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Fashion & Style

Toronto malls in need of makeovers: Galleria Mall

Posted by Robyn Urback / May 13, 2011

Galleria Mall TorontoIf "sadness" could take tangible form, it would manifest as brown brick tiles, off-track betting, and too many Jesus figurines to count. Friends, this is the Galleria Mall. Its existence is paraded right at Dufferin and Dupont, where a sign for the P.M. Toronto Sports Bar, housed in the Galleria Mall, hints at just what the dreary building has in store.

"Watch the ga e here," the sign announces, inviting all those passing by. This must be the Galleria I thought, catching glimpse of the sign. So I descended the bus and made my way toward the mall.

Galleria Mall TorontoThey say animals are always the first to know, and indeed, I should've taken my cues from the 'gulls. Swarms of birds circled the parking lot, cawing menacingly as they gathered in swirls. Should I turn back now? No, I couldn't--I had heard there would be strobe lights.

Galleria Mall TorontoAnd indeed there were, pulsing inexplicably from an electronics store, illuminating an abandoned Royal LePage kiosk. Yes, this was the Galleria; brown, dim, and melancholy, with an arched ceiling made of something you definitely didn't want to inhale. Gathering my wits, I moved on.

That's when I found Jesus, in a multiplicity of different forms. There he was as a figurine; as a painting; with Mary and alone. Is that a decorative plate? A window charm? Candelabra? I should venture inside Galleria Electronics to find out more...

Galleria Mall TorontoNo, I would move on. I soon came across P.M. Toronto Sports Bar, littered with failed stubs and a gaggle of beer-drinking men. Eyes glued to a collection of screens, the men seemed not to notice as I contaminated their boys' club. Indeed, I had explored the world of off-tracking betting before, and the Galleria's version certainly adhered to all the unspoken rules of the game: hats mandatory, men only, and keep your eyes, literally, on the prize.

Galleria Mall TorontoIf you stray from the bar, though, you'll come across a variety shops all emoting the same sort of sorry sentiment. Discount clothing, dollar convenience, and hey--black boxer briefs on sale for $1.99. There's a vending machine full of cards, complete with everything from Justin Bieber collectibles to packs of 1989 Major League Baseball. Feeling nostalgic (of course, for the latter), I tried to drop a Toonie into the slot. But it didn't fit. The coin was too big. How long, Galleria, have you been left in this state? Should I come back with a $2 bill?

I exited through Price Chopper, feeling as though I had abandoned a lost friend. At least the seagulls were still there to offer some form of company.

GALLERIA MALL

  • Anchor store: Zellers, Price Chopper
  • Quality of shops: Since I was temporary blinded by strobe lights, I can't really say
  • Most unique feature: That this place still exists
  • Average age of patrons: 60 in the bar
  • Quality of food court: The 1970s menu board isn't encouraging
  • Need for makeover: I'm afraid it's too late...

Galleria Mall Toronto2011513-galleria-free-gift.jpg2011513-galleria-main.jpg2011513-galleria-food.jpg

Previously in the series:

Discussion

147 Comments

hellonearth / May 13, 2011 at 09:40 am
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The miscarriage of shopping malls.

Why isn't this a condo yet?

Jesus Christ.
d+d / May 13, 2011 at 09:43 am
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ha!
I've been waiting for this review since this series started.
The galleria is truly a baffling, Lynchian space.
Next - vintage gerrard square perhaps?!
scott d / May 13, 2011 at 09:48 am
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Those pictures must have been taken when the mall was closed or Sunday morning as I have never seen the parking lots (especially by the LCBO) that empty. The "Gonorrhea Mall" as some locals call it is slated to be completely redeveloped over the next 12 years bringing new streets and residential density. (http://www.bousfields.ca/index.php/projects/galleria_mall_redevelopment). I worked on Geary Avenue in the late 70's and honestly it was a ghastly brown blob even back then. My current favourite store name: "Smokers Choice".
James / May 13, 2011 at 10:00 am
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Great article - but I would have loved, loved more pictures.
Slinkz / May 13, 2011 at 10:14 am
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Yeah, your pictures don't really do this place justice. It's truly horrifying.
laurie replying to a comment from d+d / May 13, 2011 at 10:16 am
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me too! truly the saddest mall of all.

i have to go there regularly to pick up mail at the pharmaplus... always an interesting experience.
Derek replying to a comment from James / May 13, 2011 at 10:22 am
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I added a few more pictures at your request...
qwerty / May 13, 2011 at 10:24 am
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When I was a kid, I used to go there on weekends when the baseball cards guy would open shop. Spending a dollar on a pack of 1993 Upper Deck baseball cards hoping not to get doubles. Good times.
duffer / May 13, 2011 at 10:24 am
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Finally my local mall in all it's glory!

EveryonesOpinion / May 13, 2011 at 10:26 am
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I went there once, and sworn to never go back again.
refuse / May 13, 2011 at 10:27 am
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This place must be in violation of some sort of health code, no?
Sian / May 13, 2011 at 10:28 am
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Miscarriage of shopping malls? More like afterbirth.
duffer / May 13, 2011 at 10:28 am
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also rumor has it that any redevelopments plans have fallen through due to the owners not willing to sell so the Galleria is here to stay for a long long time.
V / May 13, 2011 at 10:29 am
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I love it at Christmas time. They hang a huge ancient plaster Santa head over the exit by the Pet Value.
Bubba / May 13, 2011 at 10:33 am
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that place has not changed since the early 70's, even the lunch counter is still the same.
steve / May 13, 2011 at 10:40 am
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I blame the so-called 'SmartCentres' for the downfall of our once noble, local malls. Either Yorkdale-ify, or die.
Betty / May 13, 2011 at 10:46 am
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There's a good seamstress there who will hem your jeans cheap and fast - recommended to me by the shopgirl at Girl Friday. Hers is the first shop after the entrance near the LCBO, so you hardly have to venture into the mall at all. Unless you want to.
skeeter / May 13, 2011 at 10:46 am
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i like it!
The Liquor / May 13, 2011 at 10:47 am
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was it even open when you went? Everything looks shut, or is that just a regular thing at the Galleria.

