The Centre (Saskatoon)
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2014)|
|Location||3510 8th Street East - Wildwood, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada|
|Developer||Circus Strategic Communications Inc.|
|Owner||Mr. Ameer Ibrahim Awad|
|No. of stores and services||109|
|No. of anchor tenants||8 - Saskatoon Co-op, Sport Chek, Petcetera, Shoppers Drug Mart, Centre Cinemas, Rainbow Cinemas, Best Buy, Indigo Books and Music, Target|
|Total retail floor area||519,347 sq.ft|
|No. of floors||1|
|Parking||2373 including two level free heated underground parking and free above ground parking|
The Centre is a major shopping centre located east of the junction of Circle Drive and 8th Street in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It is currently anchored by Sport Chek, Saskatoon Co-op, Rainbow Cinemas, the Centre Cinemas, Petcetera, Shoppers Drug Mart, Best Buy, Indigo Books and Music and Dollarama. Until 2002-2004, Canadian Tire and Walmart were also part of this mall. They both moved to the big box development of Preston Crossing; a Zellers department store that had operated in the west end of the mall since it was built in the 1960s subsequently relocated from its original location to occupy the vacated Walmart location at the east end. The Zellers has since closed and has been converted into Target. The Centre boasts more than 90 shops and services, 9 fine art galleries in Centre East, and a 2-level temperature controlled underground parkade.
The Centre (originally branded as The Centre at Circle and 8th) was created in 1995 through the amalgamation of Wildwood Mall (built in 1977) and Circle Park Mall (built in the mid-1980s, but see below), which were separated by Acadia Drive. When both malls were bought by Devan Properties Inc. (now Morguard Corporation), the malls were connected by an underground link under Acadia Drive (after the city rejected a proposal for an at-grade extension that would have resulted in Acadia, a major access route into the Wildwood and Lakeview communities, being closed to traffic). The two "sides" of the mall are now known as "Centre East" and "Centre West". In 2009, the vacated Zellers location in "Centre West" (which after Zellers relocated to Centre East had been used for an assortment of business ventures) was demolished, making way for the city's first Best Buy retail store, which opened in 2010. This renovation resulted in the mall's Safeway store becoming a standalone building, no longer physically connected to the mall; the Best Buy was likewise initially not connected to the mall directly, but a corridor link was established in 2011. 2009 saw the opening of the city's first Indigo Books and Music location, also in a standalone building.
Target Canada announced that The Centre location of Zellers would be converted to a Target store as part of the US-based chain's takeover of Zellers. The Zellers location closed in January 2013, and Target opened in July 2013. As a consequence of the chain being bought by Sobeys, the Centre location of Canada Safeway closed in early 2014; it was purchased by Saskatoon Co-op, which relocated its 8th Street grocery store there in the spring of 2014.
On Jan. 15, 2015, only 18 months after the Centre location opened, Target announced plans to close all Canadian locations of the department store chain. It remains to be seen what if any retailer replaces Target after it closes in the Centre.
The Centre was created by the merging of two established shopping centres:
Opened on April 25, 1977, Wildwood Mall (now Centre East) was only the second proper enclosed mall on the east side of Saskatoon. Its original anchor tenants were Woolco, a discount department store, and Dominion, a grocery store. The closure of Dominion in the 1980s resulted in a series of unsuccessful renovation attempts. A food court was added but sat mostly vacant (by this time the larger Circle Park Mall had already established its own food court across the street). The remainder of the former Dominion space was initially occupied by a home video rental business (Jumbo Video, which closed after a couple of years), then after 1992 by Pinder's Drugs (later Shopper's Drug Mart). In 1994, Woolco became Wal-Mart, around the time discussions regarding amalgamation with Circle Park Mall began in earnest. During the mid-1990s, Wildwood Mall had a large number of vacancies and came close to dead mall territory before the two malls were joined. The two movie theatres now situated on the west side of Centre East were built as part of the amalgamation and, along with a Dollarama store, take up the area previously held by Dominion and the later food court/Pinders sites.
County Fair Plaza and Circle Park Mall
Centre West first opened in 1970 as County Fair Plaza. It was not a true shopping mall, but a collection of two major stores, a Zellers and Canada Safeway, that were joined together, along with a few smaller shops accessed via a short corridor, including a Pinder's Drug Store (later Shopper's Drug Mart) location. In 1985-1986 the mall underwent a significant expansion to become a major enclosed shopping centre, with Canadian Tire added as an anchor tenant and a food court, plus an underground parkade. The expanded mall was rebranded Circle Park Mall. In the mid-1990s, Circle Park and Wildwood malls merged to form The Centre. Soon after, Canadian Tire vacated its anchor location, which was subsequently divided into smaller retailers.
The site that now has the Indigo Books standalone location was developed in the late 1980s as a separate strip mall with several smaller retailers that were not considered part of Circle Park Mall proper; this building was demolished in the mid-2000s to make way for the Indigo development.
- "Vanreal Developments Limited". Vanreal Developments Limited. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
- "Two Zeller's stores in Target's sights", Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, Sept. 24, 2011, retrieved Jan. 6, 2012
- , Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, July 15, 2013, retrieved August 9, 2013
- "Popular Searches of the Local History Room Collections Database". Saskatoon Public Library. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
- O'Brien, Jeff; Ruth W. Millar; William P. Delainey (2006). Roberta Coulter, ed. Saskatoon: A History in Photographs. Coteau Books. p. 135. ISBN 1-55050-336-7.
- The Centre - official mall web site
- Rainbow Cinemas Centre @ Circle and 8th
- The BigScreen Cinema Guide: The Marquee - Rainbow Cinemas Centre ...
- Centre Cinemas 955-1983
- Rainbow Cinemas 955-8642