Bramalea City Centre

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Bramalea City Center
BCC Main Entrance 2016.jpg
Location Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Coordinates 43°43′00″N 79°43′26″W / 43.716589°N 79.723921°W / 43.716589; -79.723921Coordinates: 43°43′00″N 79°43′26″W / 43.716589°N 79.723921°W / 43.716589; -79.723921
Opening date March 28, 1973
Developer Bramalea Limited
Management Morguard Investments Limited
Owner Morguard Investments Limited
No. of stores and services 300+
No. of anchor tenants 3
Total retail floor area 85 acres (0.34 km2; 0.133 sq mi)
No. of floors 2
Parking 6385
Public transit access Bramalea Terminal
Website bramaleacitycentre.com

The Bramalea City Centre is a large shopping mall located in the city of Brampton, Ontario, Canada. With over a 1.5 million square feet of retail space and more than 300 outlets, it is one of Canada's largest shopping malls. Regarded as a super regional mall, the Bramalea City Centre has a market of more than 500,000 residents and attracts 16 million visitors annually.[1] The Bramalea City Centre is located near the intersection of Queen Street and Dixie Road, just east of Highway 410.

History

In the 1960s, when Bramalea existed as an independent and fast-growing town, area planners implemented a master plan to oversee local development. Included in this master plan was a series of residential areas, industrial development, open parks, and amongst other things, a central shopping centre.[2] An eighty-five acre site, situated in the heart of Bramalea, was designated for mall development. Bramalea Consolidated Developments Limited (later shortened to Bramalea Limited in 1976), the local real estate developer responsible for developing much of Bramalea since the late 1950s, began mall construction towards the end of the decade on what was then the largest retail development in North America.[3]

The first phase of construction entailed the "service centre" portion of the mall at the north end, about 75,000 square feet consisting of a Food City grocery store, LCBO, and various other small shops and offices, completed by 1971. The second phase added 600,000 square feet of mall space, including a two-level Eaton's (120,000 square feet total, officially opened October 7, 1971 while the rest of the mall was still under construction), the two-level main mall corridor of 300,000 square feet stretching east to another anchor store yet to have a tenant (The Bay would end up occupying this space, with 131,000 square feet on two levels), and Steinberg's retail space to the south, consisting of an 80,000 square foot Miracle Mart department store and a 20,000 square foot Miracle Food Mart supermarket, both next to each other on the upper level (later operated together as a Miracle Beaucoup).[4]

Construction was completed in 1973, as the surrounding landscape experienced rapid change as the result of a population boom. The Bramalea City Centre had its grand opening on March 28, 1973;[2] this was only four years after Brampton's first mall, Shoppers World Brampton, opened its doors in 1969. Initially opening with 160 outlets, Bramalea City Centre housed various retail stores, large anchor store tenants, grocery stores, restaurants and even a hardware store and a movie theatre (Bramalea Cinemas, closed in the late 1980s when Odeon moved to Gateway 6 Cinemas). The nearby Bramalea Civic Centre was also constructed around this time in the early 1970s, housing various municipal government offices, a theatre and the Brampton Public Library's Chinguacousy branch. There was a short underground tunnel under Team Canada Dr. connecting the mall and Civic Centre outside areas, visible in early aerial imagery but since removed.

Although Bramalea later became part of the city of Brampton during a 1974 amalgamation, the Bramalea City Centre, Brampton's largest mall, retained the name of the original community in which it was built. Mall expansion continued throughout the 1980s and 1990s under Bramalea Limited and Trizec Corporation (under Trilea Centers Inc) ownership and operation, including a northwest wing extension for the present Sears store location, and new bus terminal in 1991. A $6.5-million 150-room Holiday Inn hotel (started construction in 1978, owned by Bramalea Ltd and run by Holiday Inn), various separate external stores, and the Region of Peel office buildings were built within the malls' site boundaries, but were not directly connected to the main mall.

Bramalea Limited underwent financial hardships in the early 90's recession that forced the company to start to liquidate much of its real estate holdings (shopping malls, hotels, office towers, etc.) to try to remain a going concern, but eventually the company went into bankruptcy in April 1995, and a number of creditors acquired various real estate holdings. Ownership of the Bramalea City Centre (at the time 100% owned by Bramalea Ltd) went to the Toronto-Dominion Bank. In 1997, shareholder Gentra Inc. bought the rest of TD's stake in the mall. In 2002, the Bramalea City Centre was acquired by its current joint owners, Canadian real estate firm Morguard Corporation and a third party institutional investor.

In 2004, the mall underwent a $165-million reconstruction to improve all common areas. The renovation was completed in eight months, a majority of which was done during the night while the mall was closed.[1] Upper and ground level corridors at the southwest end of the mall mainly composed of smaller tenant stores were removed in favour of larger store space occupying these areas for Old Navy, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Best Buy. Additional renovation projects were carried out in 2005 and 2006, revamping the food court, escalators, and other areas of the mall. Petroff Partnership Architects was in charge of the redesign; construction was carried out by Vanbots Construction.

Another $165-million expansion project opened in September 2010. It created 417,292 square feet (38,767.7 m2) of underground parking space, six new pad buildings constructed on the property, 325,000 square feet (30,200 m2) of new retail area on two levels, a new architectural centerpiece at the northwest corner of the property, and relocated loading docks and chiller units.

The mall has housed several large retailers in the past. These include Sears (closed 2018), Eaton's, Kmart, Zellers (closed 2012), Target (closed 2015), Miracle Mart, Food City, Kitchen Stuff Plus and Beaver Lumber.

Brampton Transit's Bramalea Terminal was moved in 2010 from its original site on the southeast side of the mall to a location to the north, to accommodate the Züm bus rapid transit service on Queen Street.

In popular media

In 2014, the film Room was partially filmed at the Bramalea City Centre. Parts of BCC used for the filming include the Main Entrance, North Food Court, and parts of the upper level of the shopping centre.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Bramalea City Centre". Vanbots Construction. 
  2. ^ a b Middleton, Julie (2003). "Satellite City, recalling the Bramalea days". City of Brampton Sesquicentennial Commemorative Publication. Brampton Guardian: 39–40. 
  3. ^ Douglas, Pam (2003). "History of Brampton". City of Brampton Sesquicentennial Commemorative Publication. Brampton Guardian: 13. 
  4. ^ "Chinguacousy Complex Awarded to Bramalea". The Globe and Mail. May 26, 1971. 
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