This weekend Brentwood Town Centre in Burnaby will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. There’s quite a bit of history at Brentwood, which has grown from an open-air mall to a major shopping centre with SkyTrain station access over the years.
Brentwood Shopping Centre opened in August of 1961 with anchor stores Eaton’s, Loblaw’s Supermarket, and Zellers (which is still there). At the time, it was the largest mall in BC.
As was the trend with many malls in the 70’s and 80’s, the open-air stip was covered and enclosed to form a permanent roof over the shopping centre in 1970. In 1980 they changed again, added a second level of stores and their iconic Teflon fabric roof (that mimics the North Shore Mountains). It was renamed Brentwood Mall in 1990.
In recent years Sears and London Drugs moved in, they added a children’s play area, and have completed other cosmetic upgrades. The name changed once again, to Brentwood Town Centre, in 2003 with the addition of the SkyTrain station.
My first time at Brentwood was in 1988 when it was the drop-off point for the summer camp I used to attend. Parents would line the parking lot as the big yellow bus pulled up and whisked us kids away to the Sunshine Coast for 7 days of outdoor adventures. The mall was of special significance to me again in 2006 when I purchased my wedding dress at Bryan’s Bride. It’s not everyday you get nostalgic about a shopping centre.
Stop by Saturday, August 13th, for a free concert from live bands, a cake-cutting ceremony, a kids’ zone (face painting and activities), an outdoor mini-market, and the London Drugs Tech Fair, starting at 10:00am.