Don Mills Centre
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The Don Mills Centre was a shopping mall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was located on a 44-acre (17.8 ha) commercial site, at the southwest corner of Don Mills Road and Lawrence Avenue East in the planned community of Don Mills. There were at least 98 stores during the height of the mall's existence. The majority of the mall was closed and demolished in summer 2006 for redevelopment as the Shops at Don Mills.
E. P. Taylor of Argus Corporation originally bought the land for a brewing plant, but decided to make the site the focal point of the 2,100-acre (850 ha) planned community. Initial construction of the Don Mills Centre began in 1954. In 1955, a strip plaza was opened with a Dominion supermarket, Kofflers Drug Store (the first Shoppers Drug Mart), Brewers Retail and a dozen other retailers.
Don Mills Centre was primarily intended to serve the local community, centrally located within walking distance of many rental units built around the core of the community.
By 1965, the Dominion supermarket] had relocated into a larger store at the south end, Zellers moved in and an outdoor mall expanded to 65 stores.
In 1978, a major renovation was undertaken to enclose the mall. The mall was expanded from 400,000 to 462,000 square feet (37,000 to 43,000 m²).
After its closure in the 1990s, the lower level of the Eaton's store was converted to a Sears Canada outlet store, which later closed. The store once again stood empty for some time until it was leased by a sporting goods store, National Sports. The store then left the site after two years and was replaced by a patio furniture store and a used car dealership.
Demolition and redevelopment
Increased competition from other shopping malls and the closure of main anchor tenant T. Eaton Co. meant declines in mall revenues and the exodus of many fashion retailers.
The Shoppers Drug Mart opened in late April 2007, its 1000th store, and the CIBC Branch opened at the same time. As of early October 2008, Jack Astor's had re-opened. The first phase of an urban village, the Shops at Don Mills, consisting of 100 retailers and services opened on April 22, 2009.
Home Hardware relocated to 49 The Donway West, on the south side of the Mall property, where The Beer Store, Blockbuster Video and Royal LePage Realty had long been located. In June 2013, this series of buildings at 49 The Donway West was demolished. Shoppers Drug Mart and CIBC built new locations on the north-east corner of Lawrence Avenue East and The Donway West.
Dominion (now Metro) and the Royal Bank Building are the only remainders of the old mall.
Former Anchor tenants of the Don Mills Centre included:
- Home Hardware
- Eaton's — became Sears Canada clearance centre and later as National Sports
- Zellers — closed and demolished
- Dominion — now Metro
Bittner's Meat and Deli operated at Don Mills Plaza for many years.
Royal Bank building
- Spacing Votes: Don Mills Centre redevelopment stirs conflict October 26, 2006
- Don Mills Friends: Concerned Residents for Maintaining the Indoor Mall
- Feisty Don Mills activist refuses to accept the writing on the mall Globe and Mail, December 16, 2006
- Photos of Don Mills Centre prior to closure