Jun 092016
Radio Shack Canada

What’s this? A ghost sign from an old Radio Shack, a firm that closed down in Canada over a dozen years ago, this one being exposed during renovations at Calgary’s Westbrook Mall. We’re looking at a time capsule here, a reminder taking us back to when the “Shack” was the defacto go-to outlet when one needed consumer electronics. Want a tv, record player, tape deck, computer, CB radio (big in the 70s), parts, batteries of all types or whatever? That’s where you went. They seemingly had everything. And the place was always busy.

Radio Shack stores came to Canada, it appears in the late 1960s, being known in the beginning as Allied Radio Shack. Owned by Tandy Corporation (Tandy Leather then), they were mirror images of US stores. It’s not exactly clear when the Westbrook Mall store was opened but this author remembers shopping at it in the latter half of the 1970s. Bought many bits there, dreamt of buying much more. For a techie wanna-be, it was a toy store of huge proportions. Had one of those 150 in one (or some number) electronic lab kits. One second it was a radio, another a disco strobe light. Oh, and the “battery of the month” club! Yes, recall that?

Times changed, new players came on the market and the stores fell out of favour with consumers, the chain sort of loosing its way in the process. In the mid-2000s, it closed up shop in Canada (but not US) all the stores being rebranded as The Source by Circuit City, similar in scope but with more emphasis on things like cell phones. While that firm still operates in Canada, this particular store didn’t make it and closed down a few months back.

Westbrook is Calgary’s oldest enclosed mall and is mere blocks from BIGDoer HQ. It’s the city’s premiere shopping destination. Or not. Most days now it’s dead. In the 1970s, I recall it being crazy busy. Hadn’t thought of the place until the sign was exposed. Fond memories rushed back…it was nice to know you. So long Radio Shack.

Check this out!
East Coulee’s historic wood bridge.

Short Subjects: reports that for any number of reasons are brief in nature. They might be updates to older articles, previews of posts planned or not yet published, brief snippets of things that don’t fit in anywhere else or subjects that are so obscure that information on them can’t be found.

If you need any more information on what we talked about here, by all means contact us!

Date of adventure: May, 2016.
Location: Calgary, AB.

Radio Shack Canada

A Radio Shack ghost sign, Westbrook Mall Calgary.


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4 Comments on "So long Radio Shack"

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Steve Boyko

I miss Radio Shack so much. It was a great place to go get those electronics parts you needed… or batteries. SO MANY BATTERIES.

When they became The Source, they went all USB-gadgety and now resemble those kiosks in the middle of malls that hawk cheap helicopters, cell phones and cases. Bleah.

Corrine New
Corrine New

Still have my Tandy 1000!! The Source was was a gloried cell phone store.