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Fashion & Style

Toronto malls in need of makeovers: Centerpoint Mall

Posted by Robyn Urback / May 12, 2011

Centerpoint Mall TorontoCenterpoint Mall definitely wins for most improved. The last time I strolled the mall was probably close to 10 years ago. If memory serves me correctly, I had dangerously wandered off from the line at the Pickle Barrel during peak traffic time (5 p.m. on a Sunday). My sauntering was risky; with the flocks of short-sighted bubbies whizzing by on their scooters, I was most certainly toying with bodily injury. But I wanted to catch a glimpse of the stores I'd never heard of, and run down the nearly abandoned aisles. Somehow, I lived to tell the tale.

Centerpoint MallI returned to Centerpoint recently to see how the North York Mall had fared over all these years. And to my surprise, it was bustling--both with walking and electronic scooter traffic. Granted, there were little hints of its former self: a missing "C" from the Centerpoint sign (yes, American spelling), a group of fedora and bucket hat-clad men snoring away in mid-mall leather chair lounges, and an old Zellers, complete with the vintage slogan "Because... the lowest price is the law!"

CenterPoint Mall TorontoBut overall, Centerpoint struck me as fairly bright and pleasant. Filled with lots of natural sunlight, there was everything from People's Jewellers, The Bay, Bentley, Trade Secrets, Le Chateau, and more. Granted, you probably won't find a Lacoste or Armani Exchange in a place like this, but it was far cry from the type of downtrodden Toronto malls chock full of stretchy neon clubwear and dollar stores galore.

Centrepoint MallCenterpoint's food court--and yes, there is a food court--has all you'd expect from a typical mall. McDonald's, New York Fries, Subway, and that sort of thing, but also a Fit For Life and Freshly Squeezed, which I imagine must be more recent arrivals. But alas, the past still looms with a Cash for Gold cart parked mere metres away from the banana bunches at Freshly Squeezed. I suppose you can't change a tiger's stripes. I'm not sure the bubbies would have it any other way. And yes, they're still there.

Old People SleepingCENTERPOINT MALL ROUNDUP

  • Quality of shops: Fair. Familiar collection of clothing chains
  • Most unique feature: Mobile cash for gold cart
  • Average age of patrons: Snoozing octogenarians, shopping teens
  • Quality of food court: Good. Proximity to Canadian Tire: bad
  • Need for makeover: No/low need

Previously in the series:

Discussion

42 Comments

Snapz / May 12, 2011 at 10:36 am
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Centerpoint Mall? Really? I think you should be raising (or should I say lowering?) the standards of what constitutes a mall in need of a makeover.
keven / May 12, 2011 at 10:40 am
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This mall def needs a makeover. The Bay is the worst Bay store I've ever been to, the mall itself is full of people just loitering about (old people and nannies mostly).

The mall does have its fair share of "stretchy neon clubwear and dollar stores galore." Not sure how you missed it actually.

Good points about this mall? The No Frills store and the Canadian Tire. Otherwise, avoid at all costs.
rls / May 12, 2011 at 10:55 am
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I can't really comment on the makeover, since I haven't been there in years, but for those who grew up in the area, Centerpoint will always be Town & Country.
Patrice / May 12, 2011 at 11:09 am
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Christ, this mall needs a makeover or just break it down and make a new mall. It's an eyesore, not even a good selection of stores. It has potential like Hillcrest Mall (I live 2 minutes away from it), Hillcrest went through a makeover and it's pretty nice.
J / May 12, 2011 at 11:13 am
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Kudos on the photos! Between the old man asleep on the chair an the grumpy women in the food court, it pretty much looks like the most depressing mall of all time.
JoeParez / May 12, 2011 at 11:26 am
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Sheridan Mall should be next; though it'll probably be the "Galleria" of all these shopping malls thanks to its movie theatre.

