eatoncentre

Wayne Barwise, senior vice-president of development at Cadillac Fairview Corp. Ltd., gives an overview of the $120 million facelift that will be made to the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto. ((CBC))

The Toronto Eaton Centre in downtown is getting a $120-million facelift.

"It was just Eaton Centre's turn to be redeveloped," said Wayne Barwise, senior vice-president of development at Cadillac Fairview Corp. Ltd., the mall's owner. "Our position is to always be best in class."

All of the renovations will take place inside the 33-year-old mall, which attacts more than 50 million visitors each year.

The goal is to create more light and airiness with major upgrades to the restaurants and food courts on the lower levels, Cadillac Fairview said. The transformation is the biggest investment made to the Eaton Centre since it opened in 1977.

The changes will turn the south food court into an upscale restaurant-style environment, while the north food court will be redesigned and expanded to become the main eating area. Other changes include a complete replacement of the mall's flooring, handrails and renovation and expansion of the washrooms.

The renovations, which will begin July 1 and take about two years, will not result in a significant hike in rents, Cadillac Fairview said.

"Nothing will change that is out of the ordinary," Barwise said. "Rents are reviewed on an annual basis with tenants and they change for a variety of circumstances."

The Eaton Centre remains one of Toronto's top tourist destinations and is the fourth largest mall in the country.

with files from The Canadian Press