Northumberland Mall Changes

NOTE: This post is dated 17 Jan 2020.

The Mall is obviously ripe for a makeover but Trinity group who are managing the Mall, are not revealing their plans.  Although Mall ownership changed hands in the last few weeks, Trinity Group are still managing the property.  The Mall looks tired since routine maintenance is not getting done and tenants in the Mall are gradually moving out.  There is growth, but not in the Mall proper – the new “strip plaza” in the parking lot facing Elgin is now at the Site Plan approval stage (more here) and new tenants are moving into the outside spaces. Based on what we know so far, we can deduce that drastic changes will be coming to the inside part of the mall but the stores facing outside (Dollarama etc) will remain.  Scotia Bank claims they are not moving to the strip plaza and there is talk of Metro expanding a bit.

Hallmark closing at Mall
Hallmark closing at Mall

However, the web site of Trinity Group tells some of the story – they seem to be actively soliciting tenants although there is a long list of vacancies inside the mall proper.

Trinity Group Web site information

Strip Plaza Tenants

  • The drive-thru “restaurant” is now labeled “coffee”. We can only speculate who this might be.
  • The space previously labeled “Financial” is now labelled “available” 3,000 s.f.;
  • Bliss Nail Salon is to go in adjacent to “coffee”;
  • Booster Juice will occupy another space;
  • Two other spaces are also vacant.

Mall Tenants and Vacancies

  • Giant Tiger is to occupy 22,000 s.f. on the west side of Dollarama;
  • Fit for Less is to occupy approx. 17,000 s.f. on the west side of Giant Tiger;
  • Current externally facing businesses include Gates College, Pet Valu, Dollarama, Carquest;
  • Hallmark is the latest to close – Trinity’s list already marks it available – see photo;
  • Total external available space: 57,250 s.f. which includes 27,500 which also faces inside the mall (part of the old Zellers space);
  • Inside the mall, on the main level, 17 locations are occupied and 17 locations vacant (adjusted since Bentley’s closed recently);
  • The total space vacant inside the Mall is 38,716 s.f. (plus Bentley’s).

No indication is given on the timing of anything although the strip plaza should be operating by Fall 2020.

Update 29 August 2020

Giant Tiger confirmed they will be opening at the Mall 15 May 2021.  Employment applications are now being accepted. This has been reported by Dominic Wisniewski at Northumberland News here.


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9 March 2020 10:42 pm

Really looking forward to a Fit4Less in Cobourg. Is this still happening? …and if so… do we have a timeline? I haven’t been able to find anything else about it except right here.

Kim Goebel
22 February 2020 11:23 am

You will find the site plan in this pdf.

Site plan

John Draper
Reply to  Kim Goebel
22 February 2020 2:01 pm

That report relates only to the proposed strip plaza fronting onto Elgin Street and not the whole mall. That was discussed in more detail here.

11 February 2020 12:26 am

This place just keeps getting worse and worse. I wonder what’s going to happen to the place 3 years from now?

Colin Baxter
2 February 2020 9:41 pm

No worries Elizabeth. It’s challenging and engaging conversations/dialogue that encourages change typically for the better.

Cheers…it’s been a pleasure.

31 January 2020 12:33 pm

Mall – Perhaps a games arcade, then a business such as EB Games, a student and younger generation clothing store, food court with popular fast food, for all – a Farbric/notions/knitting store that hopefully offers instructional classes, a middle of the line men’s clothing store – off the rack with adjustments, apartments above – perhaps not seniors unless a elevator, hobby/craft shop suitable for many ages and lastly a big draw – Giant Tiger – everyone I’ve talk to hope it comes here.

Reply to  Observer
31 January 2020 2:04 pm

There is already an EB Games store in town

Colin Baxter
Reply to  Observer
2 February 2020 12:26 am

Hey “Observer”…most great people of Cobourg on here do not comment hidden behind a pseudonym. I don’t either. All of a sudden, after many comments that suggest everything that you are saying, (let’s put knitting aside ok) you are supporting/suggesting. A games arcade?
What Cobourg needs is to provide engaging activities for its youth, good grief, there was a student a few years ago that was recognized by Chris Hadfield for a bunch of involment in the community. We seem to miss on continuing that tradition. So, you want cheap stores like Giant Tiger, a glorified dollar store so to serve as the catalyst to move this community forward in the retail sector? Fast food in Cobourg is already abundant..,what we need are good restaurants, Port Hope has the market on those presently. Marca on the Wharf went bankrupt, they opened under another name. It’s the same overpriced restaurant.
Your comments are exactly the type that bogs down the process of moving forward in a dynamic and productive manner. Think outside the box..,make sense? Look at the replies…save the bowling alley and the movie theatre….doesn’t say much for the current affairs of the retail offerings in Cobourg…,am I right?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Colin Baxter
2 February 2020 10:08 am

Colin, I completely agree except for your comments about the Marca replacement — Cucina Urbana ( It’s not cheap but it seems to have many happy customers. I have been a number of times and, unlike Marca, I have enjoyed my meals and had excellent servers each evening. BTW, they have bring-your-own-wine with no corkage fee one night a week which reduces the cost.

