Downtown Grande Prairie Presents

Memory Lane

A History of Downtown Grande Prairie from 1914 - 2014

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SPRA 0032.08.08.0398 Isabel Campbell fonds

Although there had been a Hudson’s Bay Company fur buying post in the Grande Prairie area since 1880, it was not until 1948 that a Hudson’s Bay Department Store opened in Grande Prairie. This same building was destroyed by fire in 1952, but immediately re-built. In 1957 it expanded to twice its original size.

The Bay was a draw for the downtown until the company purchased Zellers in 1978. HBC chose to retain the Zellers store in the Prairie Mall and closed this outlet in 1980. It was taken over by The Brick for many years, then renovated to the strip mall of today. This photograph was taken in 1955. In the background is the Grande Prairie water tower, purchased second-hand from the City of Edmonton in 1917 and a fixture downtown until the late 1950s.