In 1960, with Calgary's population and city limits rapidly expanding, the original section of Chinook Centre was opened on the site of the Chinook Drive-In Theatre. Designed as an open-air complex, the mall was anchored by Woodward's, Holt Renfrew, a bowling alley, and a branch of the Calgary Public Library, in addition to a variety of other higher-end stores. The centre was enclosed a few years later, and quickly became a focal point of social life for affluent Calgarians. In the mid 60's, a separate mall, Southridge, was opened across the street from Chinook. It was built to be a competing centre with Sears and approximately 30 other stores.
In 1974 the malls came under common ownership and an expansion was built to bridge the centres together. The new, much larger mall was renamed Chinook Ridge Shopping Centre, and included a major enclosed parking structure, an office tower, and a food court.
A major expansion and renovation in the early 1980’s saw the addition of a new department store (fashion retailer Bretton's), a new 2-storey wing of specialty retailers, and a movie theatre (which closed down a few years later). The expansion also brought the mall's store count to approximately 300.
In 1998, after several setbacks caused by a change in mall ownership, a massive, $300 million renovation project was launched. The entire complex was stripped to its structure and completely rebuilt in three phases, while remaining open for business during the three-year construction period. The renovation, opened in April 2000, created a dynamic shopping centre design like no other in Canada!
February 2008 saw the start of a $275-million expansion at Chinook Centre. It will bring a number of new US and international retailers to the Calgary retail scene. The expansion will add 180,000 square feet to the existing mall, two levels of heated underground parking with 1,200 stalls, and over 60 new stores.