Sevenoaks Shopping Centre celebrates 40th anniversary

Event takes place Thursday, Oct. 15 at the Abbotsford site

Sevenoaks Shopping Centre in Abbotsford celebrates its 40th anniversary this month.

Sevenoaks Shopping Centre in Abbotsford celebrates its 40th anniversary this month.

Sevenoaks Shopping Centre celebrates its 40th anniversary on Thursday, Oct. 15 with a special celebration at noon.

Staff will hand out 400 cupcakes and swag bags in the food court. Mayor Henry Braun will attend, and there will be live music, face painters and more.

In 1972, Grosvenor International, which developed Guildford Town Centre in Surrey, had a vision of building a shopping centre in the eastern Fraser Valley.

Guildford was named after a township in England, and looking east of there was the bustling little town of Sevenoaks.

This picturesque and rustic trading village was sometimes the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury and even members of the royal family. Like Sevenoaks Shopping Centre in B.C., the original town is located in the middle of a rich agricultural area.

Sevenoaks, located at 32900 South Fraser Way, opened on Oct. 15, 1975 with tenants that included Eaton’s, Woodward’s, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sevenoaks Coiffures (now Gismondi’s) and 48 other retailers.

The shopping centre has gone through many changes and expansions over the years, and is now home to 110 retailers.

Sevenoaks’ changes over the year include:

– 1989: added the northeast entry (by Shoppers Drug Mart), upgraded the interior of the

mall to include skylights, opened Extra Foods and replaced the Woodward’s food floor;

– 1991: built two additional wings (the centre court to Kmart and the east wing) with interior renovation and installed the water clock;

– 1993: replaced Woodward’s Department Store with The Bay;

– 1994: added the Customer Service Centre to provide individual attention and

better serve customers;

– 1999: replaced Kmart with Sears and added a second floor to accommodate Sears, as well as adding the three-level parkade;

– 2000: demolished the old Eaton’s space to make room for Sport Chek and

additional retailers, and relocated and expanded the food court from 300 to 500 seats;

– 2004: painted the exterior and introduced dramatic new colour changes;

– 2006: replaced the green vertical stripes in the interior of the shopping centre with contemporary colours;

– 2008: added soft seating as an amenity to the shopping centre experience;

– 2010: welcomed Best Buy to the property; and

– 2015: welcomed CIBC to the location.

Visit shopsevenoaks.com/events for more details about the 40th anniversary along with information about the various contests onsite.