Unique to Vancouver, City Square's shopping mall and office complex is an inimitable mix of modern and heritage architecture. The heritage portions of the complex were built in 1905 and 1908 to house the Model School and Normal School, respectively. Graduates from the Teacher’s Training Program applied their skills, norms (hence the name “Normal School”) and educational theories at the Normal School to gain practical experience.
In 1986 the City of Vancouver designated both school buildings as municipal heritage sites, saving them from demolition.
The Model School and Normal School are impressive three-storey granite and sandstone buildings designed in the Italianate style by architect E.E. Blackmore. The stained glass windows, copper cupola and slate roofs add further charm and character to the architecture.
City Square Shopping Mall and office complex, as we see it today, was inaugurated in 1989 and is a spectacular example of adaptive reuse of heritage buildings. The schools were restored to their original grandeur and then connected to two six-storey office towers by a large modern spacious glass atrium. The complex was designed by the renowned architect, Paul Merrick. It is located in the heart of the heritage district of central Vancouver and across from Vancouver City Hall.
With its outdoor tree-lined courtyard and charming blend of shops and services, City Square Mall has the ambiance of a European village mixed with the bustle of West Coast urban life.
The shopping mall's retail storefronts simulate a streetscape with ceiling skylights and old-fashioned lamp posts. The interior emulates a series of small open-air courtyards. City Square received an Award for Excellence in Innovative Design and Construction of a New Center by the prestigious International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) based in New York City.
The present management is proud to upkeep the heritage tradition of the building. In 2005, the 100th year anniversary of the Model School was celebrated with the restoration and unveiling of an ensemble of original stained glass windows. As a result, in February 2006, in recognition of our efforts to maintain and preserve the heritage aspect of the building, City Square was honoured to receive a Heritage Award of Recognition by the City of Vancouver.
City Square Today
City Square's continued success lies in its ability to remain relevant to the community. On the retail level, the shopping mall offers a balanced variety of over 50 shops and professional services (for a complete list please see our online directory), including various medical and dental offices, and a diverse International Food Court, in a prime central location. Patrons enjoy a convenient and relaxing shopping experience with friendly retailers. Come and see what we have in store for you!
In addition to our stores and services on the retail level, City Square has two six-storey towers that house many offices, including the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority Training Centre and Provincial Health Services Authority offices, a travel agency, law firm and much more.
City Square is professionally managed by Colliers International, the leading provider of commercial real estate services in Canada. City Square is conveniently located across from the City Hall, at Cambie Street and West 12th Avenue in Vancouver.
City Square Shopping Centre organizes or hosts free events throughout the year: Easter Hunt, concerts (Jazz Festival, Charlotte Diamond, Salvation Army Christmas Brass Ensemble...), Halloween Hunt, Santa photos and more!
Drop by to shop, visit a service provider, join one of our free events, have coffee with a friend or use our community board for information and announcements. Whatever your needs, we are pleased to welcome you!
We would love to hear from you! Please feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.