I must confess that when I lived in the area I never ventured inside, from the road you can pretty much tell what its going to be like.
neunen / May 13, 2011 at 10:49 am
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to those of you knocking it: where do YOU go to get good deals on sorny polystations and scarface memorabilia plaques, eh smartypants?
The Liquor / May 13, 2011 at 10:49 am
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and this is probably the best series since the "Toronto in the 19__'s" photos.

zxc / May 13, 2011 at 10:51 am
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When Dufferin Mall is down the street, why go to Galleria.
brad / May 13, 2011 at 10:52 am
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We drive by this one all the time, and it's a constant butt of mockery among us. It's so damn inexplicable that this place still exists in Toronto. I do hear rumours that it is to become condos, but I have no idea if that's true.
blerg / May 13, 2011 at 10:53 am
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@zxc

because it's 10 in the morning, you're drunk, and wearing sweat pants. that's why.
the lemur / May 13, 2011 at 10:58 am
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I've passed this mall so many times, cursed drivers going there for blocking traffic on Dupont, even used the parking lot a few times. But I've never been in there. And now I don't have to!
James / May 13, 2011 at 10:59 am
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Noted here and perhaps on the other threads I'm not sure...is how the majority of these properties are all proposed for redevelopment.

Centerpoint had a huge redevelopment proposal go through....10 years ago???? 7 or more towers...

Parkway has a major redevelopment proposal on it as well..

And of course, Galleria.

I expect these sites are being purposefully neglected as they are envisioned for tear down.....and leases are probably only on short-term offer (a guess, not a fact)...

That would tend to scare away A-List tenants who don't want to invest in a property being neglected and/or one that will be demolished within a short few years.

That said...only a few mall redevelopment proposals have actually gone forward.

Most notable, the tear down of the former Warden Woods for a subdivision...

And the Bridetown Mall site...which seems ready to take condos to market any week now.

***

Thorncliffe would be another....once slated to be towered into 'Downtown East York'.......
natalie / May 13, 2011 at 11:00 am
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Next: Bridlewood mall or Woodside square mall !!!!
Those are gems in scarborough!!!
E.M / May 13, 2011 at 11:01 am
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The Galleria always reminds me of late 1970s/early 80s Dufferin Mall. It truly is hard to believe it hasn't been at least remodeled.
Having said that, I've been there many times (hey, the LCBO is handy! :) ) where it is actually packed with shoppers.
Weird, no?? :)
Kris Law / May 13, 2011 at 11:02 am
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"They say animals are always the first to know"

The first to know what? Nice writing.
AV / May 13, 2011 at 11:04 am
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Plans may have changed since Target bought Zellers, hence the development delay for Galleria.
Kris Law / May 13, 2011 at 11:05 am
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Wow, just finished the rest of the "article". It seeps privilege. How dare poor people exist?!
Derek replying to a comment from Kris Law / May 13, 2011 at 11:05 am
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Read that as deliberately vague, please.
Ben / May 13, 2011 at 11:05 am
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This whole series is misguided and absurd.

As if anything not up to the homogenous commercial standard is worthy of scorn. A bit of non-conformity from a mall not designed to force a Gruen transfer, a lack of major chains, and a hub for independent business are all good things. The rustic design mall is in the awkward phase between being de rigeur and classic; in ten or twenty years it will be a treasure.

We shouldn't be so ready to impugn little gems like the galleria mall. Consider the city's motto "Diversity is our strength;" if one day we're demanding all malls are to be the same, what's next? BIAs? The city of villages would be a city of Queen Wests filled with Le Chateaus and Aldos; no thanks.
Sean replying to a comment from E.M / May 13, 2011 at 11:06 am
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The LCBO is the only reason I would ever go near that place.

Just looking at those photos makes me want to cut myself.
Joe replying to a comment from hellonearth / May 13, 2011 at 11:10 am
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It's not a condo because the owners are asking too much for the property.
Sierra / May 13, 2011 at 11:15 am
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I actually loved living by the Galleria. It had everything I could need; LCBO, grocery store, pharmacy and a Zellers! Perfection!

Long live the Galleria haha.
Joshua / May 13, 2011 at 11:17 am
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You know, it's easy to look at the Galleria in shame. But those photos are not accurate; the mall was obviously closed at the time. Which is an absurd opening to "malls in need of change".

First, usually you can't find parking anywhere around the bustling LCBO.

Second, the Zellers is a score of place, also often busy. Sure we're waiting to hear if its going to transform to Target, but if condos are in the future, it likely won't.

Most importantly, the inside 'open areas' have benches that are almost ALWAYS occupied by people from the neighborhood. Did you hear that? THE GALLERIA IS A VIABLE AND ACTIVE SOCIAL SPACE, RIGHT NOW. No, it's not 20-somethings being social, more like 60-somethings. Just because you don't see any of your ilk there doesn't mean its not socially important right now (you just won't see tweets about it)

Also, someone mentioned "see it at christmas, ha-ha". You know what they did last christmas on the weekends? Provided free pizza lunches for kids.

Give this mall the credit it is due.
Chris / May 13, 2011 at 11:18 am
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I lived steps away from this mall in the mid-80's. It was somewhat dreary then, but now it is just downright depressing. I do hope that it is redeveloped. The entire area needs improvement.
iSkyscraper / May 13, 2011 at 11:19 am
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Looks like a prime mall to drive the Bluesmobile through.

