Small Town Mall

While in Winnipeg over the summer, I learned that a locale from my youth was slated for demolition. Fort Richmond Plaza was a mall near the University of Manitoba servicing the southern suburbs, including my 'hood St. Norbert. Anchor tenants Safeway and Zellers shared space with retailers as diverse as a a jeweller to a Chicken Delight to several hair salons that doubled as social clubs for the elderly. Most of these businesses moved out long, long ago, leaving a building that was nearly vacant for the better part of a decade.  

Despite south Winnipeg becoming a hotbed of development over the years, Fort Richmond Plaza never changed. It's interior bleak; the mall was perpetually stuck in 1983. This is why I liked it. This is why I'll miss it. Walking through those doors was like entering a time machine back to my childhood. I recall my mother buying me my first Barbie there. In high school, this is where the truancy officer would have found me (if they ever bothered to look). 

Prior to its demolition, a security guard granted me access to photograph the abandoned structure. I hope to continue this "Small Town Mall" series in the future, as these former hubs of commerce disappear from the retail landscape. 

 Fort Richmond Plaza right before demolition (©Deborah Clague)

Fort Richmond Plaza right before demolition (©Deborah Clague)

 A security guard smokes a cigarette while guarding vacant Fort Richmond Plaza (©Deborah Clague)

A security guard smokes a cigarette while guarding vacant Fort Richmond Plaza (©Deborah Clague)

 Empty shelves of a recently closed Safeway  (©Deborah Clague)

Empty shelves of a recently closed Safeway  (©Deborah Clague)

 Vacant interior of Fort Richmond Plaza (©Deborah Clague)

Vacant interior of Fort Richmond Plaza (©Deborah Clague)

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