Reply to  Colin Baxter
2 February 2020 12:51 pm

Hey Colin –

Good restaurants in Cobourg – Matterhorn – changed hands, Wharf went bankrupt, Oasis, changed hands – Mcdonalds at Walmart – always busy. Toronto Food Courts – always busy. Giant Tiger – not my proposal but everyone I’ve talked to say they want it and they miss Zellers . Cobourg is not a town that provides many high earning jobs so people look for less pricey entertainment. Well Colin you want to know my real name?? Well it is Elizabeth Taylor – figured people wouldn’t believe that either. Have a nice day – my desire is to simply present ideas – what is in a name?

Reply to  Colin Baxter
2 February 2020 1:53 pm

Hello again Colin – The article is being archived but I thought I should speak with you about your concerns about me. Yes, I re-stated what I had read people said they wanted. People that write comments must be people that are concerned about the mall. In their posts they have expressed ideas of stores they would patronize if there were one. I certainly agree with you that Cobourg is a very nice town. In that I suggested a games arcade. There are many youth and younger that have Playstations and love these games. We’re not talking about a rough crowd but local young people. And yes Mark, should you look this up yes I know there is an EB Games in Cobourg but should there be an Arcade what I great place to set up shop. As for youth activities there are many young people involved in them; I see them in the Northumberland News accepting awards. Possible they might enjoy a trip to the Arcade too. I love having the Mall – would hate to see it go out of business for lack of interest. You mentioned you couldn’t get a good suit in town – Toronto offered better prices where you shopped – great suggestion you have – I recall my local mall as i grew up had 2 private men’s stores – off the rack suits offered with adjustments. Yes the population is growing with many newcomers who work in industries requiring a suit which they take off when they get home. My hope is the mall will survive. On another topic I don’t like the idea of UBER here. Yes I did work at the Licensing Commission in my erstwhile career. Our section issued cab licenses, owners’ plates and signed them up for cab school.… Read more »

Reply to  Observer
2 February 2020 2:14 pm

One last thing (perhaps I should change my name to Columbo!) Colin. I strongly believe in supporting a community in which I live. A suggestion – Store Sales – you can get some lovely, good quality things. Got an Italian made pair of shoes for a song on sale – $50 – end of the line perhaps but they are lovely. The people that work in them are from the community. I was perturbed when you said you lived here but shopped in Toronto. I hope you will re-think. Good to have had a full discussion – very refreshing to exchange ideas. And yes – great idea – a men’s, off the rack, – there is a tailor in the mall – direct contract to him consequently? Work together.

Reply to  Observer
11 February 2020 9:30 am

The Mall had all of that at one time as did King st Cobourg
But over regulation , policing and high taxes can certainly eliminate all of that .
King st had no less than 4 old school hotel type watering holes with Real entertainment
of all types . not Boutique bars and coffee shops where they seat you in the front window to look busy in cramped little places where private or intimate conversation is impossible to have, Pool hall for all ages , a large arcade for the kids that was open and visible
no drug dealers on side streets or shadows , and on occasion Adult entertainment in one or 2 of the hotels along with a Theater Plus regular interesting activities for all ages at Victoria Pk Kids soft ball Mens fast ball good music not just
Boring Old Artsy stuff and Old Band Music
We Have moulded and STERILIZED this Town and moved all the young and active people to a out of site location and left no one with a reason to come down town
Besides there is No parking

Deborah O'Connor
Reply to  perplexed
13 February 2020 6:52 pm

Pool hall was for men in my day late 50s early to mid 60s. Young girls and women then were intimidATED AND HARASSED BY THE BOYS AND MEN WHO HUNG AROUND OUTSIDE and catcalled us, some of us were frightened. sorry about cAPS, FINGERS VERY STIFF.

Reply to  perplexed
14 February 2020 8:10 am

Hey perplexed let me make it easy for you in your history lesson and the resulting changes to the face of Cobourg – DEMOGRAPHICS!!!!

Geo kirt
27 January 2020 11:45 am

Keep our movie theater. It is a long drive to Bowmanville, Peterborough, or Belleville. Best prices for movies.