Great series, love thinking about the malls of my youth. Keep it going!
Derek replying to a comment from Joshua / May 13, 2011 at 11:27 am
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I live beside Galleria mall and visit the place at least once every two weeks. The Galleria is nowhere near as busy as you suggest. Yes, some areas are, namely LCBO, Price Chopper and Zellers. But, interestingly, those aren't the mom and pop shops. The centre of the mall is almost always quiet, particularly when compared to other malls in this series.
Vi replying to a comment from Ben / May 13, 2011 at 11:37 am
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You, sir, obviously have never been inside the Galleria...
ashley replying to a comment from Ben / May 13, 2011 at 11:39 am
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have you seen the 'independent retailers' in this mall? it's one guy selling wigs and jesus figurines from a kiosk.

Also we aren't demanding malls to be the same we are just asking that they provide proper lighting, have no health code violations and don't wreak of cat spray.

its not about conforming its about meeting basic standards for a comfortable experience. everyone leaves this mall feeling much worse about life than they did before entering.
Elwood replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / May 13, 2011 at 11:42 am
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hehehehehehehehehehehe! This mall has everything!
Gutface / May 13, 2011 at 11:45 am
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a "bustling" LCBO does not make the Galleria a decent mall. If anything it makes it worse.
sic / May 13, 2011 at 11:51 am
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Waiting for the Honeydale mall post....
Beks / May 13, 2011 at 11:55 am
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I came to Canada 4 years ago and the first two malls in Canada I visited were Dufferin Mall and Galleria. I didn't know anything about them or about Toronto, I just found them online, advertised as places where you can get cheap stuff.

I do not wish anyone this to be their first view of Canada. I have not been back to Galleria since and hopefully I will never visit it again. This place should be torn down :))
bgm / May 13, 2011 at 11:58 am
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I'm not really a mall fan but I'll occasionally hit the LCBO there and we're often at the Pet Value as it's the only place nearby that has our dog food. I've also never seen it that empty there; not only the parking lot but there's usually lots of people in those hair and nail salons and lots of old guys sitting on the benches.

It's a little grim, but no worse to me than the lipstick-on-a-pig that is the re-vamped Dufferin Mall. (Although I do love the DM's new, sad, self-doubting slogan: "Dufferin Mall. REALLY?")
Lars / May 13, 2011 at 12:00 pm
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Galleria Mall really has to be number one on the makeover list.

It's awful - it actually looks way better in the photos where everything is closed. Before Christmas they had a sketchy roving Santa sans grotto - I could never work out if he was mall endorsed or just some random madman.

We go there as it's close but mentally it takes its toll. Incredibly soul destroying.
Sarah / May 13, 2011 at 12:02 pm
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Shut up. This article is stupid.
Chinatown Fried Rice / May 13, 2011 at 12:02 pm
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someone is waiting for the honeydale mall.

that is so funny, most ppl have pinpointed where BLOGTO is going next.

It's gotta be honeydale, or gerrard square, bridlewood mall or woodside mall are gonna get picked for sure
Blair / May 13, 2011 at 12:02 pm
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I remember when this place was basically owned by the Oshawa Group. Food City (Price Chopper), Drug City (PharmaPlus) and Towers (Zellers) were the main tenants and the place always seemed to do the trick. I could also lament the lack of "Annette 4" trolley buses outside, but that'd be mixing my sentimentalities.

One contemporary hint about the Zellers: if you're looking for something in their flyer that's a doorcrasher or something, this one always seems to have it in stock.
jake / May 13, 2011 at 12:06 pm
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the doors under the Galleria sign in pic 6 take you where?
gizmo29 / May 13, 2011 at 12:10 pm
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I actually had to do extensive research on the Galleria mall for a feature I was writing (I'm a journalism student at Ryerson)

The property has been in limbo for so long, with constant condo projects proposed and eventually not going through due to:
1. Disagreements with contractors and City of Toronto Planning (size, amount of green space that would be available, etc.)
2. Big chains (e.g. Zellers) having a long-term lease on the property and not budging
3. Consideration of what community members would like to see happen to the property.
Due to this uncertainty, there has really been no need for the Galleria to get with the times.
Heck, real estate agents in the area still advertise housing in the area as if the Galleria's days are numbered and gentrification will occur if/when a condo is built.

Some store owners have mentioned that if a condo is built, the main floor would have small little shops (kind of like the Atrium on Bay). This way Galleria and many of its Jesus-merchandise-selling stores would have the chance of living on.

I wrote a snippet on the galleria on this blog: http://bit.ly/kKOTuw

Still, if you have the time, you can always visit the mall and relive the glory days of the Maple Leafs by buying a pack of 1993 Opee-Chee Premuim Cards for $1 from there barely functioning card box machine, lol



Dave replying to a comment from skeeter / May 13, 2011 at 12:41 pm
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@skeeter - of course you do, your comments indicate you have zero class. Perfect place for a neanderthal.
Tuffy / May 13, 2011 at 12:46 pm
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I love the Tiles on the floor!!! Awesome!!!!
Anon / May 13, 2011 at 01:29 pm
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"I soon came across P.M. Toronto Sports Bar, littered with failed stubs and a gaggle of beer-drinking men. Eyes glued to a collection of screens, the men seemed not to notice as I contaminated their boys' club. Indeed, I had explored the world of off-tracking betting before, and the Galleria's version certainly adhered to all the unspoken rules of the game: hats mandatory, men only, and keep your eyes, literally, on the prize."

