto, connected to the Toronto Eaton Centre via sky bridge; the store opened in February 2016 with a second Toronto area location in the Sherway Gardens shopping center opening in spring 2016.
On February 22, 2018, Saks Fifth Avenue opened its third Canadian store in Alberta. Starting in 2015 Saks began a $250 million, three-year restoration of its Fifth Avenue flagship store. In the summer of 2015, it was announced that Saks will debut a new location in Greenwich, Connecticut. In the fall of 2015, Saks was planning to replace its existing store at the Houston Galleria with a new store. In February 2017, Saks was reported to be in advanced talks with Indian retailer Aditya Birla Fashion Retail Ltd. to open two stores in India. The stores are expected to be located at Aerocity in Delhi, the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai. In September 2017, Saks Fifth Avenue would be introducing new futuristic salon concept at stores through a partnership with the Warren Tricomi. In 2005, vendors filed against Saks alleging unlawful chargebacks; the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigated the complaint for years and, according to the New York Times, "exposed a tangle of illicit tactics that let Saks... keep money it owed to clothing makers", inflating Saks' yearly earnings up to 43% and abusively collecting around $30 million from suppliers over seven years.
Saks settled with the SEC in 2007, after firing three or more executives involved in the fraudulent activities. In 2014, Saks fired transgender employee Leyth Jamal after she was "belittled by cowo
A skyscraper is a continuously habitable high-rise building that has over 40 floors and is taller than 150 m. The term first referred to buildings with 10 to 20 floors in the 1880s; the definition shifted with advancing construction technology during the 20th century. Skyscrapers may host both. For buildings above a height of 300 m, the term "supertall" can be used, while skyscrapers reaching beyond 600 m are classified as "megatall". One common feature of skyscrapers is having a steel framework; these curtain walls either bear on the framework below or are suspended from the framework above, rather than resting on load-bearing walls of conventional construction. Some early skyscrapers have a steel frame that enables the construction of load-bearing walls taller than of those made of reinforced concrete. Modern skyscrapers' walls are not load-bearing, most skyscrapers are characterized by large surface areas of windows made possible by steel frames and curtain walls. However, skyscrapers can have curtain walls that mimic conventional walls with a small surface area of windows.
Modern skyscrapers have a tubular structure, are designed to act like a hollow cylinder to resist wind and other lateral loads. To appear more slender, allow less wind exposure, transmit more daylight to the ground, many skyscrapers have a design with setbacks, which are sometimes structurally required; the term "skyscraper" was first applied to buildings of steel framed construction of at least 10 stories in the late 19th century, a result of public amazement at the tall buildings being built in major American cities like Chicago, New York City, Detroit, St. Louis; the first steel-frame skyscraper was the Home Insurance Building in Chicago, Illinois in 1885. Some point to Philadelphia's 10-story Jayne Building as a proto-skyscraper, or to New York's seven-floor Equitable Life Building, built in 1870, for its innovative use of a kind of skeletal frame, but such designation depends on what factors are chosen; the scholars making the argument find it to be purely academic. The structural definition of the word skyscraper was refined by architectural historians, based on engineering developments of the 1880s that had enabled construction of tall multi-story buildings.
This definition was based on the steel skeleton—as opposed to constructions of load-bearing masonry, which passed their practical limit in 1891 with Chicago's Monadnock Building. What is the chief characteristic of the tall office building? It is lofty, it must be tall. The force and power of altitude must be in it, the glory and pride of exaltation must be in it, it must be every inch a proud and soaring thing, rising in sheer exaltation that from bottom to top it is a unit without a single dissenting line. — Louis Sullivan's The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat defines skyscrapers as those buildings which reach or exceed 150 m in height. Others in the United States and Europe draw the lower limit of a skyscraper at 150 m; the Emporis Standards Committee defines a high-rise building as "a multi-story structure between 35–100 meters tall, or a building of unknown height from 12–39 floors" and a skyscraper as "a multi-story building whose architectural height is at least 100 m or 330 ft."