C carley
21 January 2020 11:01 am

Save our bowling alley. It is the only one around and a lot of leagues would be greatly disappointed.

20 January 2020 11:22 am

Hate, internet shopping. What looks good on a model does it look good on you? Know well heeled people that only do internet shopping. The mall is a bit bare – the eating area is depressing. Walmart is always busy, the people who shop there look like working class types. Too bad the well heeled seem to take their business elsewhere. Don’t buy they are all broke. Live here you should support the community and buy here.

Colin Baxter
Reply to  Observer
26 January 2020 4:25 pm

“Well heeled” or not, you get what you pay for and that’s not saying much for most of the stores in Cobourg, few exceptions downtown. There isn’t a decent fish monger or a butcher, no place for students to buy a suit or decent clothes (Walmart does not offer that obviously and unless you have many hundreds of dollars, the two men’s stores downtown are not affordable. I remember when the mall was built, it’s been a depressing mess ever since. We, as do many others, shop out of town, my wife and I work in Toronto, so we buy there. We get what we are looking for without the difficulties faced by the lack of selection in Cobourg. We’re not rich, not poor either, just working class types but to get value for our dollar(s) we shop elsewhere.
Cobourg is a nice town, wonderful people, that’s evident. Just needs a bit of tweaking.

Reply to  Colin Baxter
27 January 2020 11:12 am

Colin – I shop in various stores in Cobourg and I am a FUSSY shopper, used to good quality. I have always found what I wanted. Used to go to Sears in the mall when they were open from time to time. Most of there product was small size but with some effort I found good quality things there for next to nothing. Have many stores I go to high end and lower – always find what I want. Perhaps with more people like you there will be no stores in Cobourg at all.

Colin Baxter
Reply to  Observer
27 January 2020 11:11 pm

I can’t resist a reply. Sears…really? Look how well that turned out.
Status quo bias never really very productive.

Mrs. J.
19 January 2020 8:54 am

I understand the mentioned reasons here why a collection of strip stores are being added to “The Mall” parking lot, away from the actual Mall itself, BUT if a person wanted to visit BOTH areas during one shopping trip, they’d have to manoeuvre themselves (either by walking or relocating their vehicle, if they have one and are not very ambitious) across a parking lot! Yikes! That’s certainly an accident waiting to happen!!! Consider all of the multiple accidents that have happened of late in various parking lots in our town!
Just sayin’…..

Keith Oliver
18 January 2020 12:26 pm

What is happening is in response to local retail activity being transfered to the internet. Even remaining 350 year old institutions like Hudson’s Bay are being challenged. Their only security lies in the value of the property they own. One of the most intelligent solutions is being executed by the mall-owner RioCan. Under the leadership of a Mr Sonshine, RioCan is now integrating residential buildings with its shopping centres. This begins to create the first iteration of a modern village with the shops being the equivalent of King Street in what was once identified in the Towns’ planning documents as “Olde Town” Cobourg. There is much more to creating such a community of uses. Private ownership and the control usually exercised is a problem that can prevent the creation of a shared sense-of-community, which is essential to any successful “village” … but at least some of the more enlightened mall owners are actually trying radically different solutions.
By the way shopping on the internet and having merchandize delivered to your doorstep piece by piece is all quite wonderful
but that convenience uses many times more energy than having single truck loads of pre-sale items delivered to a local store where you can inspect, possibly try on, merchandize before purchase. Our dedication to increased convienience is what has caused a massive increase in per-capita energy expenditure since WWII.

Reply to  Keith Oliver
18 January 2020 12:43 pm

I question whether purchasing online uses more energy. The delivery trucks themselves are fully stocked of product to be doled out, not as if it’s one delivery per truck. Also, in our case anyways, we make less trips to the various regional malls in the surrounding area which obviously saves on energy. Let’s say a delivery truck delivers 20 packages a day, that’s potentially 20 less trips made by cars if they were to pick the stuff up themselves.

Walter Luedtke
Reply to  Keith Oliver
19 January 2020 9:56 am

“Globalization and Globalism”
The difference between globalisation and globalism might seem obscure and unimportant, but it matters. Globalisation is a word used by economists to describe international flows of trade, investment and people. Globalism is a word used by demagogues to suggest that globalisation is not a process but an ideology — an evil plan, pushed by a shadowy crowd of people called “globalists”. Financial Times
What all this has to do with the Cobourg Mall is beyond me.

Reply to  Walter Luedtke
20 January 2020 7:51 am

” I found your response to be irrational and intellectually offensive.”

