Unicity Mall

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Unicity Fashion Square
Opening date1975
Closing date1995
DeveloperTrizec
ManagementTrizec
No. of floors1
Public transit accessBus interchange Winnipeg Transit Unicity Transit Terminal
11 Portage-Kildonan
21 Portage Express
24 Ness Express
25 Ness Super Express
66 Grant
82 - Grace Hospital - Unicity
83 - Unicity - Strauss Drive - Murray Industrial Park
98 - Westdale - Grace Hospital

Unicity Mall was an enclosed shopping mall in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It was named for the 1972 unicity restructuring of city management.

Originally known as Unicity Fashion Square when it opened in September 1975, the mall was anchored by a Woolco and The Bay, and was one of only three malls in the city, along with Polo Park and Grant Park Shopping Centre. Managed by Trizec Corporation, the mall initially prospered despite one wing being almost completely empty. The food court's McDonald's was the first to be placed inside a mall in western Canada.

Today, the mall has been redeveloped into the Unicity Shopping Centre, a commercial site with individual buildings.[1][2]

History[edit]

Unicity Mall was opened in September 1975 as Unicity Fashion Square, and was anchored by a Woolco and The Bay, and was one of only three malls in the city, along with Polo Park and Grant Park Shopping Centre.

In the mid 1980s, the local economy was slowing down and the mall began losing tenants. By the 1990s, it was mostly empty and the vacated spaces were used for temporary flea markets. During that time, Woolco became Walmart, and extensive pressure was placed on the mall ownership for expansion of the Unicity Walmart location.

In April 1995, owner Bramalea Limited, which had 67% stake in the mall, became bankrupt after all its board of directors resigned.[3][4] At that time, the mall had 86 stores and an area of 485,000 square feet (45,100 m2).[5] Markborough Properties of Toronto, which had owned a smaller portion of the mall, immediately took over management and leasing.[6]

Despite various legal battles between store owners, local residents, and the new ownership, the mall was demolished to make way for a larger Walmart.[7] Ownership was transferred to First Pro and the mall was subsequently demolished in 2000[8] and replaced with a SmartCentres big-box complex.[9]

The Unicity Shopping Centre is now home to Walmart, Canadian Tire, Sobeys, Staples Canada, Winners, Sport Chek, Tim Hortons, KFC, Burger King, Shoppers Drug Mart, Value Village, Mark's, Quiznos, Bulk Barn and Dollar Tree among others.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Unicity Shopping Centre". Nejmark Architect. Retrieved 2021-06-12.
  2. ^ a b "St. James". Tourism Winnipeg. Archived from the original on 2014-04-22. Retrieved April 21, 2014. Unicity Shopping Centre is an open-air mall located at the edge of Portage Avenue near the Perimeter Highway.
  3. ^ "Bramalea declared bankrupt by judge Petition made after board quits". The Globe & Mail. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 27 April 1995. p. A1.
  4. ^ "Bramalea's empire gets divided up". Financial Post. 28 Apr 1995. p. 43.
  5. ^ Zehr, Leonard (1 April 1995). "Creditors circling over Bramalea's assets: Court clears the way for seizures as it removes bankruptcy protection on 44 of the worst-performing properties". The Globe and Mail. p. B4.
  6. ^ Zehr, Leonard (28 Apr 1995). "Bramalea feeding frenzy begins: Creditors begin applying to take possession of properties from defunct developer". The Globe and Mail. p. B1.
  7. ^ Kives, Bartley (14 March 2009). "Thinking outside the big box". Winnipeg Free Press. p. A6.
  8. ^ "Winnipeg buoyed by expanding industrial and retail sector". The Globe and Mail. 24 October 2000. p. I10.
  9. ^ "Unicity Mall". Nejman Architect. Retrieved April 21, 2014.