Wait, what? The Galleria mall has a sports bar named P.M. Toronto and an OTB place called Champions. You seem to have somehow fused the two into one establishment. P.M. Toronto is (or was, when I went there a few years ago) a surprisingly nice sports bar with fairly cheap drinks.
deboriginal / May 13, 2011 at 01:34 pm
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We used to call it the "Diarrhea Mall" years ago when it first opened - it was awful then and still loooks awful now - please people, get a new floor at least!!!
butterdave / May 13, 2011 at 01:40 pm
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Galleria is the bomb!
ROB / May 13, 2011 at 01:43 pm
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Honeydale, gerrard square, bridlewood mall and woodside mall should definitely be part of this series. I didn't believe I'd like these articles so much but a couple are bringing back memories. The Galleria is by far the most depressing of the lot so far. Anyone up for Jane and Finch mall?
Terry / May 13, 2011 at 01:50 pm
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It is the saddest mall and I live near it. I only go to it because it's a 5-minute walk. The excuse given by owner Marca Developments for not rebuilding is that there are very long leases by some tenants. Regardless, the mall management had better get their act together, as there is a new Metro grocery store being planned nearby (short walk) at Dupont/Lansdowne (with Fuse Condos).
cee replying to a comment from ashley / May 13, 2011 at 02:10 pm
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Of course it's bleak, but Eatons Centre is also bleak in its own way. I find it sad that people find this mall depressing. Yes poverty is obvious, and yes "Tunic World" is a hilariously terrible name for a store, but you can also play Street fighter for a quarter and the Zellers has a lot of basics that I would prefer not to buy from the Walmart in Dufferin Mall. I'll be genuinely sad when this mall changes. "Disdain is easy, a mug's game, but look closely at anything and it will break your heart."
avp / May 13, 2011 at 02:22 pm
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this is a multi-million dollar space, occupied by multi-million dollar companies managed by another million dollar business.

there is no excuse for this mall to exist in the condition that it does. this has nothing to do with poverty/class, and everything to do with bad urban development.
metact / May 13, 2011 at 02:35 pm
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My friends call it the Dirt Mall, the washrooms are hideous, and the only food option is a disturbing grey burger from the fountain-drink counter.

But it's the closest Zellers to my house (I boycott Walmart), and I have heard good things about the seamstress. People need stores selling useful stuff at low prices, not just fancy malls selling overpriced purses and cellphones.
JS / May 13, 2011 at 04:03 pm
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This mall is always very busy when I drop in. The LCBO is very handy, closest in the neighborhood (incl. Bloordale and Junction Triangle) plus the dirty McDicks in the parking lot is keep many ppl in the area alive. Long live the Galleria Mall!
gadfly / May 13, 2011 at 04:20 pm
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This mall is truly horrifying. I visited there for the first (and last) time about a year ago. Scary stuff, indeed. Still, it's places like this that make other Malls (Dufferin, for example) look good....... Somebody has to be at the bottom of the pile.
deboriginal / May 13, 2011 at 04:47 pm
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Well ... we also called Dufferin "Suffering Mall" :)
Bob replying to a comment from Kris Law / May 13, 2011 at 04:54 pm
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Agreed. I too read this as "Ewww, poor people and poor people places are GROSS and YUCKY. I'm so glad I'm not a disgusting poor."
The snarky, bourgeois tone of the entire piece was really off-putting and elitist.
David / May 13, 2011 at 05:04 pm
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OMGosh this place has been a dump for yrs.
I recall as a kid they had that TALL fountain in the middle of the mall square.

missedthebus replying to a comment from Bob / May 13, 2011 at 05:19 pm
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No, Bob. You haven't been there. If you had been, you would understand. I really does suck any optimism and reason to continue living you may have all out of you. Really.

On the plus side, the LCBO and the Pet Valu are both accessible from the parking lot, without having to actually enter the mall.
Ryan L. / May 13, 2011 at 06:02 pm
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I'm literally passing the Bridlewood mall on the bus as I type this. It might not be the most beautiful, but the parking lot is a good 75% full as I type this
Ryan L. / May 13, 2011 at 06:02 pm
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I'm literally passing the Bridlewood mall on the bus as I type this. It might not be the most beautiful, but the parking lot is a good 75% full as I type this
Richey / May 13, 2011 at 06:09 pm
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Big time LOLz. I sincerely hope Dufferin Mall is on your radar.
Richey replying to a comment from deboriginal / May 13, 2011 at 06:09 pm
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I always refereed to it as the 'Dirty Duff'
andrewS / May 13, 2011 at 08:08 pm
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The alternative is Dufferin Mall, which is definitely trying to go down the Yorkdale path. I'm not convinced that's a good thing - though because it's anchored by wal-mart and is not a destination mall the worst might be avoided.

I doubt Yorkdalization is the best outcome - it's like "east" Queen West, which overgentrified.

It's kind of funny, were Galleria inside-out - ie, a strip mall - it would probably be a fairly lively little strip even if the establishments were decidedly down-market. Ripe for gentrification, and you're almost exactly midway between the Annex and the Junction so it's a matter of time before it does.

These enclosed malls end up in a trap where low paying tenants mean the mall can't afford to improve its street appeal, no street appeal means no walkin or driveby traffic, and no traffic means no hope of attracting good tenants.

Perhaps the best outcome is if the mall is purchased by a real estate trust with deep pockets. Though again, we'd most likely end up with a failed attempt at Yorkdalization with a few bland condo towers.

Don't know if there's any solution.
iSkyscraper / May 13, 2011 at 08:37 pm
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Looking at the added photos, it really does bear a strong resemblence to the lovingly smashed-up Dixie Mall. ("Lots of space in this mall!) See for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oMtdXaqBx4

Now just try to keep yourself from humming "Can't Turn You Loose" the next time you visit the Galleria.
Adam Sobolak / May 13, 2011 at 09:12 pm
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I suppose the sheer, unapologetic proletarian-ness Galleria gets a collateral tableau-vivant lift from its being in the heart of Dyan Marie country.