Hmm a wordsnob, please define this remark so the rest of us unwashed can understand it!

Reply to  Keith Oliver
20 January 2020 12:42 am

I think that’s a wonderful concept: an apartment building or two over an indoor shopping mall with bus service out front. Ideal situation for a senior in his or her “golden years”. Cafés and a restaurant right there for when you get tired of eating your own cooking.
I would love to see it happen right here in our own Northumberland Mall. Sooner the better.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  JimT
20 January 2020 5:33 pm

In reply to Jim T. An approximate example and its success exist at the Cherry Hill complex of some 9 (or more) apartment buildings in London, Ont. Built by a wonderful gentleman named Sam Katz who emigrated to Canada after WWII, its focus was an interior mall similar to ours. My mother knew Sam well and represented a choir composed of elderly women. Sam couldn’t do enough for local groups like that. Typical of Sam he provided practise space, a piano and regular concerts were scheduled in the centre Court. The mall was the “village” main street. People met regularly for coffee or lunch. The shops were small and locally owned. À major grocery store anchored one end and a very successful (you guessed it) bowling alley occupied the other. I often thought it would have worked even better if there was an apartment complex built above the mall. Imagine descending in an elevator which opened onto a “main street”. Never the less it really worked. Ralph Erikson, the ex-pat British architect designed a number of such complexes in Sweden.
Sam was of the Jewish faith and as a resistance fighter in WWII he had been captured by the Nazis. Somehow he made it to Canada. He told my mom that Cherry Hill was his way of giving thanks. A wonderful man, sensitive to the community, creative, successful in business. A model if there ever was one.

Lorie O
Reply to  Keith Oliver
24 January 2020 6:56 am

I think Jim T. and Keith Oliver have great ideas. I dont think us older generation love moving our vehicles everytime we want to change stores. We like a one stop shop. Giant tiger and the fitness should open up into the mall like Zellers did. I worked at Zellers. A restaurant or food court would be great. Zellers building has stood vacant way too long.

18 January 2020 10:29 am

I don’t know how many owners back it was who decided to get rid of the small food court and the Chinese resto. Major mistake.. people would go in for lunch and do a bit of shopping.

Brenda Zitzer
Reply to  GailR
18 January 2020 10:40 am

Agree, plus a reasonably priced family restaurant ( remember the one in Zellers?)

Reply to  Brenda Zitzer
18 January 2020 12:28 pm

I’d love to see a family restaurant go in not just another “chain restaurant “. Another draw would be adding a 10 pin bowling alley, but did I see a comment the the 5 pin is leaving? That’s a shame. A family craft centre would be great, a place like Crock -a-Doodle, where you can go and create a craft with a little help. Michael’s would be brilliant along with bringing Fabricland back.

Crock a Doodle in Cobourg
Reply to  Kelly
18 January 2020 4:16 pm

Crock a Doodle is already located at 169 Division Street downtown Cobourg! Open 7 days a week and always open to accomodate private events.

Reply to  Kelly
20 January 2020 2:34 am

I think much of the problem is that we don’t have quite enough “customer base” to make these things viable. Same for local bus service. Not quite enough diners to make a Red Lobster or Outback Steak House profitable, so we have to go to the larger centers at Oshawa, Peterborough or Belleville for that kind of thing. Maybe that will change in time, but for now, it’s our unhappy fate, so it seems.

Reply to  JimT
27 January 2020 1:48 pm
18 January 2020 9:46 am

Our Tuesday afternoon bowling league comprising of 70 ladies will miss this facility when or if it closes. It is a draw of ladies from the surrounding county and some who live locally.
We enjoy the social aspect and rolling 90 bowling balls on a bad day improves the heart rate.

Mrs. J.
18 January 2020 9:35 am

Oh how I wish we could have a FABRICLAND store come back to Cobourg!
The newer format for those stores in Peterborough, Oshawa, Toronto etc. sell not just fabrics and notions, but LOTS of home decor items as well.

Merry Mary
Reply to  Mrs. J.
19 January 2020 8:07 am

I have been able to create with the fabrics purchased at The Stitch Witch, 884 Division Street.

Mrs. J.
Reply to  Merry Mary
19 January 2020 9:08 am

The Stitch Witch is okay if you are a quilter. However, I and others would like to see a store that sells a much wider selection of fabrics, trims, embellishments etc. other than just cottons.

18 January 2020 9:09 am

Building the strip plaza and filling the outside places will keep the property going and move the tenants to new places that won’t have the repairs and maintenance costs the mall does.
Then the centre will get some sort of a big Reno is my guess. Weather it be demolition reconstruct or just redo. That is probably still in the creative minds right now. Giant tiger port hope is not moving. Giant tiger and Dollarama are often near each other also. As in Porthope.