Some structural engineers define a highrise as any vertical construction for which wind is a more significant load factor than earthquake or weight. Note that this criterion fits not only high-rises but some other tall structures, such as towers; the word skyscraper carries a connotation of pride and achievement. The skyscraper, in name and social function, is a modern expression of the age-old symbol of the world center or axis mundi: a pillar that connects earth to heaven and the four compass directions to one another; the tallest building in ancient times was the 146 m Great Pyramid of Giza in ancient Egypt, built in the 26th century BC. It was not surpassed in height for thousands of years, the 160 m Lincoln Cathedral having exceeded it in 1311–1549, before its central spire collapsed; the latter in turn was not surpassed until the 555-foot Washington Monument in 1884. However, being uninhabited, none of these structures comply with the modern definition of a skyscraper. High-rise apartments flourished in classical antiquity.
Ancient Roman insulae in imperial cities reached 10 and more stories. Beginning with Augustus, several emperors attempted to establish limits of 20–25 m for multi-story buildings, but met with only limited success. Lower floors were occupied by shops or wealthy families, the upper rented to the lower classes. Surviving Oxyrhynchus Papyri indicate that seven-story buildings existed in provincial towns such as in 3rd century AD Hermopolis in Roman Egypt; the skylines of many important medieval cities had large numbers of high-rise urban towers, built by the wealthy for defense and status. The residential Towers of 12th century Bologna numbered between 80 and 100 at a time, the tallest of, the 97.2 m high Asinelli Tower. A Florentine law of 1251 decreed that all urban buildings be reduced to less than 26 m. Medium-sized towns of the era are known to have proliferations of towers, such as the 72 up to 51 m height in San Gimignano; the medieval Egyptian city of Fustat housed many high-rise residential buildings, which Al-Muqaddasi in the 10th century described as resembling minarets.
Nasir Khusraw in the early 11th century described some of them rising up to 14 stories, with roof gardens on t
Bloor Street is a major east–west residential and commercial thoroughfare in Toronto, Canada. Bloor Street runs from the Prince Edward Viaduct, which spans the Don River Valley, westward into Mississauga where it ends at Central Parkway. East of the viaduct, Danforth Avenue continues along the same right-of-way; the street 25 kilometres long, contains a significant cross-sample of Toronto's ethnic communities. It is home to Toronto's famous shopping street, the Mink Mile. A portion of Line 2 of the Bloor-Danforth subway line runs along Bloor from Kipling Avenue to the Don Valley Parkway, continues east along Danforth Avenue. Surveyed as the first concession road north of the baseline, it was known by many names, including the Tollgate Road St. Paul's Road. From 1844 until 1854 it was known as Sydenham Road after Baron Sydenham, Governor General of Canada 1839–1841; the street was given its current name in honour of Joseph Bloor, a local brewer and land speculator who founded the Village of Yorkville in 1830 on the north side of this street and, one of the street's original residents.
Sections of Bloor Street near High Park was still undeveloped in the early part of the 20th Century. Sections along High Park required infill to eliminate the natural deep valleys in the area. On the eastern terminus Bloor ended at Sherbourne Avenue at Rosedale Valley and where once the Sherbourne Blockhouse stood. A small footpath from Howard Street was the only means to reach the eastern end of the valley to continue along Danforth Avenue until the Prince Edward Viaduct was completed in 1918; the idea of installing bicycle lanes on Bloor had been debated since at least the early 1970s. On 4 May 2016, city council voted 38-3 to implement physically separated bike lanes along a 2.6-km stretch of the street. Mayor John Tory stated, in support of the project, that if council sought to make Toronto a "21st century city", it must improve at providing "alternate ways to move people around the city." Bloor street begins at the eastern edge of the Prince Edward Viaduct, which passes over the ravine holding the Don River.
