25 new retailers have been added to the Rideau Centre in the mall's largest renovation since it opened more than 30 years ago.

The final phase of the $360 million renovation opened to the public at 11 a.m. Thursday. By the time the doors opened, some eager shoppers had already been waiting more than 18 hours to get inside.

"When I heard there was going to be an opening sale, I said sure," Pranshu Anand said. "It's my first time. I've never waited for a sale," he said.

Anand camped outside the new, downtown H&M for more than 14 hours for the chance to win a gift card. The first person in line arrived 18 hours before the store's grand opening.

"I was number 4, so I won like $75. I feel great," he said.

The expansion features four levels and 230,000 square feet of prime retail real estate. Simons, Anthropologie, Massimo Dutti, Frank and Oak, and Steve Madden are among some of the new brands calling the Rideau Centre home. Cadillac Fairview began the process five years ago.

“A lot of stress and it’s just amazing. The feeling that you get,” said Danielle Lavoie, Cadillac Fairview’s Senior Vice President. “This is the third and final phase of this project and we are very excited to greet the community and to have everybody come and see the end result.”

In August 2014, the food court was moved from the first level to the second level of the mall and rebranded to include 16 new dining destinations and seating for 850. Then, in March 2015, Nordstrom opened its second Canadian location in the former Sears location. Since then, new retailers like Kate Spade, Ted Baker London, and JCrew have opened in the older section of the mall.

Simons' CEO Peter Simons said moving into the Ottawa market has been a goal of his for more than a decade.

"I can feel the whole downtown coming together. There is a great vision," he said. "I can feel the pieces coming together and just to be part of a quality redevelopment and a renewal like that, for an entrepreneur that's all you can ask for."

As a result of the influx of new businesses, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said more than 500 jobs have been created.

“$360 million into the city to build the economy. And this is a key destination for tourists," said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. "Let's not forget that it is creating jobs."

When it is complete, the LRT will link directly to the Rideau Centre.