If you really want LOLs; or too see a desperate mall I suggest making the trek up to Woodbridge and checking out "Woodbridge Mall" at Highway 7 and Wigwoss. A few years ago I would've said The Promenade, but they've made some excellent renovations and store choices to save it.
Rob / May 12, 2011 at 11:28 am
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Is it BlogTO's position that all malls need to be like Yorkdale or Sherway Gardens? Not everyone in this city can afford to shop at Holt Renfrew you know...
MOrga / May 12, 2011 at 11:29 am
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These are some of the saddest stories Ive ever looked at on Blog TO.
ROB replying to a comment from Patrice / May 12, 2011 at 11:33 am
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Hillcrest mall is also in need of a makeover but nowhere near Centre Point. My Dad who's now retired helped build the place when it was Town & Country. He was resoponsible for the movie theatre's design and construction which was state of the art back then. He always lamented the fact that when it was torn down and the rest of the mall was remodelled it had lost much of it's appeal. This article proves that he was correct.
Chinatown Fried Rice / May 12, 2011 at 12:01 pm
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I am curious about Blogto's criteria on mall makeover? Does it have to be old? Does it have to have dollar stores? or mom and pop stores? If a mall has big names in it, does it need the renovation?

For those who have been there in Mississauga, Central Parkway Mall & Rockwood Mall....now that's ghetto
skeeter / May 12, 2011 at 12:03 pm
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i'm surprised BlogTO went all the way up to Yonge & Steeles. you guys must have been so frightened up there!
sotrue replying to a comment from skeeter / May 12, 2011 at 12:16 pm
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its so brtual there.
couldnt agree more.
Woodbridge mall / May 12, 2011 at 12:19 pm
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I was at woodbridge a few weeks ago, and half the stores are empty. Really starting to look run down and abandoned. But hwy 27 & Albion might be a little too far for Blogto to travel, plus it is ford's riding.
Jake / May 12, 2011 at 12:26 pm
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I have to agree that I'm surprised that this mall made the list- it aint that bad....yet...they have had some high turn over with some stores over the years...

I think the mall really lost some of its appeal when they removed the movie theatre (and the fountain). The best store there was the variety/cigar store that sold like a billion different magazines and comic books...the selection was insane...

quite funny that I never noticed the american spelling before...
Woodside! / May 12, 2011 at 12:31 pm
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WOODSIDE!
Woodside / May 12, 2011 at 12:31 pm
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WOODSIDE MALL!
Chinatown Fried Rice / May 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm
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I am surprised that blogto went all the way to Steeles & Yonge also, is that the absolute border for Toronto? I guess there will be no Woodbridge or Mississauga mall profiles as it is not really part of Toronto's jursidication. But wait when they do the best ayce sushi, Markham is mentioned with Sushi on 7 and Wasabi in richmond hill? Is this blogto "Toronto only" or is Blogto "wherever we feel like?"

Blogto tell us what borders you are using? or how far east and west you can go? or north (well to steeles in this case)
Rob / May 12, 2011 at 12:54 pm
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I used to live in Brampton and if you're interested in highlighting malls all over the GTA I would suggest Shoppers World. That mall is awful.
Meera / May 12, 2011 at 01:05 pm
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The biggest problem with this mall is getting to and from it. It appears to be easily accessible, but try carrying home your purchases on the sardine-like 60 Steeles.
craptastic / May 12, 2011 at 01:43 pm
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My mom got robbed in the bathroom the one time that she went to this place to do a favour for a friend. Please blow this piece of crap up.
Aydin / May 12, 2011 at 02:00 pm
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This is a great series.
I nominate East York Town Centre. The website claims that "East York Town Centre is a vibrant shopping destination. It's the spot to shop..."
Oh, and do Gerrard Square too!
Adam Sobolak / May 12, 2011 at 07:15 pm
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Remember: as far as amusing names go, its old name was "Towne and Countrye Square"
Antony / May 12, 2011 at 08:05 pm
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Thus scoring a "twofer" in the old "suburban developments named after the things they destroyed" game.
Parker / May 12, 2011 at 08:22 pm
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Town & Country forevah!
jane / May 13, 2011 at 07:47 am
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This place is a DUMP! I would not set foot in there!
Michael / May 13, 2011 at 11:25 am
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It is not worth the visit. The getting in and out is brutal. You feel like a welfare case. YUCK

The location is perfect (However-Very Busy. There is an opportunity to make this location great. Knock it down. Get some anchor locations including restaurants. Everything is within the mall no outside boxes.