The street continues through to the Rosedale Ravine, marking the southern border of the affluent community of Rosedale. West of Parliament Street, the street passes just to the north of the large St. James Town housing project, which stretches west to Sherbourne Street. On the northern side of this section of Bloor are the forested slopes of the Rosedale Ravine. Between Sherbourne and Church Streets the street is lined by large office towers home to insurance companies; this area has long been the centre of the insurance industry in Canada. West of Church the street is an important shopping district. In downtown around the intersection with Bay Street, Bloor is one of the most exclusive stretches of real estate in Canada. Rents on the upscale Bloor Street have doubled in 4 years, ranking as the 22nd most expensive retail location in the world in 2006, up two spots from 2005. Nationally, Vancouver's upscale Robson Street tied with Bloor Street West as the most expensive street in Canada, with an annual average rental price of $208 per square foot.
Under the intersection of Yonge and Bloor Streets is the Bloor–Yonge subway station, the busiest in the city, serving 368,800 people a day. Above ground, the intersection encompasses commercial condominiums. In the downtown, Bloor Street serves as the northern edge of the University of Toronto campus, is host to several historic sites, including the Bata Shoe Museum, the Royal Conservatory of Music, the southern edge of Yorkville, in an area now known as the Bloor Street Culture Corridor. West of the university, which ends at Spadina Avenue, Bloor Street runs through a diverse series of neighbourhoods such as The Annex, Dufferin Grove, Roncesvalles, High Park and Runnymede, it retains its commercial character, serves as the main shopping area for most of these communities. Numerous sections of the street have named'business improvement areas' such as Bloorcourt Village, Bloordale Village and Bloor West Village. In Toronto's west end, Bloor Street crisscrosses Dundas Street twice, between Lansdowne Avenue and Parkside Drive and again in the Six Points area as these streets follow the old trails.
Markland Wood is the westernmost residential community in the city of Toronto. Through Mississauga, Bloor Street links the residential communities of Applewood Hills and Applewood Heights, terminating at Central Parkway, about one kilometre east of Hurontario Street. A second section of Bloor once continued a short distance west of Hurontario, but was incorporated into Central Parkway which runs both north and west from the street's western terminus as the only completed part of an aborted ring road project around Mississauga City Centre; until 1998, Bloor Street was designated as Ontario Highway 5 from Kipling Avenue east to the Don River. Like many urban stretches of provincial roadway, it was formally decommissioned as a Connecting Link on January 1. Beginning in 2019 the City of Toronto is reconfiguring the intersection at Kipling Avenue that will create an at-grade intersection with Dundas Street overpass removed thus requiring traffic west to divert via Dunbloor Road; the stretch of Bloor between Yonge Street and Avenue Road, in Yorkville, is called Mink Mile, it is the most prestigious shopping street in Toronto
Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included, it is home to the nation's capital city and the nation's most populous city, Ontario's provincial capital. Ontario is bordered by the province of Manitoba to the west, Hudson Bay and James Bay to the north, Quebec to the east and northeast, to the south by the U. S. states of Minnesota, Ohio and New York. All of Ontario's 2,700 km border with the United States follows inland waterways: from the west at Lake of the Woods, eastward along the major rivers and lakes of the Great Lakes/Saint Lawrence River drainage system; these are the Rainy River, the Pigeon River, Lake Superior, the St. Marys River, Lake Huron, the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and along the St. Lawrence River from Kingston, Ontario, to the Quebec boundary just east of Cornwall, Ontario.
There is only about 1 km of land border made up of portages including Height of Land Portage on the Minnesota border. Ontario is sometimes conceptually divided into Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario; the great majority of Ontario's population and arable land is in the south. In contrast, the larger, northern part of Ontario is sparsely populated with cold winters and heavy forestation; the province is named after Lake Ontario, a term thought to be derived from Ontarí:io, a Huron word meaning "great lake", or skanadario, which means "beautiful water" in the Iroquoian languages. Ontario has about 250,000 freshwater lakes; the province consists of three main geographical regions: The thinly populated Canadian Shield in the northwestern and central portions, which comprises over half the land area of Ontario. Although this area does not support agriculture, it is rich in minerals and in part covered by the Central and Midwestern Canadian Shield forests, studded with lakes and rivers. Northern Ontario is subdivided into two sub-regions: Northeastern Ontario.
