The Malls of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada: Park Place Mall, Centre Village Mall, Lethbridge Centre

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:

Lethbridge Centre:

Park Place Mall:

More Lethbridge:

17 Responses to “The Malls of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada: Park Place Mall, Centre Village Mall, Lethbridge Centre”

  1. Does Park Place’s sign rotate, or is it just me?

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    Prange Way Reply:

    @Pseudo3D, yes of course it does! It’s Canada!

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  2. I remember that Winners seemed a lot like Marshalls/Ross/TJMaxx. Is there any connection with one of those retailers?

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    Brandon Reply:

    @J-Man,

    Yes
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winners

    It is a part of TJX.

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  3. TJX also owns TJ Maxx in the United States, which would make sense why Winners would look like a TJ Maxx.

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  4. My mom and my husband keep telling me Canada has malls underground? well, not these 3 obviously, but there are underground malls?

    It’s more in the Niagra Falls type area where they are.

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  5. Yes, Canada does have underground malls, such as the PATH of Toronto and the Underground City of Montreal. They are long and winding and have many stores. These malls may be another subject to talk about on Labelscar.

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  6. Looks like that one group of big-boxers used to be another anchor department store when Park Place opened.

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    Jeff L. Reply:

    @Thomas O.,

    The anchor space used to be an Eaton’s, which closed in 1999 when the chain went bankrupt. I’m pretty sure the Bay store in Lethbridge Centre used to be a Woodward’s as well.

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  7. The Future Shop in Centre Village Mall is no longer there. They moved to a new freestanding store in the south of Lethbridge near the south Walmart and Superstore. There is now a dollar store in its old location.

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  8. I haven’t been to Lethbridge in more than 10 years, and I remember Lethbridge Centre was still a thriving mall, not the dead mall it’s resembling today. The Bay used to be a Woodward’s and it had a Food Floor before Safeway took over in the late 1980′s. Sad to see the empty food court pictures. I wonder when The Bay will think about relocating. When did Safeway close?

    Park Place used to have a single floor Eaton’s which looks like the Big Box store have invaded that location. Reminds me of some of the malls in Calgary that used to have Kmart and the same thing happened.

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  9. Thanks for posting pics of Lethbridge… I used to work at that Zellers in Centre Village about 10 years ago. As for Lethbridge Centre, it was dying then, and I remember wondering why the Bay never moved into the (smaller but newer) Eaton’s store at Park Place.

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  10. Dear “Labelscar:”

    I have placed a link to your site on my blog, “The Department Store Museum.”

    http://departmentstoremuseum.blogspot.com/

    It is a work in progress, but you may find it interesting as the subject matter overlaps somewhat.

    Kind regards:

    BAK

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  11. The Crow’s Nest links British Columbia to the west, Saskatchewan is east of Alberta. Just FYI.

    I haven’t been to Lethbridge in years, though when I was last there I wondered why they needed more than one mall or shopping center, I thought they could get one strong mall rather than several crappy malls.

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  12. Centre Village Mall was the first enclosed mall in Lethbridge. There were three previous strip-style malls:

    - Sandman Inn Mall, greatly renovated
    -Magrath Market Place (original Zellers location)
    - College Mall (Woolco, and then original Walmart location)

    There is also substancial retail development at the far south of the city, with major retailers around a strip mall and free standing setting…

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  13. Hmm, I was actually wondering how old you have to be to work at any of the stores in the malls- and what experience is needed. Great malls we have here in Lethbridge!

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  14. Has there ever been any deaths in park place mall?

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