Quebec City’s 1st Suburban Mall Marks 60 Years with Plans for Mixed-Use Development

Les Galeries de la Canardière, considered to be Quebec City’s first shopping centre, celebrated its 60th anniversary on October 1, and it has big plans for the future.

Natacha Menard, Director of Leasing for the shopping centre, which is owned by a limited partnership and managed by Econo-Malls, said it has embarked on a mixed-use redevelopment with the first phase of the project being a 126-unit residential rental building with some commercial space on the first floor. That project will begin this coming spring.


Menard said Econo-Malls has been working with a residential developer on the redevelopment project for Les Galeries de la Canardiere, adding that the shopping centre is located in an area conducive to mixed-use development as the area was rezoned to high density by the City.

“We now see all around the site, many office buildings and housing units that were constructed in recent years. These developments and the City’s vision for the area will result in significant pedestrian traffic to the centre. Mixed-use developments are the way of the future. It’s a place where people can live, work, and play, all in one location,” said Menard.

“That’s what the City wants. Lots of density in that area.”


Les Galeries de la Canardiere located in the heart of the Ecoquartier D’Estimauville is home to many retailers, restaurants, recreational, and other services catering to the needs of its community. These include, A&W, Subway, Pizza Charest, Lunnetterie Visque, rock climbing centre Delire, Econofitness, Dollarama, Bijouterie Suisse, Pharmacy Lavoie, and many more. The shopping centre is 178,560 square feet.

Menard said the pharmacy is currently undergoing an interior and exterior renovation.

“Right now we’re trying to market for lease the spaces that are available. We’re trying to market it towards more services given that the area is very residentially dense. So we feel that services would be essential for this community,” she said.

“We’re hoping to attract some nationals here and we’re hoping to attract people that want to do services. All kinds of services — medical clinics would really be good here. We’re a community mall. We service the local community.”

According to the shopping centre’s website, the Galeries de la Canardière are historically the first shopping centre in Quebec City.

“The urban development of the years 1910-1920 led to the construction of houses in what would become the parish of Saint-Pascal Bylon and the constitution of Giffard as a municipality. However, the subdivision of the land located opposite the Saint-Michel-Archange hospital — planned as early as 1913 — is slow. In the 1950s, the growth of the surrounding neighbourhoods made this central site a favourable place for services and shops. It must be said that the site is vacant and located at the centre of a large and growing population basin,” it said.

“Also, when in 1956 the municipal administration changed the zoning of the place to allow businesses and the establishment of a “shopping centre”, the Association des merchants retailers of the district of Quebec saw a evil eye this new competition. Although the new zoning is adopted quickly, the project takes time to get started. Finally, in 1959, the building permit for a shopping centre worth $ 1.5 million was granted and work began in the winter of 1960.

“In May 1960, an important part of the structure of Des Galeries de la Canardière was erected. This is the first shopping centre in Quebec City and the second in the region, Place Sainte-Foy which opened in 1958. On September 29, 1960, the shops at the Canardière Shopping Centre , as it was then called, welcome their first customers. Inspired by what is done in the United States, its functional and open architecture allows quick and direct access to the businesses that are part of it.”

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He now works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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