Abandoned Niagara Square Shopping Mall | Dead Malls
Today we head, once again, to my hometown of Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada, this is the former Niagara Square Shopping Mall, which opened in 1977 and had room for 83 units.
I’ve got many memories in this mall from visiting Santa and the Easter Bunny as a child, I remember my Mom taking me to K-Mart and buying me the Hulkamania Workout Set which came out in 1985.
I hung out here with friends all though elementary school and high school, I remember clear as day how busy Niagara Square was around Christmas time.
The old 3 screen movie theatre was also on the property so as kids we would hang out at the mall before lining up for the movies, which we had to either check the Niagara Falls Review for the listings or call the cinema and listen to the recorded movie listing.
In 1987 or 1988 my mom took me here and bought me my first ever leather jacket, it was a graduation gift. Many years ago I gave that jacket to my cousin Jenny and I’ll bet you she still has it!
This 36,000-square-metre shopping centre, which opened in 1977, had 83 units but many have been empty in recent years prior to it’s closing in 2017. In January of 2017, less than 30 percent of the stores were occupied.
Stores had been slowly closing up shop since tenants were given notice in January 2017 to vacate the mall by May 1. By mid april 2017, the only inside store that was open for business was Winners.
The mall had suffered a major blow in 2002 when Zellers decided to pull out as one of the mall’s major retail anchors. That, plus a gradual decline as big box retail operations set up shop on Morrison Street at Drummond Road and as other malls in Niagara continued to expand, fueled rumours among mall tenants and shoppers that the mall was doomed for eventual closure.
Mary Jane Elia: What l remember the most was the people. It was always busy there you could find anything you needed all in one place. The best time was Christmas the hustle and bustle of kids waiting to see Santa. It was a great place to be.
Monaca Walker: I remember going on the weekends with my grandparents. My grandpa would sit on the bench and wait for Grandma and I to finish shopping. Our trips always ended with me picking out some lucky lottery tickets for her and a strawberry Julius for me. They’ve both passed now, but it is one of those memories that will last forever.
Emily Theressa Cadogan: My best memory is from 1984. I begged my parents for a leather fringe jacket (just like Bon Jovi). I was only 13 and I was convinced the world would not continue if I didn’t have one. One day shopping at Niagara Square there it was the jacket. I walk into the store Bj’s, which was a men’s store but I didn’t care. It was so beautiful and perfect until I saw the price— $299. How does a 13-year-old convince her parents she must have this jacket? Well, somehow I did. I froze that winter but it didn’t matter, I had my Bon Jovi Jacket and I was the happiest girl in the world.
Doug Morrison: Sam the Record Man. Bought my first records and tapes there when it was a rite of passage buying music at a record store. Those were the days.
Jess St Angelo: Niagara Square has always held a special place in my heart. My grandfather lived in Florida as I was growing up. Whenever he would come down, he would take me to Niagara Square. Usually we would go to the Kmart/Zellers to get some sort of toy. I remember being so excited to walk down those hallways with him. Even as I got older, we still would go there. I went there about a week ago just to take one last walk around with my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter.
Now in 2019, with Choom Cannabis Co. and a new medical clinic opening in buildings with outdoor access on the property, and Tuesday’s announcement Costco Wholesale will open a new 150,000-square-foot location next year, officials are celebrating a “rebirth of sorts,” said Mayor Jim Diodati.
“It’s the evolution of Niagara Square,” he said, pointing to the ongoing redevelopment of the 400,000-square-foot property.
While the interior portion of Niagara Square has been vacant since April 2017, standalone businesses on the property, including World Gym, Michaels, JYSK, The Brick, Mandarin, Cineplex and Hoops, have remained open.
Rumours had been swirling for some time that Costco Wholesale, which has stores in St. Catharines and Stoney Creek, was looking for a new home in Niagara.
Now, as of September 2019 the demolition has begun on the old Niagara Square to make way for a new state of the art Costco and at 150,000 square feet it will be larger than the existing Costco store in St. Catharines and will feature a gas bar.
Abandoned Niagara Square Photo Gallery
2 thoughts on “Abandoned Niagara Square Shopping Mall | Dead Malls”
How sad that this lovely mall has closed. I first visited when I was 12 (must have been 1976?). We were from the UK visiting relatives in Niagara. I was excited to return in 1988 as we had nothing like this back home. I even found a Marks and Spencer’s store that was much better than our stores at home! I spent half my holiday there back then, walking there most days from close to the 7-Eleven on Drummond/McLeod, past Canadian Tire (another place I loved) and back. When I returned in 2000/5 and 6 I’d noticed it getting a bit more run down each time, but now very sad to hear it’s closed. I have some of the greatest memories of my family there. A simple trip to the mall to do banking, pick up some necessities or just browse and have the most delicious mall food would be such fun. Good days.
It surprising how well maintained it seems from your photos. Lot of owners give up on the mall once they see the writing on the wall.