The unpopulated Hudson Bay Lowlands in the extreme north and northeast swampy and sparsely forested. Southern Ontario, further sub-divided into four regions. Despite the absence of any mountainous terrain in the province, there are large areas of uplands within the Canadian Shield which traverses the province from northwest to southeast and above the Niagara Escarpment which crosses the south; the highest point is Ishpatina Ridge at 693 metres above sea level in Temagami, Northeastern Ontario. In the south, elevations of over 500 m are surpassed near Collingwood, above the Blue Mountains in the Dundalk Highlands and in hilltops near the Madawaska River in Renfrew County; the Carolinian forest zone covers most of the southwestern region of the province. The temperate and fertile Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Valley in the south is part of the Eastern Great Lakes lowland forests ecoregion where the forest has now been replaced by agriculture and urban development. A well-known geographic feature is part of the Niagara Escarpment.
The Saint Lawrence Seaway allows navigation to and from the Atlantic Ocean as far inland as Thunder Bay in Northwestern Ontario. Northern Ontario occupies 87 percent of the surface area of the province. Point Pelee is a peninsula of Lake Erie in southwestern Ontario, the southernmost extent of Canada's mainland. Pelee Island and Middle Island in Lake Erie extend farther. All are south of 42°N – farther south than the northern border of California; the climate of Ontario varies by location. It is affected by three air sources: cold, arctic air from the north; the effects of these major air masses on temperature and precipitation depend on latitude, proximity to major bodies of water and to a small extent, terrain relief. In general, most of Ontario's climate is classified as humid continental. Ontario has three main climatic regions; the surrounding Great Lakes influence the climatic region of southern Ontario. During the fall and winter months, heat stored from the lakes is released, moderating the climate near the shores of the lakes.
This gives some parts of southern Ontario milder winters than mid-continental areas at lower latitudes. Parts of Southwestern Ontario have a moderate humid continental climate, similar to that of the inland Mid-Atlantic states and the Great Lakes portion of the Midwestern United States; the region has warm to cold winters. Annual precipitation is well distributed throughout the year. Most of this region lies in the lee of the Great Lakes. In December 2010, the snowbelt set a new record when it was h
The Minto Midtown is a residential complex on Yonge Street in Toronto in the Davisville neighbourhood near Yonge and Eglinton consisting of two towers and Quantum 2 developed by Minto Developments Inc. The proposed project--which exceeded existing height and zoning limits--met with substantial neighborhood and city opposition, until Minto appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board and worked out a deal with the City of Toronto. Quantum is 37 storeys and was completed in 2007. Quantum 2 is 52 storeys and was completed in 2008; the initial conceptual design was done by Owings & Merrill. The construction of the towers, the tallest in the neighbourhood, was controversial. In March 2000, the developer bought the land to be developed and submitted an application for the project in December of the same year, which included the plan for the two towers and demolition of a ten-storey building; the project was in excess of the existing height and density limits. However, chief planner was considering zoning changes to increase development in the area.
The local ward councilor, Michael Walker, kicked the developer out of his office when approached with the proposal and remained steadfastly against the project. Walker had the backing of a number of neighborhood groups the North Toronto Tenants Network. Other councilors were amenable to the proposal. After delays and the City's plans to reject the project, Minto appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board a pro-development board. Minto reached an agreement with city council, by reducing the height by several storeys, providing Can $1.2 Million for social housing, Can$200,000 for transit connections. The OMB Decision set a new standard for development; the buildings still sparked strong response from a community group named the North Toronto Tenants Network. The OMB ruled in favour of Minto; the debate over the towers proved central in the 2003 municipal election. Incumbent city councillor Anne Johnston had helped broker the compromise, she was opposed by Karen Stintz, who took a strong stand against the development and intensification.
