100% agree. Lackluster, directionless opening, ribbon cutting, and first holiday season.They kind of flubbed the opening holiday programming here tbh.
The decorations feel weird and ill proportioned to where they are located, and the style doesn't really jive with the more classical elements of the architecture. The large wooden column hugging trees near front / Spadina are especially ugly.
I understand the mall is not done and the retail / market hasn’t all opened but the goal for this season should have been to get as many torontonians from across the entire city to at least walk through the complex as I am not sure many people outside of the core really know what The Well is about or that it contains this central retail spine.
The choice to do a cocktail yurt with a DJ is totally the opposite vibe I had hoped they would go for and feels extremely commercial real estate / worst of king west dude bro.
I am imagining photos with Santa, hot chocolate, a variety of musical acts or a movie night in the main space showing holiday films with treats. It should have been family friendly and as free as possible, taking aim directly at the distillery district (realistically, visitors could have hit up both in one day by hopping on the king car from distillery loop)
Hopefully when the skating rink opens it will draw a few more visitors.
And with Hugh gone, it's all just Andrew and Jonathan...Goooooooooooooooooooooood luck, folks!100% agree. Lackluster, directionless opening, ribbon cutting, and first holiday season.
Then again, it's RioCan. Sorry to say it, but this company has never understood the value of experience, design and quality, and are not set up to manage and operate a new kind of beast like The Well.
Think about what else they own and manage. A few examples in Toronto:
- the northwest (Yonge Eglinton Centre) and northeast (ePlace) corners of Yonge & Eglinton. Blech. Both covered in garbage, pigeon poop, and labyrinthine hallways and stairs that obviously prioritized cost or efficiency in construction over the customer experience.
- Leaside Centre (Eglinton & Laird) - Canadian Tire, etc. - blech
- Lawrence Allen Centre - blech
- Yonge Sheppard Centre - a little better, misses the mark overall, managed poorly, always seems dark, dirty, and confusing
Allied (Hugh Clark) really drove the development quality at The Well. It wasn't RioCan. In their other joint ventures (King Portland Centre, 602-606 King West) I think the RioCan responsibility is basically limited to retail leasing within an Allied building. But there's so much retail at The Well and they just are not equipped to manage a Class A property of this quality. I am worried that their operational habits (especially in a borderline recessionary environment) are going to run it into the ground. Would be delighted to be proven wrong.
Really?? A brand new retail destination in the heart of downtown and the shops close at 6?? I'm gobsmacked.I took a walk through The Well yesterday evening and was a bit let down, compared to my earlier pre-opening walks. While it is supposedly "open" all the retailers, save Shoppers, had closed at 6:00 p.m. giving it "ghost town" vibes. Barely a month out from Christmas this seemed odd. Also, the decorations felt cheap and assembled without much thought. Hopefully, it is just opening pains and they figure this out next year.