The Room at The Bay

Under the direction of retail visionary Bonnie Brooks, now CEO and President of The Bay department store in Toronto, Yabu Pushelberg set out to reinvent the iconic 20,000-square-foot store, making it more relevant and responsive to the needs of todays fashion-forward clientele. Capitalizing on the fact that modern consumers arent afraid to mix and match designer brands, the firm was able to unify the large space by giving it a cohesive point of view, and not necessarily one that reflects the identity of each individual retail brand. Each room flows seamlessly into the next, and guests will find a restored sense of intimacy in The Room, thanks to the design teams residential floor plan and familiar design aesthetic.

By transforming the store into a gracious residential home with multiple rooms and increased natural light, Yabu Pushelberg was able to create a more personal environment as opposed to a typical one-big-room-department store. Artistic elements such as decorative screens, hand-painted wall treatments and wooden chandeliers enhance the spaces ethereal appeal, as does the use of natural materials and sculptural elements throughout.

By commissioning revered Canadian artists such as Deborah Moss and Edward Lam of Moss Lam and Teresa Leung to contribute to the space, the firm was able to recapture The Rooms fantastic pedigree, bringing back to life the glamorous glory days via quintessential Canadian style elements. Texture and the illusion of texture is repeated throughout the design plan, in wall and floor finishes, a prime example being the hand-painted crown moldings. And unlike traditional retail layouts where the cash register is exposed and centrally-located, the firm opted to separate out the point of sale stations, giving them their own space with mauve and citrus color palettes so as to add to reinforce the residential feel of the store.
Also new to the store is the Platinum Suite a modern, chic space that will cater to VIP clientele and in-store events.

The Room was revealed in October 2009, only three months after the concept was developed, providing consumers with an intimate and polished department store experience equally suited to the international shopper as to the fashionable Canadian consumer. The sophistication of the space speaks to the fashions and the future of The Bay brand.


Project Type


176 Yonge Street , Toronto, ON M5C 2L7,