In a result that surprised many, longtime incumbent Johnston lost by 2,321 votes. This development has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification, making it the largest multi-residential LEED certified condominium in North America in 2009. List of tallest buildings in Toronto
Commerce Court is a complex of four office buildings on King and Bay Streets in the financial district of Toronto, Canada, The primary tenant is the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce which has its headquarters in the building. The buildings are a mix of Art Deco and early Modernism architectural styles; the first building, now known as Commerce Court North, was opened in 1931 as the headquarters of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, a precursor bank to the current main tenant. The building was the site of Toronto's first Wesleyan Methodist Church, a small wood chapel surrounded by woods from 1818 to 1831 as Theatre Royal from 1833 onwards. From 1887 to 1927 it was home to a seven storey head office of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, demolished to make way for Commerce Court North; the Canadian Bank of Commerce head office was designed by the American bank specialists York and Sawyer with the notable Canadian firm Darling and Pearson as the local architects of record. Structural engineering was provided by Hertzberg.
The 34-storey limestone clad tower was the tallest building in the British Empire/Commonwealth for three decades, until 1962. At the time of its construction, the building was one of the most opulent corporate headquarters in Canada, featured a public observation deck. In 1972, three other buildings were erected, thus creating the Commerce Court complex: glass and stainless steel glass curtain wall International Style Commerce Court West designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners with Page and Steele, Commerce Court West 57 was an observation floor. Commerce Court East and Commerce Court South are glass and applied masonry structures by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners with Page and Steele in 1972. In 1994, Zeidler Partnership Architects was commissioned to renovate the Commerce Court urban plaza, the banking area at the base of Commerce Court West, the below-grade retail area. There are 65 retails shops in the plaza below the complex; the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce sold the complex in April, 2000, now managed by GWL Realty Advisors, but the head office of the bank remains the anchor tenant.
On Wednesday, January 9, 2008, a portion of a CIBC sign at the top of the Commerce Court West building blew off as a result of wind gusts. Police cordoned off the area as a precaution; as a result, Bay St. from Front to Richmond and King St. from York to Yonge were shut down. Toronto Transit Commission service was diverted; this took place eight months after a piece of white marble panel fell from the 60th storey of the First Canadian Place building, ten months after layers of ice fell from the CN Tower. Surrounding the Commerce Court complex of buildings is a plaza featuring a fountain in its centre, a three piece bronze sculpture by Derrick Stephan Hudson entitled, Mother of Elephants completed in 2002; the sculptures were installed on site in 2005 on loan from the L. L. Odette Foundation of Windsor, Ontario. In popular culture, the plaza was used as a stand-in for Wall Street in a pair of Kids in the Hall sketches featuring Mr. Tyzik, the Headcrusher. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce B2B Bank Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP Deutsche Bank Guardian Capital Group Stikeman Elliott LLPCIBC has announced plans to relocate its headquarters from Commerce Court to CIBC Square, beginning in 2020, in a move which will consolidate staff from various other CIBC offices from the Toronto area.
However, the bank intends to maintain a presence at Commerce Court. Canadian Bankers Association Ricoh CIBC Wood Gundy Mackie Research Capital Corporation Waterton Global Resource Management List of tallest buildings in Toronto List of tallest buildings in Canada Tour CIBC Old Canadian Bank of Commerce Building, Montreal Commerce Place I and Commerce Place II in Hamilton, Ontario Commerce Court official website
PATH is a network of underground pedestrian tunnels, elevated walkways, at-grade walkways connecting the office towers of Downtown Toronto, Canada. It is more than 30 kilometres long. According to Guinness World Records, PATH is the largest underground shopping complex in the world with 371,600 square metres of retail space; the PATH network's northerly point is the Toronto Coach Terminal at Dundas Street and Bay Street, while its southerly point is Waterpark Place on Queens Quay. Its main axes of walkways parallel Yonge Street and Bay Street. There is continuous expansion to PATH system around Union Station. Two towers are being built as part of CIBC Square and will be linked to the PATH, extending the PATH to east to cross over Yonge Street by a pedestrian bridge into the Backstage Condominium building, giving closed access to Union, Scotiabank Arena, other buildings in the Financial District. In 1900, the Eaton's department store constructed a tunnel underneath James Street, allowing shoppers to walk between the Eaton's main store at Yonge and Queen streets and the Eaton's Annex located behind the City Hall.