Create a 2-3 tier level with your eating location on the rooftop (enclosed)it would be bright and cheerful.

Do Better,it's worth it
Blair / May 13, 2011 at 11:57 am
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Don't we all know that this used to be called TownE and CountryE? 'Specially you Willowdalers and Thornhillians.

gadfly / May 13, 2011 at 04:32 pm
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Although I would not (yet) put this Mall in the same category as the others in this series, for those of us who remember Town & Country in its prime, Centerpoint has sunk. As others have said, the closed theatre and fountain are sorely missed. The food court was wedged in their - and looks it.
During the TTC strike in the summer of '74, this mall was all that stood between my friends and I and total insanity. We would walk over there from Bathurst, just to haunt the woman with the bad hair and makeup that worked at Sam the Record Man in the back. I remember when The Bay opened - it used to be one of the nicer stores in that chain.
It's kind of sad to see how that entire area is getting sort of tawdry.
smiley / May 14, 2011 at 01:50 am
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Did the author of this article even have a fraction of concern over dignity to people who dine at a food court by him/herself when photographing them? Shouldn't the author of this article and those who commented on "sad" people at this mall owe apology to those who were photographed here without their permission? Disgusting, condescending, immature and selfish attitude and total lack of respect to ordinary people.
gadfly replying to a comment from smiley / May 15, 2011 at 08:38 am
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Sorry, but I have to agree with the author. If a Mall in decline can be judged by the state of its food court, then Centerpoint is definitely in decline. So is Scarborough Town Center.
When the food court looks like some far away ghetto, you know that the high rent paying tenants will be packing their bags soon enough.
Rmund / May 16, 2011 at 01:25 pm
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The saddest thing about this mall is the fact that it had two great movie theatres, both quite large, that they decided to turn into dollar stores or some part of the food court.

As for photographing the sad, old folks...well, if you bring a camera out to take any photos in Centerpoint, then they're bound to fall into your frame. There's quite a few of them, and the only people we need to blame are the developers who have opted to encase people in these unimaginative malls, without outdoor access to a nice sitting area or garden. Of course, some of the old folks will want to sit inside, away from the harsh rays of the sun, but still, these malls tend to veer to a generic style these days. No imagination to them at all anymore.
Kelli / May 21, 2011 at 10:47 am
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Towne & Country forever!!
Jacob / September 19, 2011 at 04:55 pm
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Please, do the Albion Centre and North York Sheridan Mall. Honestly, they aren't Galleria-tier bad, or Centerpoint-tier...good, but shopping in them makes you feel depressed. I say this because these two malls have been, and are, the ones I know are needing of makeovers.
Christina / March 14, 2012 at 10:45 pm
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I hate centrepoint mall because it has to much seniors and odd people it really a low class mall only no frills is good only .
tim replying to a comment from ROB / July 17, 2012 at 08:23 pm
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Rob:

