Lawrence Square Toronto

Toronto malls in need of makeovers: Lawrence Square

I knew I'd meet you along this journey, Lawrence Square. Your shiny blue exterior was luring me in, like a hummingbird drawn to sweet, sweet nectar. Of course, your nectar is discount makeup and affordable footwear, but delicious all the same.

To get to the bounty, however, one has to somehow navigate the seemingly impenetrable Lawrence Square Parking lot. Equally dangerous for both cars and pedestrians, this innocuous-looking lot can easily prove perilous for those failing to look both ways. This time, though, I made it inside.

Lawrence Square Mall

Being in such close proximity to Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Lawrence Square must distinguish itself in some functional way. It does that through its anchor stores (Zellers, Canadian Tire, and Fortino's), which offer necessity shopping instead of just luxury. But that doesn't mean, however, that you can't get yourself something nice while stopping in to buy some milk.

There's Turquoise on the main floor, a ladies boutique offering the best in flowy, frilly, '90s brown blouses on sale for $9.99. And Boardwalk Shoes, also on the main floor, selling a table's worth of brown men's loafers for $19.99. Yes, a whole lot of the merchandise is displayed on tables.

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A quick ride up the escalators, past the woman reading Romans by the salmon pink railing, and you'll be at Lawrence Times Square, where you can pick out a watch from an assortment of different collections. If memory serves me correctly, this shop used to neighbour a designer socks outlet (yet, designer socks), but that space has since been boarded up. Fear not, though, Dollarama is poised to take over the space.

If you're in the market for makeup, Cosmetics Warehouse Perfumery is right next door. Among the haul offered there is $1 nail polish, $2.99 Maybelline lipstick, and a variety of products by a company called Kleancolor, proving once again that literacy is not necessary to run a successful business.

Last stop is the food court, complete with flicking fluorescents, a remarkable McDonald's lineup, and a curious juice bar/Jamaican beef patty hybrid stand called Juicy King.

LAWRENCE SQUARE ROUNDUP

  • Anchor store: Zellers, Canadian Tire, Fortino's
  • Quality of shops: Like Orfus Road meets sidewalk sale
  • Most unique feature: Consistently working escalators
  • Average age of patrons: Patrons?
  • Quality of food court: Avoid if seizure prone
  • Need for makeover: About 20 years ago
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