The new Canadian Tire Auto Centre is fully open in Gordon Head, and it’s like the old neighbourhood garage never left.
(That’s because part of it didn’t.)
The auto service bays and employees remained on site and open following the Gordon Head retail store’s closure in September.
And now that the retail side of the Canadian Tire Auto Centre (between Shelbourne Street and Cedar Hill Road) is open too, the staff has gone up to 14. Visitors will note the front door is a few metres closer to the Cedar Hill Road side of the building and that the store is down to 9,200 square-feet, or one third of the original 1982-built store.
“We re-opened the Canadian Tire as an Auto Centre with tires, over-the-counter parts, and all the auto related things you would find at a Canadian Tire,” said store owner Justin Young.
Of course, the same automotive parts and accessories are available at the flagship Canadian Tire a few minutes further down the Shelbourne Valley at Hillside mall.
Surrounded by family and friends, Young cut the ribbon on the Gordon Head Auto Centre to remind the community that one of the few auto service bays in the Shelbourne Valley is still there.
“It’s a matter of convenience,” said Phil Smethers, a Canadian Tire store owner in Vancouver and friend of Young’s who had a homecoming at the Gordon Head grand opening on Thursday. “If you’re looking for the one-stop-shop it makes sense to have the big store at Hillside. Time is a constraint for people.”
Smethers actually started working at the Gordon Head Canadian Tire as a Mount Douglas secondary student and later met Young at Canadian Tire’s corporate office in the 1990s. (Young actually started at a Canadian Tire as a 12-year-old, though he wouldn’t hire a 12-year-old now, he laughed).
“The difference is when it comes to [getting your car serviced] people want a truly local and trusted place,” Smethers said. “That’s where people want a connection.”
Sitting in the lobby of the Canadian Tire Auto Centre was James Pearce, a retired engineer.
“I’ve been coming here since I moved here in 1986,” Pearce said. “Today I’m waiting for my daughter’s car to get fixed, that’s one of my jobs now.”