Galleria Mall Toronto

Toronto malls in need of makeovers: Galleria Mall

If "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 Toronto

They 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 Toronto

And 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 Toronto

No, 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 Toronto

If 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

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