Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | December 5, 2017

SaveMart then LaSalle Shopping Centre/Westcourt Mall

SaveMart_ext_ (2) CR_webBack in the 1960’s SaveMart boasted of being Cornwall’s first sizable self-service shopping center, somewhat of a precursor to today’s WalMart.

SaveMart_ext_CRt_webIt was situated on Vincent Massey Drive (the “new” Highway #2 West) near 13th Street West.The store included a number of departments, including a supermarket.

The facility also included a hairstylist and restaurant.aerial_LaSalle_6 by 4In the 1970s the building was enlarged somewhat and the store was replaced by the LaSalle Shopping Centre, with LaSalle’s entrance to the south and the AVA supermarket to the north.

aerial_LaSalle_Brookdale MallThe original Brookdale Mall to the south was already a going concern by then.

These 1976 newspaper advertisements provide a perspective on trends and prices at that time.

After a busy day of shopping, it is important to pause for a bite to eat.
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In April of 1979, word broke that a developer had plans to demolish the LaSalle building and replace it with a 156,499 square foot complex.  It was to include a 76,000 square foot stand-alone K-Mart store and another building with a 42,000 square foot Dominion grocery store at one end as well as a junior LaSalle department store and an additional 9,000 square feet of retail space.

The junior LaSalle store would be replaced by various others, including a Consumer’s Distributing catalog store and Jovana’s restaurant, both of which have faded into history along with Dominion.

K-Mart was a casualty of the merger between Zellers and K-Mart operated by Hudson’s Bay Company.  It closed in the summer of 1998 putting 60 people out of work. A Star-tek inbound call centre moved in.  The company later down-sized when the AT&T (American) portion of its business went overseas, closing the Bell (Canadian) portion a short time later when the landlord chose to have the building sit vacant for years rather than negotiating a lower rent.

1400 Vincent Massey_2019-03-03_141128In early 2019, renovations saw the former K-Mart entrance canopy removed and the property split in two for new owners.

Poirier Furniture_2018-10_1400 Vincent Massey DrAs for the other building, Value Village now occupies the former Jovana’s and laundromat at the south end and the north end of the grocery store houses the Habitat Re-Store, with several smaller retailers in between, including Poirier Furniture, which relocated there in late 2018 after their store on Montreal Road was wiped out by fire.


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