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Dead/Decaying Malls of Greater Toronto

pw20

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London Galleria is interesting. The Central Library (which is quite nice) is the old Bay Store, closed soon after the Eaton's closed in 1997 or 1998. The Eaton's is now the Rainbow Cinemas. Much of the mall was given over to office and institutional use and is therefore useful, yet not in its original purpose. Interestingly, Galleria is a po-mo expansion of the old Eaton Galleria, a smaller indoor mall built in the early 1960s that had one of the four blocks.

Part of the problem is that downtown malls in smaller cities hardly worked, especially in places like London where suburban malls, with ample, free parking were more attractive to a suburbanized population. Sarnia, Guelph, Kitchener, Peterborough, Brantford all learned that lesson the hard way. London was especially over-malled. Eaton's collapse (partly brought about by its downtown mall projects, supported by the province, which were total failures) caused these marginal malls to empty quick. Many had cinemas as well, a good idea until the big-boxed megaplexes took over, all in the suburbs.

If that's your kind of thing, Hamilton's Jackson Square/Hamilton City Centre is the place to be. The wholesale clearance of six blocks of downtown Hamilton, and the replacement with a giant, indoor shopping mall was to be the saviour. Instead, it is a dank relic of early 1970s mall architecture, though the food court was renovated; the mall has some life to it compared to many of its contemporaries.

The old Eaton store, adjacent to Jackson Square was demolished and replaced by a pomo mall separate from Jackson Square but linked to it. The Eaton's became a Liquidation World and much of the mall became city offices.

Guelph pretty much got rid of its mini-Eaton Centre, but Kitchener, Sarnia, Brantford and Peterborough still have them.
Eaton's received significant tax breaks to build a lot of these stores:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eaton_Centre#Ontario_Downtown_Renewal_Programme_.28ODRP.29
 

airplane-dude

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Guelph pretty much got rid of its mini-Eaton Centre, but Kitchener, Sarnia, Brantford and Peterborough still have them.
Indeed they did. The Eaton's became an OHL arena for the Guelph Storm, and the front half of the mall became a "market place" downstairs with doctors offices up stairs. The latter half of the mall still exists like it did in the 90's but with nothing of consequence in there.

The architecture and concept is nice, but I don't think it was executed well. Lot's of foot traffic in the mall, but mostly as a through-way.
 

FAC33

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If that's your kind of thing, Hamilton's Jackson Square/Hamilton City Centre is the place to be. The wholesale clearance of six blocks of downtown Hamilton, and the replacement with a giant, indoor shopping mall was to be the saviour. Instead, it is a dank relic of early 1970s mall architecture, though the food court was renovated; the mall has some life to it compared to many of its contemporaries.
It really is a trip back in time. I was down there in April for a Rush concert in the adjoining Copps Coliseum, and the moment I entered the ambient smell took me right back to the 70s. The cause was a water feature (they called 'em fountains back then) that still retained several of the mushroom or umbrella-shaped individual fountains, complete with coloured lights. The mall itself is a low-ceilinged labyrinth with a mix of an eclectic assortment of one-off retail shops and a few chains. Best of all from the historic standpoint: They still have a Toby's!
 
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gabe

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Indeed they did. The Eaton's became an OHL arena for the Guelph Storm, and the front half of the mall became a "market place" downstairs with doctors offices up stairs. The latter half of the mall still exists like it did in the 90's but with nothing of consequence in there.

The architecture and concept is nice, but I don't think it was executed well. Lot's of foot traffic in the mall, but mostly as a through-way.
The marketplace is called "Old Quebec Street" It's meant to resemble the old Quebec Street with outdoor store fronts before the mall was built.

The the roof of skylights retract in the nice weather, making the marketplace feel like it's outdoors.

 

sixrings

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I like that alot... BUT I came on here to let everyone know that the crane is up at yorkdale...
 

airplane-dude

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The marketplace is called "Old Quebec Street" It's meant to resemble the old Quebec Street with outdoor store fronts before the mall was built.
Yep, and like I said, the construction has been done nicely. But the retail choices are poor. And I was there on a day when temps were in 30's and it was NOT pleasant. The stores luckily had air conditioning but the main part of the mall was like a sauna!
 

ShonTron

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Interesting that Westwood is being rebooted as a South Asian mall as the Globe and Mail recently had a report that ethnic mall proposals have fizzeled out (particuarly in Markham/Scarborough).

(Though it's funny that stock image of white woman shopper #3 is prominent on the site linked to above)

I don't see Woodbine too worried about Westwood - except perhaps the Wal-Mart Supercentre that's separate from this part of the mall being redeveloped.
 
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airplane-dude

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I don't see Woodbine too worried about Westwood - except perhaps the Wal-Mart Supercentre that's separate from this part of the mall being redeveloped.
If I'm seeing the plans right, only the center part of the mall (where the Zellers used to be?) is the "Asian Mini Mall". This gives the rest of the mall a chance to see some major tenants if Fieldgate can pull it off.. Woodbine on the other hand, has about 30 stores that are closed through out the mall, last I was there. Westwood always has the traffic (people that are in the mall) while Woodbine is kinda ghost like...
 

adma

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Well, good reason. Westwood is the hub of a community. Woodbine is by and large isolated within a sea of big boxes and racetrackery...
 

ShonTron

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If that's your kind of thing, Hamilton's Jackson Square/Hamilton City Centre is the place to be. The wholesale clearance of six blocks of downtown Hamilton, and the replacement with a giant, indoor shopping mall was to be the saviour. Instead, it is a dank relic of early 1970s mall architecture, though the food court was renovated; the mall has some life to it compared to many of its contemporaries.

The old Eaton store, adjacent to Jackson Square was demolished and replaced by a pomo mall separate from Jackson Square but linked to it. The Eaton's became a Liquidation World and much of the mall became city offices.
Recent news - Jackson Square still has life - the Oceans supermarket chain signed on with Jackson Square to build a 55,000 sqft full service supermarket in the west end of the mall by Bay Street.

http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/news/story/2012/08/17/hamilton-grocery-store.html

And the latest tenant signed on: Anchor Bar.

http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/talk/story/2012/08/22/hamilton-anchor-bar.html
 

Swarez99

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Recent news - Jackson Square still has life - the Oceans supermarket chain signed on with Jackson Square to build a 55,000 sqft full service supermarket in the west end of the mall by Bay Street.

http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/news/story/2012/08/17/hamilton-grocery-store.html

And the latest tenant signed on: Anchor Bar.

http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/talk/story/2012/08/22/hamilton-anchor-bar.html
I went to Anchor bar a last week when I was DT Hamilton for work. Really good wings, a little expensive but you can tell they are quality. I did get to expense it so wasn't overly concerned with price.

There seems to a be a lot activity right around Jackson square, quite a bit of construction, a hospital, hotel, condo's (I think).
DT hamilton did't seem as grimy as it did maybe 2 years earlier when I was there last during day time. Hopefully more people come DT Hamilton. More local residence, more people will use the mall.
 

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