40 Years for Frontier Mall: 1975-2015

City of North Battleford Historic Archives

Yes, it has now been 40 years for the Frontier Mall, how time flies!

In researching for Archives Week 2015, I went through many newspaper articles from 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1976 looking for information regarding the construction and beginning days of the mall.

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The first announcement came on Sept. 14, 1973 with the News-Optimistreporting that an Edmonton firm was to develop the east mall. Construction of the $6,000,000 shopping complex with approximately 237,000 square feet of floor space was to start Sept. 19, 1973.

The deal to build wasn’t without some controversy as there were two other firms looking at building there also.

After an eight-and-a-half-month delay, during which time city council was bombarded with numerous requests to consider additional shopping center developments, a permit was finally issued. The permit allowed for the construction of a 260,000 square foot, 35-unit shopping plaza with a completion date of April 1, 1974.

The mall was to contain, as anchors, a 67,000 square foot Woolworths store as well as a large Metropolitan store, an OK Economy supermarket and a Saan store. As it turned out, the completion date was moved forward to April – May 1975 as reported in another paper.

In researching, there never was an official opening date for the mall. The process was somewhat piecemeal as one store after another opened in 1975. Of course there were the major tenants: Woolworths, Metropolitan, Saan in 1975 and the opening of the Safeway grocery store on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 1975.

One year later, as the mall had a one-year celebration June 10-19, 1976 the list of tenants grew. It included Maher Agencies, Accent Shop, Dodmen’s Lawn and Garden, Safeway, The Met, Aurora Decorative Products, Bata Shoes, Mini Twin Theatres, Old Heidelburg, Reitman’s, Saan, Rollie’s Men’s Wear, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sound City and Radio Shack, Woolworths, Neil’s Jewelry, Point Optical, TC Piano House, Bank of Montreal, Hunter’s Sport Shop and Fuzzies.

As I look back myself to the year 1975, the residents were ready for the self-contained shopping experience and took to it readily. Others may remember, particularly Thursday nights, when shoppers walked from the Woolworths store to The Met in masses. It seemed it was somewhat of a social occasion on Thursdays to be there.

Who remembers the first Tim Hortons experience? Would that have been in the corner of The Metropolitan Store in the 1970s?

Over the years there have been many changes and uses for the mall but it has stood the test of time and continues to provide services to the community. In closing, I must say that I have found it very interesting researching this subject and would like to wish the Frontier Mall a happy 40th anniversary.

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Yes, it has now been 40 years for the Frontier Mall, how time flies!

In researching for Archives Week 2015, I went through many newspaper articles from 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1976 looking for information regarding the construction and beginning days of the mall.

The first announcement came on Sept. 14, 1973 with the News-Optimistreporting that an Edmonton firm was to develop the east mall. Construction of the $6,000,000 shopping complex with approximately 237,000 square feet of floor space was to start Sept. 19, 1973.

The deal to build wasn’t without some controversy as there were two other firms looking at building there also.

After an eight-and-a-half-month delay, during which time city council was bombarded with numerous requests to consider additional shopping center developments, a permit was finally issued. The permit allowed for the construction of a 260,000 square foot, 35-unit shopping plaza with a completion date of April 1, 1974.

The mall was to contain, as anchors, a 67,000 square foot Woolworths store as well as a large Metropolitan store, an OK Economy supermarket and a Saan store. As it turned out, the completion date was moved forward to April – May 1975 as reported in another paper.

In researching, there never was an official opening date for the mall. The process was somewhat piecemeal as one store after another opened in 1975. Of course there were the major tenants: Woolworths, Metropolitan, Saan in 1975 and the opening of the Safeway grocery store on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 1975.

One year later, as the mall had a one-year celebration June 10-19, 1976 the list of tenants grew. It included Maher Agencies, Accent Shop, Dodmen’s Lawn and Garden, Safeway, The Met, Aurora Decorative Products, Bata Shoes, Mini Twin Theatres, Old Heidelburg, Reitman’s, Saan, Rollie’s Men’s Wear, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sound City and Radio Shack, Woolworths, Neil’s Jewelry, Point Optical, TC Piano House, Bank of Montreal, Hunter’s Sport Shop and Fuzzies.

As I look back myself to the year 1975, the residents were ready for the self-contained shopping experience and took to it readily. Others may remember, particularly Thursday nights, when shoppers walked from the Woolworths store to The Met in masses. It seemed it was somewhat of a social occasion on Thursdays to be there.

Who remembers the first Tim Hortons experience? Would that have been in the corner of The Metropolitan Store in the 1970s?

Over the years there have been many changes and uses for the mall but it has stood the test of time and continues to provide services to the community. In closing, I must say that I have found it very interesting researching this subject and would like to wish the Frontier Mall a happy 40th anniversary.

© Copyright Battlefords News Optimist

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