The Cataraqui Centre is the largest shopping mall in the Kingston area. In fact, you’d have to go to Ottawa or Oshawa to find one bigger. Since it opened in 1982, it has stayed fundamentally the same, though with a handful of renovations, additions, and reconfiguring. It has outlasted the Kingston Centre, which was demolished and redesigned in 2004, and, while the Frontenac Mall is still going strong, it has added more outward-facing storefronts and offers less indoor space than it did originally.
There have been a number of changes and challenges in recent years. Two of the Cataraqui Centre’s major tenants have gone under of late: Sears Canada closed its stores nationwide a little more than a year ago, and Target Canada went out of business in 2015. Hudson’s Bay remains the largest anchor store. The former Target and Zellers location has been divided up amongst Indigo, Starbucks, Marshall’s, and Dollarama, and while space previously occupied by Sears has had some temporary occupants such as Spirit Halloween, it remains empty on the whole. Also, and this important for us old townies: you can’t call it the Town Centre anymore. It’s the Cataraqui Centre.
With all this in mind, and the recent closing of the mall’s only ice cream store (we miss you Laura Secord!), we here at Kingstonist have been thinking about other vacant categories that maybe the mall can fill in due time. There hasn’t been a full-service, sit down restaurant since Moxy’s closed. There was a Rose & Crown on the main level many years ago where the food court is now, but that area has been renovated several times since. Some of our other ideas are for things that the mall used to have, like a grocery store or arcade, while others are borrowed from malls in other cities, like a movie theatre or residential apartments. Surely a rollercoaster can be tucked in there somewhere?
Please note that our poll is not intended to be exhaustive, nor is it about specific stores, but feel free to call out any store that you’d like to see at the mall in the comments. Over to you, Kingston!