It was the first underground pedestrian pathway in Toronto, is credited as a historic precursor to the current PATH network. The original Eaton's tunnel is still in use as part of the PATH system, although today it connects the Toronto Eaton Centre to the Bell Trinity Square office complex, on the site of the former Annex building. Another original underground linkage, built in 1927 to connect Union Station and the Royal York Hotel remains an integral part of today's PATH network; the network of underground walkways expanded under city planner Matthew Lawson in the 1960s. Toronto's downtown sidewalks were overcrowded, new office towers were removing the much-needed small businesses from the streets. Lawson thus convinced several important developers to construct underground malls, pledging that they would be linked; the designers of the Toronto-Dominion Centre, the first of Toronto's major urban developments in the 1960s were the first to include underground shopping in their complex, with the possibility of future expansion built in.
The city helped fund the construction, but with the election of a reform city council this ended. The reformers disliked the underground system based on Jane Jacobs' notion that an active street life was important to keeping cities and neighbourhoods vital and that consumers should be encouraged to shop on street level stores rather than in malls; this converted low-valued basements into some of the most valuable retail space in the country. The first expansion of the network occurred in the 1970s with the construction and underground connection of the Richmond-Adelaide office tower and the Sheraton Centre hotel complex. Construction of the PATH tunnel north from Scotia Plaza through the Bay Adelaide Centre started in fall 2007. Completion of this section closed the last remaining gap in the north-south route through PATH that parallels Yonge Street, thus eliminating the need to double back from Bay Street to get between buildings located on the eastern edge of PATH. In 1987, City Council adopted a unified wayfinding system throughout the network.
The design firms Gottschalk+Ash International and Muller Design Associates were hired to design and implement the overall system in consultation with a diverse group of land owners, City staff and stakeholders. A colour-coded system with directional cues was deployed in the early 1990s. Within the various buildings, pedestrians can find a PATH system map, plus cardinal directions on ceiling signs at selected junctions; the signage can be hard to find inside some of the various connected buildings. Building owners concerned about losing customers to neighbouring buildings insisted that the signs not dominate their buildings, or their own signage system; the city relented and the result is the current system. Many complain. PATH provides an important contribution to the economic viability of the city's downtown core; the system facilitates pedestrian linkages to public transit, accommodating more than 200,000 daily commuters, thousands of additional tourists and residents en route to sports and cultural events.
Its underground location provides pedestrians with a safe haven from the winter cold and snow, alongside the summer heat and humidity. In August 2014, a major southward expansion of the PATH network brought it closer to the Toronto waterfront, with the opening of a covered pedestrian bridge connecting Scotiabank Arena south to WaterPark Place on Queens Quay. In 2011, the City of Toronto released a long-term expansion plan for the PATH, developed by Urban Strategies Inc; as part of the expansion plan there will be 45 new entry points, the walkway expanded to as long as 60 kilometres when changes are completed. The city of Toronto is constructing a 300-metre, CAD$65 million tunnel connecting Union Station to Wellington Street, the first publicly owned segment of the 4,000,000-square-foot PATH subterranean shopping district. Toronto planners have begun work to guide future PATH development and ensure PATH link construction is included in basement levels of key new buildings. More than 50 buildings or office towers are connected through the PATH system.
It comprises twenty parking garages, five subway stations (Osgoode station connects only to the Four Seasons Centr