At over 5 million square feet, West Edmonton Mall is the largest mall in Canada and the second largest in North America. This exceptional structure boasts more than 800 shops and services, including dozens of one-of-a-kind entertainment destinations.
Of course, it wasn’t always that way. A lot of thought, creativity and hard work went into creating the mall as it stands today. In fact, the mall was actually built in phases, which saw it steadily increase to its current size.
In the beginning was a chunk of land, some people with a dream and a host of knowledgeable, experienced experts qualified to make that dream a reality. Among those experts was PCL.
This first phase saw PCL working with other contractors and subcontractors to create what was initially a collection of shops and services, without many of the unique features the mall is known for today. But that would all begin to change with phase two.
After successfully managing, implementing and completing PCL’s portion of the phase-one project, PCL was hired once again to work on phase two. This phase would see the addition of more shops and services, an ice rink and an amusement park.
With this, the mall became a destination not only for shoppers but also for adventurers who braved the rides and delighted in the games available at Galaxyland or relished the idea of skating on a domed-roof, NHL-sized ice surface at the Ice Palace.
But there was still more to come.
In the phase-three expansion of West Edmonton Mall, PCL — in the form of PCL-Maxam, a Joint Venture — once again played an integral role in guiding the mall toward even bigger and better things. Of all the various expansions and revitalizations the mall has taken on over the years, this third phase was by far the largest and was the one that took the mall to over 5 million square feet.
Phase three saw the addition of a whole host of attractions, including the World Waterpark, Pebble Beach Golf Course, Bourbon Street and the Sea Life Caverns, just to name a few. In addition, the opening of the Fantasyland Hotel in 1986 made it possible for tourists and other mall-goers to “stay, shop and play” in a single location. With this, West Edmonton Mall became Alberta’s number one tourist attraction with approximately 30.8 million visitors a year pre-pandemic.
There’s no evidence to suggest that West Edmonton Mall won’t continue to expand, improve and reimagine itself as its history continues to unfold. This is true, too, of PCL, which made huge contributions to the mall’s creation and evolution. To have been part of building this iconic landmark is truly a feather in PCL’s cap.