Park Royal Shopping Mall

(November 30, 2012 , posted in Local Interest)

For those of us that live on the North Shore it has often seemed that to get the best shopping experience we had to head over the bridge.  But in the last several years, with the redevelopment of Park Royal Mall, the shopping opportunities here in West Vancouver have become unique and satisfying, without ever having to cross the water. 

I remember the opposition that occurred when the owners of the mall first presented the designs for the Village.  There was outrage over big box stores like Home Depot moving in.  Having never been opposed I am not surprised at all to find that most people seem very happy with the changes that have happened over the years. 

Park Royal Shopping Centre first opened in the 1950's by the Guinness family and named after a London suburb where a Guinness Brewery stood.

The anchor store was Woodward's.  Ah, how I miss Woodward's, and I am sure I am not alone in this.  Anyone else remember the free cookies that kids could get from the bakery when their parents were shopping there?

The photo below is from 1952 and was taken by Steve Bosch, Vancouver Sun.

A 1952 photograph taken outside West Vancouver’s Park Royal shopping centre evokes images of an age long past.

In 1986 the Guiness family sold the mall and that set it on the path to what it is now becoming.  The changes since then have been significant.  There was a theatre, a bowling alley, a driving range, and a sports bar, all torn down to create the new village space.  Just recently we have seen the demolitia on of one of the overpasses that linked the north and south malls.  I was pretty concerned what the traffic would be like with one less overpass, but I am extremely impressed at how you can now access each side by crossing through a light on Marine Drive.  I am also shocked by how well they have done at causing as little inconvenience as possible to people visiting and bypassing the mall.

I think really the point of this though was I wanted to comment on all the things that Park Royal offers to the community.  Just recently the mall hosted the third "Starry Nights" fundraising event with all proceeds going to local charities.  They also offer holiday activities such as decorating gingerbread houses, a child play zone for the month of December, Food Bank Day - bring a donation of non-perishable food items for the Food Bank and receive a free Santa photo CD, there is live music throughout December and dance- the Goh ballet is performing live excerpts from the Nutcracker Ballet, and they are even offering an ice carving demonstration.  Park Royal has become more than a shopping destination, they are constantly giving back to the community which they are in.

For more information visit the Park Royal Events Calendar