Lambton Mall

Shop & Service

North America, Canada, Lambton County

Lambton Mall is a shopping mall located in Sarnia, Ontario. It opened in 1971 and through several expansions now has 650,000 square feet of retail space. It is bounded by London Road, Lambton Mall Road, and Exmouth Street. For much of its history, Lambton Mall did not have a department store (The Bay, Simpsons, Eaton's, Sears), only being anchored by Canadian Tire, a Dominion supermarket (Dominion soon closed down in the 1980s and was replaced by Ashbrook or Ashby's which sold towels and bath products) and Woolco. It nonetheless proved a great success with the growing suburban population, drawing much traffic away from the downtown boutique shops which began to fall into decline. In 1982, the Sarnia Eaton Centre opened in downtown, intending to revitalize the city centre. Though it initially offered some competition, Lambton Mall generally enjoyed the upper hand and by the late 1990s the Eaton Centre was faced with poor patronage and high vacancy rates (sparked by the departure of its chief anchor). Lambton Mall was also threatened in the 1990s by the new Birchwood Mall in Port Huron, Michigan, however this competition dropped off as the Canadian government allowed Sunday shopping and also due to a weak Canadian dollar. In the 1990s, Lambton Mall underwent several expansions. In 1994, Wal-Mart purchased the Woolco chain and moved in at the location facing London Road. A Toys "R" Us and Country Farmer's Market were added in the eastern wing. The existing Canadian Tire was expanded, making it one of Ontario's largest for a while. A couple of years later, the Farmer's Market expanded and moved into an eastern extension. In the early 2000s, Wal-Mart moved to a new wing, now no longer connected to the rest of the mall, and its spot was taken over by Sears which had vacated its old Exmouth Street location (the old store on Exmouth Street near Colburn Road was in use since 1974 and served for a short time as a Sears liquidator, later being demolished; the plazas around there have since stagnated). Teppermans, a furniture store in a separate building on the mall parking lot was replaced by a Montana's. The Toys "R" Us and Farmer's Market were also relocated again, and a new food court and SportChek were added next to the Canadian Tire. A dozen new stores were also added during the construction of the two storey Sears store. In 2006, Wal-Mart closed down their mall location and built a new store in a strip mall just northeast. Their lease still runs until 2021, however this spot was taken over by Canadian Tire which had vacated their original location.