And actually, it's funny how w/everyone mentioning Dufferin and Gerrard and Honeydale and whatever else, nobody's raised something nearby that's a compacted and compounded version of everything Galleria-haters hate about the Galleria: the mall at the bottom of the Crossways across from Dundas West Station...
Teena / May 13, 2011 at 10:01 pm
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This truly is a sad mall. I lived in the 'hood and this was the closed mall.

I'm surprised you never mentioned that it smelled ... we called it "The Stinky Mall".
James replying to a comment from d+d / May 13, 2011 at 10:59 pm
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I just thought I should point out that Gerrard Square has already had a makeover.
d+d replying to a comment from James / May 13, 2011 at 11:49 pm
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that's why I said vintage Gerrard square!

And, I've always been intrigued/afraid of "the crossways" - I have to visit now!...
smiley / May 14, 2011 at 01:35 am
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Mmm... I never thought this mall was so bad. I mean it is ugly, but are Eaton Centre and Yorkdale Mall pretty then? Malls in North American cities are ugly to my perception and all the people who rant here about this place being trashy or dirty or smelly don't know that you are a part of this culture? The Korean lady who serve you grey burgers is a proud mom of a university-educated daughter, and the barber/hair salon by the west entrance is a popular spot for neighbours enjoying weekend perk-ups. Rant if you think that would make you feel superior, but don't forget this place is a part of a community (which you ranters wouldn't be a part of). This is a pathetically-biased and meaninglessly-snobby article. Gross!
Daniel / May 14, 2011 at 02:03 am
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no word of a lie, last year on a hot saturday afternoon, i was driving out the parking lot (back exit), where two crackheads were literally going at it on the grass. there were even a bunch of portuguese men standing around and watching!!! some guy tried to stop them, but they just kept going. awesome.

long live galleria!
Oni / May 14, 2011 at 09:16 am
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Wait, why do people keep suggesting the Dufferin Mall be next? I walked through it in its entirely last week and it was clean, brightly lit, bustling with people of all ages and ethnicities and almost every single unit was leased. I'm not a fan of malls in general, and The Beer Store is a bit of a trek from the nearest TTC stop, but it seems to be a well used space.
Dan / May 14, 2011 at 09:55 am
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That place is miserable. The only reason to go there is the LCBO. Weirdly though, the McDonalds in the parking lot has been reno'd and is actually not terribly ugly.
mallwatch replying to a comment from Oni / May 14, 2011 at 10:54 am
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surprisingly the duff has really turned itself around - I remember going there 10+ years ago and it was not unlike the galleria.
Simon Carr / May 14, 2011 at 01:38 pm
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I grew up literally across an alleyway and a park from this mall. What it needs is to be eaten by demonic sandworms of some kind.

It's one of those reminders we have that Toronto has been in a sad malaise for almost 30 years.
Nick / May 14, 2011 at 10:36 pm
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I have been exploring this mall recently - the Wallace community centre where my son goes is nearby. I initially was turned off but as other posters have pointed out, it is actually a hub for the community. And the picture framing place in the mall is quite good - I have had a couple of pictures framed there at about half the price of Off the Wall on Queen W. Also, our child's caregiver lives nearby and uses this mall all the time - not everyone can afford to shop at Fiesta Farms...for some PriceChopper fits the bill.
dude / May 14, 2011 at 11:25 pm
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Heres 2 you should visit york gate mall and jane and finch mall now those shouldnt even be considered malls
Hound / May 15, 2011 at 10:57 am
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I enjoy this series, but the "most unique" category is irritating. Anyone writing for an audience on an established site should know the meaning of common English words well enough not to make such obvious errors. Singularity is the very definition of uniqueness; the fact that you can't qualify it with words like "most" or "very" is exactly the point. Try "most distinct" or "most interesting" if you must.
chi chi / May 15, 2011 at 09:00 pm
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ive ready every single comment, talk about the full spectrum.

ive lived 5 minutes away from the Galleria for nearly 10 years. this mall will live on as long as theres old people, that literally live there. sure its an ugly looking mall, but the average person that goes there is looking for cheap goods and services.

the mall represents the demographics. but its also a community for the seniors.

it should not be torn down to make way for condos, dont we have enough?
Bees / May 15, 2011 at 09:49 pm
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I used to go to the Galleria all the time as a kid. Got everything at that Zellers...board games, bike helmets, rain boots. Okay, so it's ugly. Okay, so it's more than a little creepy. But there really is something cool about a place that's managed not to change since the late 1970s in Toronto, the city of knocking the old down and building anew. We've got more layers of lost civilization in this city than in Rome. Give the poor Galleria a break.

P.S. The Galleria had a cameo in "Lars and the Real Girl." It worked well in that film.
Marc / May 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm
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This story is further proof that malls are really not the way to go, and are quickly vulnerable once there's economic trouble or even neighbourhood regression or demographic changes. Just search "dead malls" at youtube.com and you'll see for yourself. Malls are not really natural concepts, especially if they are older and not planned or designed correctly, at least. The most common sense and natural concept is and will always be the "main street" or BIA concept. This was always around since early civilization times. I think it's time to demolish the Galleria Mall and incorporate a classic Main St/BIA zone there, or because of the lot/zone shape, a mixed-use type of zone with residences, offices but mainly retail being evident. Parking at the rear (Green P) and underground parking.
me / May 15, 2011 at 11:12 pm
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The Galleria may be ugly (REALLY ugly!) but it's damn convenient. I wish I still lived within easy access to it. In one stop I could hit Zellers (Walmart is evil), Pharmaplus, get some basic groceries at Price Chopper, visit Pet Value and get my LCBO fix. The Christmas decorations used every year were probably bought the year it opened (except for the uninflated things drooping off the roof). The midway on Mother's day was also a bit of a joke (do they still do it?). I particularly loved strolling through the electronics/religious icon/home decor place. It was one of those places where you never knew what you would find, and there were some really good deals to be had. A lot of the small shops have been there forever, so they must have a following and I say good for them.

