(Photo by Mike Kelly/Victoria Buzz)

The new, highly anticipated Canadian Tire in North Saanich opened its doors for the first time on Thursday, one day ahead of schedule.

The 50,000 sq. ft store (including the warehouse and service centre) is located at the Sandown Park Shopping Centre and offers complete automotive mechanical service including a ground level hoist that can accommodate low riding vehicles, skate sharpening, key cutting, and tint paint.

In Spring, the store will also feature a large garden centre with an assortment of annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs.

This particular Canadian Tire franchise is owned and operated by Grant Wood, who has spent most of his life in BC.

“I was simply thrilled to be offered the opportunity to build this beautiful new store in North Saanich, especially because is was on Vancouver Island,” Wood told Victoria Buzz. “This is my 4th store with Canadian Tire.”

The store has a Grand Opening planned on November 8th – 11th, which will include a big four-day sale, giveaways, free samples, face painting and a balloon artist for the kids on Saturday and Sunday.

There will also be an autograph session with retired NHL goaltender Kirk McLean.

With files from Adam Chan