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Throwback: The Tsawwassen Shopping Centre

If you’re of a certain vintage and a long-time South Delta resident, you may have picked up a pair of loafers from this independent shoe store
Bulmer’s independent shoe store had met with competition from larger chain operations, but he said he was still able to sell his shoes for less. He also said many residents shopped out of town under the mistaken belief prices were lower.

Let’s go back to the July 1972 pages of the Optimist when a special feature ran on the businesses that comprised the Tsawwassen Shopping Centre on 56th Street, including Bulmer Shoes.

Harold Bulmer was one of the original merchants in the mall when it opened eight years earlier. It was the only shopping centre in Tsawwassen when it opened.

Since he opened at his location at the entrance of the mall, Bulmer saw his own shopping centre expand, two others spring up across the road and Tsawwassen grow to the point where there were about 125 stores to serve a community of 14,000 people.

Bulmer, who operated shoe stores in Vancouver and at Park Royal Shopping Centre in West Vancouver before moving to Tsawwassen, didn’t think the community’s retail scene had reached a saturation point. However, industry was needed to broaden the tax base, he said.

Some of the other stores at the mall included Tsawwassen Variety, Highland’s Tea and Confectionery, Petticoat Lane, Shoppers Drug Mart, Shop-Easy and Paul Rudolph Jewelry Store.