Overall the place is a drab, diarrhea coloured nightmare of design, but it's also a bit of a gem in that it's the epitomy of 'function over fashion'.
Artie Balk / May 16, 2011 at 08:23 am
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Please don't overlook Cumberland Terrace.
Vincent Pollard / May 16, 2011 at 11:19 am
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"Quality of shops: Since I was temporary blinded by strobe lights, I can't really say" Haha. Great piece. Made me laugh because it's true. This is my local mall. Even visiting the LCBO just outside the mall makes me depressed. We call it Gonorrhea mall.
Andrew / May 16, 2011 at 01:11 pm
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I briefly dated someone who worked in the property management industry and the story she told me about the long decline of Galleria was that part of what did it in was the close proximity to Dufferin Mall. Supposedly tenants at Dufferin Mall have exclusivity clauses that prevent them from opening another location within a specific distance.

Dufferin Mall has invested in redevelopment several times over the years, Galleria hasn't so obviously everyone wants to be at Dufferin Mall.

I have no idea if this is accurate or not, but it certainly would make sense.

Apparently Ryerson students had an assignment to create proposals for redeveloping Galleria in 2010. There is some discussion about it and details at http://urbantoronto.ca/forum/showthread.php/6461-Dead-Decaying-Malls-of-Greater-Toronto
Chuck / May 16, 2011 at 03:01 pm
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Anyone remember shopping at Tower's here in the 80's?
C / May 17, 2011 at 10:56 am
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I love that malls like this still exist, and I hope that they always will (as someone who lives 2 blocks from the Galleria). From the cracked, uneven parking lot to the tiny, sad, greyed gas booth on the corner to the brick-tile lining everything inside. It's like stepping into a time capsule.

But why has nobody mentioned the "Pagers Plus" inside of the mall? It's even advertised on the corner outside. Also, the Zellers has got to be the single most depressing, consistently empty and shoddy I've seen period. I don't think I've ever counted more than 10 people in there who weren't employees. PM Toronto's, you're an institution. I love your haggard, crumpled up people smoking outside in the flooded grocery receiving lot by the back doors. It's only second to the fine art boutique inside, which needs to be seen to be believed. I especially appreciate the piece in the window labelled, "To Us."

This place fascinates me, and I wouldn't trade it for all the gentrified Drake Hotels and Fairview Malls in the city. Anyone can flip dead or dying places like those now it seems, but against all logic the Galleria somehow lives on.
G. / May 17, 2011 at 11:25 am
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Someone needs to review Cedarbrae Mall in Scarborough - it used to be a hot spot in its day. It's a sad story now.
deeks replying to a comment from Sierra / May 17, 2011 at 12:31 pm
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hear hear

i worked at the price chopper when i first moved to toronto ten years ago. the galleria had was awesome. every year they would put up a wrestling ring and i met the honky tonk man, brutus the barber beeefcake, greg the hammer valentine and many more there
margarets replying to a comment from Artie Balk / May 18, 2011 at 03:48 pm
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Seriously. Cumberland Terrace has been a dump for going on THIRTY years. Which is especially bizarre given the area that surrounds it.
John Newman / May 18, 2011 at 04:16 pm
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Gerrard Square.... that is Twilight Zone. Wax poetic!

Cumberland Terrace is just an excuse for serving a form of subterranean sustenance. It was born needing a make over, or more correctly, in more contemporary plastic surgery terms, an Extreme Make Over!
gregory / May 19, 2011 at 12:02 am
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the most important aspect that this article missed out on was the oddly arranged benches in the centre of the mall that face inward at a square of different coloured tiles. I often imagine that all these people gather to stare at this spot because once long ago in the malls heyday, there was a gorgeous fountain at that very spot that made this mall seem so lively and vibrant. Either that or some dead bodies are burried on that spot.
John Newman replying to a comment from gregory / May 19, 2011 at 10:36 am
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Gregory has it by the very essence. The key is like in a "Raiders" movie, find the true Grail, as it were, of the Mall, and all can be saved! Put in a new fountain, build a new complex around that. Rebuild ROME!
Elle Kay / May 19, 2011 at 02:11 pm
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My kids call it the Diarrhea Mall.
Phil / May 20, 2011 at 03:10 pm
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Man, I grew up with this mall and still live 5 minutes away.

"Hey, what's that on the ceiling? Oh, it's nicotine stains."

It's in dire need to be demo'd or a major reno. Not sure what the latest is on the planned demo for residential homes/condos, but maybe they're waiting for Target to take Zellers' place before deciding.

Michelle replying to a comment from Joshua / May 20, 2011 at 11:55 pm
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Nice! I know. Give me a crap little mall any day. You can get a lot of stuff done in a short time in a mall, and you don't need a car to shop there. Watch, we'll be stuck with those damn Smart Centres soon, and if you don't own a car, you'll be shit out of luck to get any shopping done without having to take a cab from store to store.
Rena / May 21, 2011 at 11:09 am
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There's a gigantic parking lot behind it. I used to practice parking there when I was studying for my G2 test because it's always totally abandoned.
jeff / June 6, 2011 at 01:12 am
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have to say great mall and needs a lil inpovements at least you dont see teenagers hanging out selling them off
Aeudet / July 17, 2011 at 08:48 pm
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I used to go to this mall every Saturday as a kid because they had a big card show by one of the entrances. My dad would give me a dollar or two and I would spend half an hour walking around trying to figure out which pack to buy. Have some fond memories there :)

