Fredericton Mall; Fredericton, New Brunswick

Fredericton Mall in Fredericton, New Brunswick

Constructed in 1971 as Fredericton, New Brunswick’s first enclosed shopping mall, the Fredericton Mall is located at routes 8, 101, and Prospect Street on the city’s south side in the center of the city’s major retail district. While only 221,000 square feet in size, the long, slender mall hosts approximately 60 stores, most catering to relatively utilitarian needs. With Zeller’s, Sobey’s, Staples, and Shoppers Drug Mart as some of the anchors, it’s the kind of small mall that’s common throughout Canada.

While Fredericton Mall was supplanted as the dominant mall for the Fredericton area in 1976 when the Regent Mall was built across the freeway, it continued to do relatively well until our visit in June 2005, hosting much of the overflow from its larger sibling. All photos here were taken on that June 2005 visit on the crappy VGA camera phone. Unfortunately, in the year since, Fredericton Mall has experienced some heavy changes and much of the mall is now being demolished and big-boxed. Sadly, the Fredericton Mall’s days as an enclosed mall have come to an unceremonious end.

Also, a special thanks to Labelscar friend and poster JP Kirby for giving us some great information on this and other New Brunswick Malls! It’s hard to find much background on a lot of the centers up there.

Fredericton Mall in Fredericton, New Brunswick Fredericton Mall in Fredericton, New Brunswick Fredericton Mall in Fredericton, New Brunswick

Fredericton Mall in Fredericton, New Brunswick Fredericton Mall in Fredericton, New Brunswick

Parkway Mall; Saint John, New Brunswick

Abandoned Luncheonette at Parkway Mall in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

This is going to be post number 112,495 where I apologize for the quality of the pictures taken with my old camera phone! Sorry! Eventually you’ll get tired of hearing me apologize for this (I know I’ve gotten tired of doing it), but you’ll forgive me when you see gems like these. Even when kicking it VGA-res style like it was still the grunge era, you can tell that the Parkway Mall in Saint John, New Brunswick is a gem. And guess what? It’s kind of in the middle of nowhere. So I probably won’t be back. This is what we get then.

Another thing about this mall: I don’t know anything about it and the good ol’ interweb won’t bail me out this time. I can say this: Saint John is a city of about 70,000, making it the largest in the province of New Brunswick. It’s very much a northern coastal city; it’s a sprawling blue collar city filled with oil tanks and paper mills and shipping ports, and it’s quite unlike most comparable New England cities. Saint John is also notable because–like many Canadian cities–it seems to have about one mall per every 10,000 residents. I saw five of these, but I may have missed two more! Don’t worry, I’ll post some fuzzy pics of those others someday. Eventually.

Parkway Mall is a relatively small center located at the intersection of McAllister Dr. and Westmorland Rd. on Saint John’s east side. It’s located directly across from McAllister Place, the city’s largest shopping mall and the reason I was in the area in the first place. Parkway Mall didn’t come up on my radar beforehand, and came as a very pleasant surprise. Despite being in the middle of the city’s most active retail district, these pictures illustrate that, as of when they were taken in June of 2005, the center had very little left operating inside. If I remember correctly, there was a shoe store and a dollar store, and “The Bargain! Shop,” which only had an exterior entrance.

As you can see, this one is a true dead mall gem. That sad little luncheonette in the center of the main mallway is my favorite; I can only imagine that when it was built, it was probably a really cool place. Those purple and blue stripes look like something I would’ve had on some cheap sneakers about 20 years back, too. The Parkway Mall is simply amazing, and worth a stop if you’re ever in the area (which is admittedly pretty unlikely). If you know any of the history of the mysterious Parkway Mall, please comment!

Parkway Mall in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada Bargain Shop at Parkway Mall in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada Food court at Parkway Mall in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Parkway Mall in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada Abandoned Luncheonette at Parkway Mall in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada Play It Again Sports at Parkway Mall in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Brookside Mall; Fredericton, New Brunswick

Brookside Mall parking area in Fredricton, NB

I figured that we might as well take a detour to a somewhat exotic locale for this strange little mall. In keeping with Canada’s typically crazy mall-building tendencies, the Brookside Mall is one of five (!!) malls serving the greater Fredericton, New Brunswick area. Fredericton is a tidy, attractive little city in central New Brunswick and is the capital of the province. To say this area is remote is a bit of an understatement: Fredericton has only about 50,000 people, and there are almost no suburbs. When you leave Fredericton, you leave–the surrounding areas have almost no population at all. We were really fascinated to find that they actually watch Boston television stations up there–this is a seven hour drive north of Boston!

I saw the Brookside Mall on a road trip up to New Brunswick just about a year ago. This is the lone mall for the northern side of Fredricton, and seems to be emblematic of many smaller Canadian malls: it includes a Zellers, a Sobey’s Supermarket, and a dollar store (in this case, it is the somewhat puzzling “Rossy Fredericton,” which reminded me a bit of Woolworth or Family Dollar).

Rossy Fredricton inside Brookside Mall in Fredricton, NB

While not dead, it’s easy to tell from the many vacant storefronts that the Brookside Mall wasn’t really thriving either. It seemed more typical of the kind of malaise that many smaller Canadian malls seem to endure, but quite unlike in the States, the tenants didn’t clear out wholesale. A mall like this one wouldn’t probably even be enclosed in the United States.

Brookside Mall also had kind of an interesting design. From the entrance on Brookside Drive (visible in the above photo) it appeared to be a standard older dumbell-style mall, with Sobey’s and Rossy Fredericton at each end. When using the main entrance, however, you find that there’s a larger hallway that goes straight back, then turns diagonally to the left, and ends at Zellers in the rear of the mall, making the center quite a bit larger than it seems initially. Furthermore, the style of the center (which is more or less laid out like a “V”) lead me to believe that a large empty space in the middle of the V was probably an anchor store of some sort, with entrances by both Rossy Fredericton and Zellers. Turns out I was half right–according to the diagram below, there is an entire wing spanning between Zellers and Rossy Fredericton that was closed off when I was there last year. What a neat floorplan for a smaller mall!

Brookside Mall floorplan, Fredericton, NB

Befitting of its physical remoteness there’s almost nothing about the Brookside Mall on the web, so if you do know something then (as usual) please comment! I did find this leasing page, and a general article about big box development planned for Fredericton and elsewhere in New Brunswick. There’s no satellite imagery of that area, either, though if you feel like you might want to visit the Brookside Mall, here it is. You can zoom out and get a really terrible satellite photo, too, but why would you want to?

Brookside Mall entrance in Fredricton, NB Brookside Mall Sobey's in Fredricton, NB Brookside Mall in Fredricton, NB

Brookside Mall in Fredricton, NB Zellers wing at Brookside Mall in Fredricton, NB Center court at Brookside Mall in Fredricton, NB