Notices also on the drawings
An entrance change. Or proposal.

Trinity’s website shows some nice places in their portfolio. By the looks of things this isn’t their first rodeo

Lori Laufert
18 January 2020 8:56 am

Wouldn’t a Michaels be a great addition to this town? Hobbyists and crafters should be encouraged, no?

Reply to  Lori Laufert
18 January 2020 10:06 am

And a fabric store. I miss Fabricland. And to build on Elaine’s idea of a recreation centre, gathering places for group hobby classes. Malls these days are being redeveloped into a sort of village centre. Park once and get all your errands done. And, hopefully, with more people living in the area both the mall ‘village’ (already located now beside the walkable and popular neighbourhoods of West Park and New Amherst with its new village main street; even 1970s era Westwood is updating its streets) and our town’s heritage core downtown will all proposer. Especially when having a car will become less a necessity and more like an alternative.

18 January 2020 8:25 am

I would love to see a recreation centre in the mall. A skating rink, mini golf, family restaurants etc. Can you imagine, a mall filled with people! It will never happen but I can imagine!

Reply to  Elaine
18 January 2020 1:44 pm

…and maybe as inviting as the Bellville Mall!!

Carol Helfenstein
Reply to  Elaine
23 January 2020 11:40 am

All great ideas. Even an artistic well-run outdoor covered RESTAURANT in the centre of the mall along with a unique flower garden and/or statues humorous or artistic. A few of the latest exercise “creations” for little kids (saw them recently in Ottawa PARK area,EXCELLENT weather proof, extremely sturdy and great for adults and kids).
I know that rent in any mall is almost too much for small business and that kills those with great initiatives that grow from small to big. Create a strip mall within the bigger mall for relatively small business with music, colour, and guest speakers (AND/OR entertainment), shoe repair, clothing adjustment and repair [WE ALREADY HAVE ONE OF THESE AND THAT FAMILY ARE FANTSTIC, THEY ARE AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF WHAT THE MALL NEEDS, window frames, health drinks, artists and writers to name but a few. Some could be rented by the month, 3 MONTHS 6 MONTHS 2 YEARS. which would keep people curious. Demonstrations too, cooking ideas, repair tricks for the single mother. Also provide ‘X” number of small spaces for teens with brilliant ideas.

Deborah O'Connor
17 January 2020 7:50 pm

I love Giant Tiger, ever since I first discovered the Canadian chain in Ottawa years ago. Very pleased to see we’ll have a store in Cobourg. I’ll be happy to not need Walmart anymore.

Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
17 January 2020 8:48 pm

I wonder if the Hart store would stay as Hart is supposedly a higher level of a Giant Tiger. I’ll be happy to see Giant Tiger in Cobourg…would prefer Zellers, KMart or Towers but will settle for GT.

Ruth R
Reply to  Shirley
18 January 2020 9:41 am

Small difference – Hart doesn’t carry groceries – at least not that I’ve seen accept for snack food up front. I like Giant Tiger but Port Hope location is a bit congested. Glad to see them come to Cobourg.

Wilf Day
Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
18 January 2020 4:39 am

But will they just move Port Hope’s Giant Tiger to Cobourg?

Reply to  Wilf Day
18 January 2020 1:42 pm

A good question Wilf! The GT in Port Hope is a store my wife and I like to shop at, when we are out that way…..we live in Cobourg! The parking isn’t too bad, but the store can get a little congested, when there are a lot of customers. Also, their cashier/check-out area can be confusing! Let’s see what happens, here in Cobourg…..and lets hope the entrance is in the mall! Strip malls are a thing of the past….in my humble opinion!

Lorie O
Reply to  Wilf Day
24 January 2020 7:03 am

In reply to Wilf Day. I hope they dont move Port Hope’s Giant Tiger as Port Hope is always giving up things to Cobourg. Hospital etc. We love our Giant Tiger and why should we have to travel to Cobourg to shop all the time.

17 January 2020 2:52 pm

Would someone please explain why they are adding capacity in the form of the “strip plaza” when there is already so much space available in the existing mall.

Reply to  JimT
17 January 2020 4:00 pm

Some stores do not want to be inside a mall

manfred s
Reply to  JimT
17 January 2020 5:54 pm

…. rental rates, for one? … and maybe things like common costs, mandated hours of operation, other terms in small leases…

manfred s
Reply to  manfred s
18 January 2020 6:37 pm

…”mall” leases, not “small” leases