I remember the ceilings used to be painted to look like the sky, has that been changed? Haven't been there in years.
melanie / November 13, 2011 at 10:50 am
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melanie / November 13, 2011 at 10:54 am
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danny moniz / November 25, 2011 at 09:45 am
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I USED TO GO TO THE GALLERIA MAL ALOT WHEN I WAS GROWING UP. I STILL DO. I HAVE LOTS OF GOOD MEMORIES THEREAT THE MALL. I LOVE THE GALLERIA MALL. I AM HAPPY THEY DID NOT CHANGE THE LOOK.
Fuck THis Kid / November 28, 2011 at 04:47 pm
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Why THE FUCK ARE U FUCKING DISSING THE MALL? HOLY CRAP MAN THIS WAS ONE OF THE FIRST PROPER MALLS IN TORONTO, ITS OLD? So what? Isn't your mom old? why don't u fucking replace her because she's a depressing old woman? EXACTLY U FUCKING RETARD. get something better to write about fucking cock sucker.
ye / November 28, 2011 at 04:48 pm
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^He is right.
Zeke / December 6, 2011 at 01:31 pm
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Haters be damned ... I love this time capsule of a space. I sometimes drive clear across town to get the best $10 haircuts in Toronto there.
Keeglistedita / January 11, 2012 at 09:09 am
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Ricardo / January 13, 2012 at 02:36 pm
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I think all the people that have said something negative about this mall, deep down they still feel that this mall should exist. Seriously, why else would anybody invest time in actually commenting on the place if it didn't actually mean something to them.
I don't frequent the mall regularly, but like to know that it is there and truly appreciate the fact that the people that work there are able to cater to the needs of those that go there.
Most of the clientelle that the mall receives have been customers for decades and removing this mall would be like removing a right hand from these people's lives.
So let's all be considerate and appreciate the fact that a part of Toronto's horrifying look (as some would say) still stands and not yet another Shopper's Drug Mart, or Loblaw's or Wall Mart, or another bloody "cash store" has opened up there. Not every intersection in Toronto needs to look the same.
ari / January 26, 2012 at 07:19 pm
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i used to go the galleria i was a litle kid and used be so nice .now it is so sad to see zellers close i blame the big box malls for it the big fish always eats the small fish. I hope they fix a new mall they close it and not houses. so the new genertion can as we did we were younge
n/a replying to a comment from Sierra / January 28, 2012 at 08:58 pm
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yeah right
Mall Rat / January 28, 2012 at 09:11 pm
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I came across your article after learning that Galleria Mall is Dimitri The Lover's prized pick-up spot for "Brazilian Cougars", https://twitter.com/#!/dimitrithelover/status/163271589893386240
That alone makes the mall worth the trip!
ss / March 9, 2012 at 08:22 pm
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end of an era
nn / March 17, 2012 at 08:08 pm
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its sad to see the the mall close down after always these years it was very nice now that its closing i feel like where losing part of our histoy first the gallleia whatsnext the rom ago casaloma cn tower lets keep something origanal before we lose our id
mad / May 14, 2012 at 02:53 pm
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I love the mall, but I am a very unique and sophisticated person and don't usually go with the crowds. I do agree though that the food court in the middle and the sports bar are a rather decripit and sordid and should probably go or made over. I never buy any food there. There is a nice portuguese bakery though. If the mall has a makeover I hope it does not become as vulgar as Dufferin Mall. If it goes, I hope another world class mall like Paris Les Quattre Temps will replace it. The whole neighbourhood needs a makeover. In fact all Toronto commercial streets except the downtown business district need a huge make over...they all look like postwar dumps, especially when all the businesses bring their garbage out at any time during the day. Most small businesses never clean their windows or fix their walls,floors and storefronts, never mind the washrooms....the chairs in most restaurants are filthy....wake up people of Toronto...it is not necessary to spend a lot of money to improve the looks and keep the space clean for the public. As far as garbage collection goes, I am appalled that those in charge of it at The City of Toronto are not smart enough to come up with a better system...how is that??!!. Bloor Street in the summer from 5 p.m. on smells worse than the streets of Calcutta. All the other less popular commercial streets in Toronto are noman's forsaken territory. If Galleria closes where the hell am I going to do my grocery shopping. There are not decent stores anywhere in at least two miles...I am getting old and do not drive and do not wish to drive to buy some fresh bread and vegatables... grocery bags with just basic food for the day for just one person are heavy to be carried long distances and taxis are expensive for such long distances. Why are so many condominiums and townhouses built and no decent modern clean grocery stores and other businesses and facilities nearby within walking distance. I am starting to assume that Toronto City planners and builders are idiots. Public transportation is archaic...and pretty dirty most of the time...you wouldn't want to wear your nice clean clothes when riding the bus quite often....etc..am I exagerating??? no I am not...whoever thinks so, has gotten use to it or has not seing anything better...
ags / June 5, 2012 at 09:00 pm
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galleria!910 -2012 rip
george / June 26, 2012 at 08:48 pm
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galleria mall 1970-2012 rip
w replying to a comment from butterdave / September 5, 2012 at 08:57 pm
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yeah
thanks mom / September 8, 2012 at 09:11 am
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ew old people!! also poor people!!! they should close it down and build a dozen coffee shops
george / October 22, 2012 at 08:36 pm
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who that the gallleia would become a great shooping center again now that frescho is opeing and dolloramma and soon traget it comes to show you that how they can make amzing
Phil replying to a comment from george / December 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm
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Target did not buy that Zeller's location. It has been closed by HBC. The closest Target to that area will be St. Clair & Weston Road. Other Toronto locations will include, Centrepoint Mall, Cloverdale Mall, East York Town Centre and Shoppers World Danforth.

