Canberra Centre

Canberra Centre

Canberra Centre is a shopping mall located in Civic, Canberra, Australia. It opened on 6 March 1963 as the Monaro Mall, [ Canberra District Historical Society page about Territory places including Civic] ] then underwent a $220 million redevelopment and became the Canberra Centre in 1989. Canberra Centre was the first shopping centre in Canberra to have a car park operated by Car Park Ticket Machines.


Prime Minister Robert Menzies opened the original shopping centre, known as the Monaro Mall on 6 March 1963. At the time it was the first Australian three-storey, fully enclosed and air conditioned shopping centre. The centre was expanded and rebranded as Canberra Centre and was opened officially by Rosemary Follet on 2nd November 1989. Canberra Centre originally consisted of 4 city blocks: David Jones, Myer, City Market (a fresh food precinct) and Target. To access either City Market or Target, you had to either exit the main atrium and cross Bunda Street or access via the now-demolished travelators that ran parallel to Ainslie Avenue from the car parks.

At this time, Canberra Centre was owned and managed by Canberra Advance Bank, which later became St George Bank. In 1992 Queensland Investment Corporation expressed interest in purchasing Canberra Centre and put in a 50% stake purchase of the centre. In 1993 the old Bunda Street entrance was aligned diagonally to be on the corner of Petrie Plaza and Bunda Street. Another extension occurred in 1993 of the Upper Floor fashion atrium, where Pumpkin Patch is now. It was not until 2002 when a major expansion occurred, by extending the atrium by crossing over Bunda Street and closing Ainslie Avenue so you could access City Market and Target without going outdoors. By this time, the original atrium went under refurbishment. The columns were painted in shades of white and dark green, replacing the previous watery-blue and maroon. Balustrades were re-fitted with stainless steel and painted black, replacing the brass and maroon. The Lower Ground Floor replaced all the brass and maroon chairs and tables, with plastic black & white ones. The Centre Court fountain was removed and now sits in its place a 360 TV. The centre clock which ran up 3 levels was removed due to being maroon and brass. All the restrooms were refurbished and centre signage was replaced, again due to being brass letters on maroon wood.

Further expansions were completed in late 2006, this time closing half of the City Market Car Park and City Market for retail space. The new mall has added another 100 stores and relocated City Market (now called the Fresh Food Precinct). Big W, SupaBarn, Dendy Cinemas, Aldi, Dick Smith PowerHouse, Amart Allsports and Borders along with a second food court were all new additions to the centre. On the northern end of Bunda Street, Canberra Centre's new dining and entertainment precint, North Quarter houses restaurant like Nando's, Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse, Wagamama, Cream, Sammy's Kitchen, Babar and Baskin Robbins on street level and indoor. On the upper level of North Quarter resides Dendy Cinemas and a food court.

On 28 February 2007, a severe thunderstorm known as a "supercell" passed over Canberra causing flash flooding, severe hail and property damage. The Canberra Centre along with the Australian National University and Campbell High School sustained heavy damage with flooding and damage to internal fit out. Severe damage was inflicted on most parts of the centre including the brand new expansion. The first sign of trouble for those inside the centre came when water began pouring from the ceiling of Dendy Cinema. After ten minutes, staff began a hasty evacuation. Borders also sustained heavy damage and flooding []


The centre now features over 310 speciality retailers, numerous food outlets and several major retailers including:
* Big W
* David Jones
* Myer
* Borders (with Gloria Jeans Coffee)
* JB HiFi

The centre also features a Dendy Cinema with 9 theatres and 2 premium lounges.


External links

* [ Canberra Centre]
* [ Canberra Centre Leasing]
* [ QIC Real Estate]
* [ Dendy Cinemas]

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