The mall first opened in April 1965 as Northgate Shopping Centre and was home to the Woodward's department store. A major renovation was completed in 1986, adding a second storey and twin two level parkades on the northwest and southwest corners, and the mall was renamed Northwood Mall. In 1998, First Capital Realty took ownership of the mall and a year later began a three-year redevelopment that was completed in 2002. The project included new locations for existing tenants Future Shop and Safeway, expanded space for Zellers and a refurbished second floor food court. The name was changed to Northgate Centre.
In 2011 Walmart announced that it had acquired the lease for the location of the Zellers anchor store, which subsequently closed. In October 2012, the Walmart Supercentre opened. Walmart, however, only kept the main level of the former Zellers; the remainder was converted into office, medical and Service Canada space.
And also in 2012, Sport Mart closed to become Ardene. Subsequently, the Service Canada location was closed. On March 28, 2015 the Future Shop closed but then became Marshalls. In May 2018 the Rexall closed.