Hold all calls
Centre Square Mall removes telephones

Paula White
Northern News Services

NNSL (Dec 09/98) - One Yellowknifer wasn't too happy to find the public phones missing from Centre Square Mall.

Polly Nearing needed to make a phone call while shopping in the mall about two weeks ago. She discovered the phones had been taken out, so she asked to use the phone in Barren Land Jewellery & Gifts.

"But I felt uncomfortable because it's a business phone," Nearing said. "It is very inconvenient."

Glen Bird, Property Manager for Centre Square Developments, said the phones were removed because they didn't always work and they brought in no revenue. The main reason, however, was because young people had a tendency to loiter near the phones.

"It's always nice to have that service in the mall," Bird said. "But in our case, it's a nuisance."

Bird said the mall is looking at installing public phones in some of the entrances. He said this would help eliminate the loitering problem.

"Soon we'll have pay phones, just in a different location."

Bird also pointed out there were public phones in the main lobby of the Yellowknife Inn.

The removal of the phones has sent some customers into businesses to use the phones. Mai Pham, owner of Loony Loonies, has had a lot of people ask to use her phone. The majority of these, she said, are youths.

But Joe Holzer, owner of Grandma Lee's, said people asked to use the business' phone all the time, even before they were removed.

"With or without the phones, it hasn't really made a difference," he said.