Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | December 11, 2015

Photographs of the Week. Woolco Cornwall and the Brookdale Mall

The land was part of the Wood family farm, which fronted on Second Street West. From Harold Wood, the Abraham family purchased the land which would become home to the Brookdale Mall.
Brookdale before Mall_1960s_Lab

Prior to the Brookdale Mall – 1960s.

Brookdale Mall_orig_lab

Tr Circle_Woolco_1968 ca_2010-22.211 WM

Ca. 1968, prior to the Rotary Circle flag pole and gardens.


Woolco opened at the Brookdale Mall, on August 28, 1968 and grew into one of the chain’s most successful stores.  It was acquired by WalMart in 1994.


Woolco, Cornwall, late 1960s.




Santa_BM_2010-22.258 WM


The Mall in 1988.

At one time the Brookdale Mall was the largest shopping centre in Cornwall complete with restaurants and movie theatres.  The Mall opened in 1969. In December of 1979 the City issued a building permit valued at $3,107,000 to the North American Life Assurance Company for a proposed 175,000 square foot expansion of the mall, then occupying 14.5 acres. In 1980 the mall’s expansion saw the number of tenants double from 20 to 40 with a projected 100 new permanent jobs to be created on the enlarged 24 acre site. Parking increase from 1,000 to 1,450 stalls. Three of the tenants had to be relocated elsewhere in the structure. Woolco expanded by more than 25% and Dominion Store expanded by more than 50%. Edgecombe Properties managed the property.

Brookdale Mall ca 1975 Cr

Businesses that celebrated 25 years of business in the Mall in 1993 included Goddard Upper Valley Bookshop, He and She Hairstyling, Miss Cornwall Restaurant, the Squire Shop and Woolco.Brookdale Mall_Anniv Cake WM

Mall maintenance staff placed a mall anniversary cake in one of the mobile kiosks.

Brookdale Mall_Radio Shack_Pete Valade WM

Brookdale Mall_Radio Shack_PJV WM

Pete Valade began his Radio Shack career at the original Brookdale Mall location ca. 1981, later moving to the newer second Cornwall store location at the Cornwall Square.

Brookdale Mall_SDM_Singing Telegram WM

The above photo was taken in the stock room of Brookdale Mall’s Shopper’s Drug Mart store in the mid-1980s. Carole Parisien delivered a singing telegram to store receiver, Francis, on his birthday. The singing telegram business was Carole’s sideline; she worked for her parents at the mall’s Parisien Fashions. Some SDM co-workers look on.

Brookdale Mall_Western Days WM

Western Days at the Brookdale Mall. Radio Shack’s Don Smith poses with Agnew Shoe store staff.

Brookdale Mall_Laurie Saucier WM

Customer Laurie Saucier poses inside the Brookdale Mall ca. 1982.

Brookdale Mall_Jelly J ump_Dennis WM

Some beef cake for the ladies – a mall employee and helpers stand guard during one of the mall’s annual Jelly Jump events. Mall customers and visitors could obtain sealed cards from merchants. A percentage of the cards were “winners” meaning that the recipient could “Jelly Jump” into a swimming pool full of refrigerated gelatin in search of a numbered puck which corresponded to one of several prizes. Doesn’t that sound like fun! Note the international food court to the left.

Brookdale Mall_Jelly Jump WM

The annual event which launched in 1981, was co-sponsored by the Brookdale Mall and CJSS radio.

Brookdale Mall_Jelly Jump_Viking WM

Among those in the CJSS radio booth are Keith Clingen and mall manager Doe Dube.

BM_Jelly Jump_Linda Willison

The above photo is from a series in a 1982 Standard-Freeholder news article.


Many a youngster enjoyed the Shrine Circus on the Mall property.

Often people ask which stores were mall tenants during various periods.  Below are ads from three consecutive years illustrating the changing landscape, most notably the loss of Woolco in 1994 when Walmart too over 120 Woolco stores, including this one.




The final nail in the proverbial coffin for the Brookdale Mall came about when Walmart convinced the property owner to allow them to build a stand-alone Walmart store on the property and then tear down the original adjoining store.  This led to a decision to convert the mall into a “power centre.” All that remains of the original 1968 mall is the supermarket; the stores still connected to it were built during a mall expansion.

Later, Walmart left the mall relocating to a 195,000 square foot building at a new SmartCentre nearby, officially opening there on January 29th of 2015.  A Lowes home building centre took over their building in the Brookdale Plaza and closed shop in early 2020. That building is now vacant.

960 Brookdale_Scotia wing_2020-04-11 CR960 Brookdale_Basics wing_2020-04-11 CR960 Brookdale_Unit 2_Vacant_2020-04-11 CR960 Brookdale_Kelseys_Tim Hortons_2020-04-11 CR960 Brookdale_Former Lowes wing_2020-04-11 CRThis series of photos are of the plaza as it appears in April of 2020.

Some of these photographs and documents are from the Archives of your Cornwall Community Museum and are available for viewing along with thousands of others during opening hours throughout the year. Many of the interior photos are from the albums of Don Smith.

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