Being a nerd, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Apple plans to build a massive 9 300 square foot flagship store in the heart of Downtown at 1321 Ste-Catherine. According to AppleInsider, the existing building (currently housing a clothing store) will see its bottom floor raised to reconfigure the space inside and the facade will be replaced with stainless steel (and probably a giant glowing Apple logo).It is easy to pass this off as just a new retail store for a large corporation on a section of the street filled with many others like it but Apple Flagship stores tend to be very different. First of all, this will only be the 10th such store to be built (many of which are in Manhattan) and the first in Canada. These stores also attract huge numbers of people and are wildly popular for a retail store. Apple’s massive 5th Avenue location in New York is becoming a popular tourist attraction in its own right and a store being built in Manhattan’s Meat-Packing District is expected to pump new life into otherwise quiet and “un-hip” section of the city. Furthermore, Apple Stores have a huge effect on the streets on which they are built. Store openings and product launches always create huge lines in front of the store, which sometimes start days before the actual “event”.Due to their often ostentatious design and disregard for historical context, Apple Stores have created a great deal of controversy in other cities and have even been blocked due to complaints from residents and historical organisations. This probably won’t be a hurdle in Montreal as the location they have chosen already looks somewhat like a typical Apple store and isn’t a particular noteworthy building. It is unlikely that this store will have a huge impact on this particular section of Ste-Catherine as it is well known as a high-end retail strip (the building is attached to Ogilvy) and is already very popular with tourists. What such an important store will do however is reinforce Ste-Catherine as an important and thriving retail strip as past Flagship stores have done on other streets around the world such as Manhattan’s 5th Avenue and San Francisco’s Market Street.