With a population of 85,000, Lethbridge is the largest city in southern Alberta and the fourth largest city in the province. Lethbridge is located 130 miles (210 km) southeast of Calgary, and 60 miles (100 km) north of the American border and Montana. With an economy historically tied to agriculture and coal mining, the Lethbridge of today is a regional financial, education, commercial, and transportation hub. Most of Lethbridge’s retail is shared between the three malls located in and around downtown and along Mayor Magrath Road (AB Route 4) on the southeast side of town.
Centre Village Mall was Lethbridge’s first mall, and it opened in 1970. It originally had Lethbridge’s Simpson’s store, which became Sears and jumped ship in 1988 when Park Place opened. Today, Centre Village is a mostly successful ancillary mall, anchored by Canadian Tire, which filled the empty Sears location, Zellers, Future Shop, and Mark’s Work Wearhouse. Centre Village also has many independent and service-oriented inline stores, in contrast to the popular national, traditional mall chains found at Park Place.
Lethbridge Centre, anchored by The Bay, opened in 1975 as part of a downtown revitalization program. It has since failed as a retail mall due to the opening of Park Place in 1988 and has been mostly retenanted by offices. The 330,000 square foot two-level mall, which originally had popular national retail stores, now contains mostly offices such as Alberta Health Services and a few service-oriented businesses and restaurants. There is also a separate 11-story office tower attached to Lethbridge Centre, which stands high on Lethbridge’s modest skyline.
Park Place Mall, centrally located just two blocks from downtown along the Crowsnest Highway (AB Route 3), which connects Lethbridge to Calgary and Edmonton to the northeast, and Saskatchewan to the west, is the largest and most dominant mall in Lethbridge at 470,831 square feet. Opened in 1988, Park Place is also the third and newest mall in Lethbridge. It was expanded in 1996 and renovated in 2001. Park Place is currently anchored by Sears, and home to majors Pier One, Staples, Winners, Jysk, Sport Chek, Michaels Crafts, and Chapters bookstore. The layout of Park Place is interesting, with a row of box stores on one end and Sears on the other, connected by a squirrely mallway featuring an inlaid triangle. There is also a 10-screen Galaxy Cinemas.
I visited Lethbridge in July 2009 and took the pictures featured here. Let us know what you think, or if you have any contributions of your own to make.
Centre Village Mall:
Park Place Mall: