Goodbye Dan's Place, hello Nancy's: Yellowknife mall simultaneously loses and gains tenant

Dan's Place has had a storefront in the Yellowknife mall for four years, but slowed business and stress has lead the owner to close his doors. His wife, though, has other plans.

Dan Hayward is closing up his shop, but his wife is going to open a creperie at Centre Square Mall

Nancy Hayward is going to open a creperie that also sells hot dogs, milkshakes and baked potatoes. (Jamie Malbeuf/CBC)

Dan's Place is moving out and Nancy's Place is moving in.

Dan's Place, a second-hand shop, has been an icon at Yellowknife's Centre Square Mall for four years. But the store is closing because owner Dan Hayward has found the job too stressful and business has been slowing down over the past few months, according to his wife Nancy Hayward.

"He was sitting with our daughter in Edmonton and his phone rang steady and he's not even in town," said Nancy.

She said people call constantly trying to sell them items because they "really need some money."

Part of the reason business has been slower is because people don't want to go to the mall, said Nancy. But she said the security at the mall has been getting better.

"So you can come back now," said Nancy.

There is no set closing date for Dan's Place. (Jamie Malbeuf/CBC)

Centre Square Mall has had issues in the past, enough to prompt the owners of the mall and of the adjoining Quality Inn and Suites to plead with the government to help with a homelessness crisis at the mall.

Even though Dan's Place is closing, the Haywards won't be leaving the mall anytime soon.

Nancy will be opening up a shop a few storefronts away: Nancy's Place.

The store has a range of items including kitchenware, tools, games and stuffed animals. (Jamie Malbeuf/CBC)

Crepes and baked potatoes

Nancy's Place will sell crepes, hot dogs, milkshakes and baked potatoes. And Nancy will hire her husband to work the till and talk to customers while they wait for their food.

Nancy's Place is almost ready to open; Hayward just needs to finish a few details, like putting a sneeze-guard over the crepe maker. (Jamie Malbeuf/CBC)

The shop is almost completely ready to open and she was approved by the health board last week.

She expects to open after Dan's Place is shut down — there's no set date, and it will be dependent on when the store shelves empty, said Nancy.

Whatever's left will be sent to an auction, she said.

There are thousands of items needed to be sold before the store shuts its doors for the last time. (Jamie Malbeuf/CBC)

Nancy said she's excited to start another business.

"We've never made a fortune, but we've had a lot of fun."


Jamie Malbeuf is a reporter with CBC News, based in Fort McMurray. She started her career with CBC in 2017, after graduating from MacEwan University with a major in journalism. She covers a range of topics including health, justice and housing. Follow her on Twitter @JamieMalbeuf. Send story ideas to