Brampton, Mississauga shopping malls are going to be like in the Grey Zone

Bramalea City Centre in Brampton

Is there a favourite store that you’ve been pining away for?

As Peel region moves into the “grey” public health zone on Monday (March 8), some stores at shopping malls in the area will be opening for the first time in months.

Under the new, amended provincial restrictions, retail spaces can operate at a reduced capacity in the grey.

Shops are allowed to operate at 25 per cent capacity, with supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies and other grocers operating at 50 per cent.

So, how are our larger malls tracking capacity?

Square One shopping centre in Mississauga will be posting their occupancy levels online to give visitors an indication of how full the mall is and if they should expect to wait in line outside.

“The maximum capacity of each store will be posted on the storefront,” reads the mall’s website. “Each store will manage their own lineups.”

There’s also a virtual lineup tool for storefront pickup. This gives users an idea of what place they are in a queue and sends a text when ready for pickup.

Over at the Bramalea City Centre, visitors are asked to complete the online active screening tool prior to visiting the site.The mall is asking visitors to use only entrance one, four and eight — being the door beside Pickle Barrel, the doors on the lower level by Shoppers Drug Mart and the entrance beside Metro on the upper level.Shopper’s World in Brampton has an online directory of shops that are open, closed or offering curbside pickup.The Dixie Outlet Mall in Mississauga, Heartland Town Centre and Erin Mills Town Centre will also be navigating the grey zone reopening.

Bramalea City Centre is a prominent shopping mall located in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Here’s a brief history:

  • Opening: Bramalea City Centre (BCC) opened its doors on July 25, 1973. It was developed by Bramalea Limited, a real estate company founded by Canadian businessman Peter Gilgan.

  • Expansion: Over the years, the mall underwent several expansions and renovations to accommodate the growing population and evolving retail landscape. It expanded in phases, adding more stores, entertainment options, and services.

  • Ownership Changes: In 1996, the Cadillac Fairview Corporation acquired Bramalea Limited, including Bramalea City Centre, and became the mall’s new owner.

  • Features: BCC boasts over 1.5 million square feet of retail space and hosts various stores ranging from fashion and electronics to dining and entertainment. It’s home to popular retailers, dining establishments, a food court, cinemas, and other amenities.

  • Renovations and Upgrades: Like many malls adapting to changing consumer demands, BCC underwent renovations and upgrades to enhance the shopping experience. This included modernizing the interior, adding new stores, improving dining options, and incorporating technology to improve visitor engagement.

  • Community Hub: Bramalea City Centre has not only served as a retail destination but also as a community hub, hosting events, charitable activities, and cultural celebrations.

  • Sustainability Efforts: In recent years, malls like BCC have also focused on sustainability, incorporating eco-friendly initiatives and practices into their operations.

Bramalea City Centre remains an integral part of the Brampton community, offering a diverse range of shopping, dining, and entertainment experiences for locals and visitors alike.

Bramalea City Centre in Brampton

Bramalea City Centre in Brampton

Bramalea City Centre stores

Certainly, malls often have interesting stories or occurrences. At Bramalea City Centre, one notable event took place in 2016:

Pokemon GO Craze: In the summer of 2016, the release of the augmented reality game “Pokemon GO” created a worldwide sensation. Bramalea City Centre, like many other public spaces, became a hotspot for Pokemon trainers.

The game encouraged players to explore their surroundings to catch virtual Pokemon. BCC quickly became a gathering place for players hunting rare Pokemon, resulting in large crowds of people congregating around various spots within the mall.

The influx of players created an unexpected and exciting atmosphere as strangers bonded over their shared quest to capture virtual creatures. Some stores even capitalized on the craze by offering promotions or incentives for players who caught Pokemon near their shops.

This frenzy led to some amusing and unusual scenes, with groups of people rushing from one corner of the mall to another, phone screens glowing as they attempted to capture elusive Pokemon.

The Pokemon GO craze showcased how technology and gaming could unexpectedly bring together diverse groups of people in public spaces like Bramalea City Centre, creating a unique and memorable experience for visitors.


Bramalea City Centre mall

Bramalea City Centre cinema

  1. Retail Diversity: BCC hosts over 300 stores and services, covering a wide range of categories such as fashion, electronics, home goods, beauty, and more. It features anchor tenants like Hudson’s Bay, Zara, H&M, and Best Buy, among others.

  2. Entertainment Options: The mall provides various entertainment choices beyond shopping, including a Cineplex movie theater featuring multiple screens and the latest movie releases. Additionally, it often hosts events, seasonal celebrations, and activities for families and shoppers.

  3. Dining Experience: With a diverse food court offering international cuisines and numerous standalone restaurants and cafes, BCC caters to various tastes and preferences. From fast food to casual dining and specialty eateries, visitors have a plethora of options.

  4. Accessibility and Services: The mall is designed to be accessible for all visitors, featuring amenities like accessible washrooms, parking, and elevators. It also offers services like stroller and wheelchair rentals, making it convenient for families and individuals with different needs.

  5. Community Engagement: Bramalea City Centre has been actively involved in community engagement initiatives, supporting local charities, events, and programs. It often collaborates with organizations to host fundraising events, awareness campaigns, and community-building activities.

  6. Renovations and Modernization: Like many malls adapting to changing consumer needs, BCC has undergone renovations and modernization efforts to enhance the overall shopping experience. This might include aesthetic upgrades, technological integrations, and improvements to the layout or services.

  7. Transportation Hub: Its location provides easy access for shoppers, being situated near major highways and having access to public transportation, including bus terminals and connections to the Brampton GO station.

Bramalea City Centre food court

The Opportunity

Bramalea City Centre (BCC) is the dominant super regional shopping centre in Brampton, the fourth largest enclosed shopping centre in Ontario, and the seventh largest in Canada – and home to more than 300 stores and services. To remain competitive with the surrounding retail market and to meet the demands of the rapid population growth, Morguard undertook a 300,000 square foot expansion with an objective to consolidate area trade, improve operational efficiencies, and enhance the retail experience.

The Value Proposition

Consolidate Area Trade

Morguard realized a fully managed strategy to consolidate the retail trade area in the Brampton market. A $185 million expansion, renovation, and remerchandising program led by Morguard in 2010 resulted in growth of the international, national, and regional tenant mix that continues to enhance the property’s performance and value.

Improve Operational Efficiencies

Morguard’s sustainable building system design supports improved o​perational efficiencies through built-in monitoring to better manage air quality, utility and HVAC distribution, water-savings, and gas emissions. Tenant engagement in energy, water and waste programs drives further ongoing benefits at the Centre.

Enhance Retail Experience

With annual pedestrian traffic of 16 million, Morguard’s leasing team secured an expanded fashion tenant mix to meet the growing needs of consumers. Strong community relations, events, and fundraisers make BCC a destination venue. The recent launch of the Loyalty Program FashioniCITY smartphone APP provides more ways to improve the shopping experience for mobile shoppers.

The Result

The 2015 BOMA International TOBY Award distinguishes the Centre as an exceptional leader – managed to the highest standards in the commercial real estate industry. This designation supports Morguard’s capabilities that have resulted in:

  • Increased retail trade conducted at the shopping centre by 42% since the renovation and expansion in 2010 and increased annual pedestrian traffic by 4 million visits.
  • Improved operational efficiency with reductions in energy (8.7%), water (0.9%), gas emissions (10.0%), and waste (27.2%) since the baseline year in 2010.
  • Reinforced the excellent shopping environment in which tenants can maximize sales and increase bottom-line results and cu​stomers can fulfill their needs.

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