I remember that theatre! Tell your Dad it was always my favourite. I always liked that one better than Hillcrest or Promenade. I've been trying to remember the names of the three screens they had. I can only think that one of them was called either Rio or Rialto. Each one had a different pattern in the Neon border (square, triangular, and circular), and a different colour (orange blue and green, I think). Do you remember which theatres had which names?
fran / September 30, 2012 at 03:09 pm
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The mall is quite possibly the worst thing I've ever seen. I have to go here every day at school for lunch to choose between garbage and filth. the stores here are all set on plus size women in their menopause years, and everything else left over is either a crap no name brand store or your rare chain link store in there. This mall needs a makeover so bad that complete destruction of property doesn't even sound that bad, just for the opprotunity of it being rebuilt anew.
John replying to a comment from ROB / October 26, 2012 at 09:04 am
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I remember that movie theater at Towne & Country Square. It was the best of the best in the area when I was growing up. Hillcrest Mall in Richmond Hill which is 15 minutes north of Towne & Country had small screen theatres. The ones at T&C were fairly big for its day. I saw lots of great films there. I was sad to see the theatres removed (in the 90s?). I think the mall, now known as Centerpoint is definately in need of a makeover.
T / November 29, 2012 at 11:39 pm
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Town & Country days are so missed. I seen a large amount of movies there growing up as a tween/teen. It did have one of the best theaters in the area(this was well before Silvercity even existed). I miss the old theater so much! Yet its floor plan is so fresh in my mind I could redesign it if asked to. The fountain just outside the ramp entrance to the theater is missed too.

I remember being a kid going to the radio shack and Woolco in the late 80s. I was so sad when Woolco closed.

The mall now is shit(for lack of better words). I suppose the Target that's being built where Zellers was is going to bring new customers there. Yet the mall will still be nothing to what it was in the 80s.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I just miss the old nostalgic days of that mall.
nostalgicman replying to a comment from tim / June 8, 2013 at 11:18 pm
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Even before they did that theme with the different names, I can remember going to see Superman 2 every weekend in 1980, for $2.50. I can still picture the inside. I wish we still had theaters like this now.
Mr. Movie replying to a comment from nostalgicman / June 13, 2013 at 03:29 am
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Why would you want a crappy multiplex like that in Centerpoint Mall to still be around? You know that there's a better one further north of Steeles, don't you? That has bigger screens, the same great Dolby (or THX) sound and enough room to stretch your legs? Who cares what name the theaters had?

For me, as soon as I could use the TTC by myself well enough as a boy, I would get out of suburban Toronto and head downtown to see Superman II and and all of those now-classic '80s sci-fi flicks (plus a few non-sci-fi ones) at the Eglington, the York, the Uptown, the Imperial Six AND the best one of them all, the University. I wish that those still existed, but they don't; however, at least the current multis have big enough screens the same as those classic places. Going to those places were what made me love cinema more than going to some mall cinema like Town & Country/Centerpoint, no matter how low-cost the admission price might have been.
sue / December 5, 2013 at 01:19 pm
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The Bay has now been redone, but there are now many store closings replaces by "cheap" stores. Roots left a long time ago, etc.
However, does no one realize that people do live north of Steeles? What snobs! The pictures are insensitive.
craig replying to a comment from tim / December 11, 2013 at 05:57 pm
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Hey Tim,

Lol this is late, but I just caught your comment. The three theatres were Palace, Avalon and Rio. Red square, yellow circle and green triangle, respectively. New releases started in the Palace, Rio was second-best/-biggest, and films usually finished their rotation in the Avalon.

I don't live in Toronto anymore but I do think about Centerpoint from time to time. The theatres were fun and it was sad when they left, but it's not like Centerpoint was a stand-alone failure. Malls have been losing theatres all over the country, if not the entire continent- theatres in general seem to be a dying breed giving way to multiplexes.

I'm surprised to see all the negative comments about Centerpoint, though. That place was always good enough for me- various entrepreneurs trying to do business, patrons shopping, seniors sipping coffee and kids killing time. It's still cornered by a residential community on the south and west sides (and across Yonge St on the east). I don't know what people really expect them to do, it is what it is- and has always been. It serves its market rather functionally and I hope it survives. I haven't been there for years but I can't imagine the neighbourhood would be receptive to wholesale changes, at least not without some traffic relief- Yonge & Steeles is ready to pop and congested enough as is. Anyway...

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