Galleria has a lot of work to do to become a decent mall. The newly renovated FreshCo (Price Chopper) won't be enough.
Dick Butkis / January 15, 2013 at 08:54 pm
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Yeah it is definitely time for a makeover. That would definitely attract more customers. I mean if people would just look at the bell at the cedarbrae mall kiosk, then they would know what I'm talking about. The exterior appearance makes a huge difference.
vee / March 10, 2013 at 09:24 pm
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I agree, that Galleria mall is in need of a makeover, but it's not completely horrible! There are some very good things, about this mall.

1. For one Price Chopper is now closed, Fresco just recently oppened, and there is more people than ever doing their grocery shopping there!
2. Dollerama has been built, and it's pretty big aswell.
3. Mcdonalds is close by.
4. Huge parking lot, you will never need to spend more than a minute looking for a parking spot.
5. A very busy salon, which must be doing something right since it's always full.
6. Zellers is closed, but another huge store is on its way!
7. Pet store in the back, aswell as a bakery in the back.
8. A pretty good backpack store with a few brands such as Jansport.
9. There is a Pharmacy, with a post office in it.
10. There is many events happening, which attract a handful of people!
11. You can sit around, and play arcade games without getting kicked out for loitering.
12. Very cheap stores, for those who can't afford to shop at expensive stores.

See, it's not that bad...And it has been improving so who knows maybe it'll become better than Dufferin Mall.
AED / April 25, 2013 at 02:53 pm
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The Price Choppers, Zellers and cheap stores kept me well-fed and debt-free during my university years. I'm from a small town so every plaza and mall looked like the Galleria so I didn't know any better back then. Now that I've lived in Toronto for over 20 years, I feel sad when I go there, but I still go there for when my budget is tight. Long live the Galleria, the mall that time has forgotten.
Moi / September 6, 2013 at 11:41 am
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Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Galleria-Shopping-Centre/410581912288162

ON May 2012 this was posted in the Comments section of their FACEBOOK PAGE:
''Ownership of the Galleria Shopping Centre is embarking on a complete makeover of the mall starting now. Stay tuned for updates on potential new stores, aesthetic changes that will modernize the mall, and plenty of public input into the rebranding of the Centre. We are all very thrilled about this initiative, as we hope you are''
Lolp replying to a comment from Phil / October 20, 2013 at 05:54 pm
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How do you know if target is going to the mall or so don't make up rumours because if you don't know don't talk
Nick replying to a comment from george / January 24, 2014 at 10:39 am
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Whoa, George! Try a little spelling.
jason / January 25, 2014 at 08:57 pm
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I regretfully remember coming here for the "Card Show" hosted every saturday next by the arcade machines.
Leandro / March 11, 2014 at 06:47 am
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I've been browsing online more than 4 hours today, yet I never found
any interesting article like yours. It's pretty worth enough for me.

In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made
good content as you did, the web will be much
more useful than ever before.
Billy / March 12, 2014 at 08:02 am
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This mall is a clear example of what happens when owners get too greedy and put renovation plans on hold. The same thing is slowly happening to Kipling-Queensway mall, although the stores are well kept and the area is cleaned on a regular basis.
Brian / April 15, 2014 at 07:55 pm
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You're all snobs. Galleria Mall is awesome. The prices and selection are amazing if you're into electronics, clothing, kitchenwares, clothing and groceries. And hey, there's a liquor store too. And why not have off-track betting? If people are into that, they need a place to go. Toronto Star recently gave them a favorable review so maybe it's improving. The Galleria website states plans for a makeover but I wish they'd leave it as is. It's like stepping into a time machine! Love this place!
Dylan / April 27, 2014 at 07:32 pm
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Why they hell do you people always want something new? Do you have no concept of history, memories or tradition? When you get older, move away and then come back don't you want something to bring you back in time to your happy earlier memories?

When you went to disneyland when you were a kid, then came back 30 years later and nothing was the same and they tore down all the rides you liked, did you really like that, or did you miss all the old rides were still there? If you didn't miss the old rides you are sick and soulless.

Don't hate old just because it is old or you have no tie to humanity and the history of mankind and its traditions, it other countries they have had markets for hundreds of years without changing much, does that offend you and make you want to make them over too? You are sick people. Go move to las vegas where they tear stuff down every 2-3 years for something new.

Celeste replying to a comment from hellonearth / May 30, 2014 at 10:50 pm
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It's because Wal-Mart almost always runs local businesses out of business. If people would just stop supporting Wal-Mart and their made for cheap in China merchandaise this wouldn't happen.
Celeste / June 3, 2014 at 03:29 pm
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I remember when Towers was the flagship store at the Galleria Shopping Centre. My brother and I would just run down the centre aisle, we didn't really care who got in our way, right to the toy department and look for the toys we wanted and said "mommy will you get this for us?"? I'm telling you it was great fun to be a kid in the 1980s. :)
A replying to a comment from Celeste / August 27, 2014 at 09:00 pm
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Oh yeah so true
A replying to a comment from Celeste / August 27, 2014 at 09:01 pm
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Oh so true for what you say
Trey replying to a comment from Nick / September 3, 2014 at 08:42 pm
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Don't make fun people. Who can spell it they have learning problem or a disability so next make see your self no one perfect in this world
Howard replying to a comment from Fuck THis Kid / September 7, 2014 at 06:51 pm
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Change IS asshole
danny moniz / October 11, 2014 at 08:53 am
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well I just saw your article about the malls. some malls should not change. people have grew up by going there with there parents, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends shopping playing on arcade games, if they had them. when you get older and want to keep the memories and the happy times, you want to go to a place that have that, that gets you to think about to good times you had with them. maybe you met new friends there, a new girlfriend, a family member from overseas you never met came over to see and meet you.

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