Suburban strip malls: the Peanut Plaza
A strip mall will know varying degrees of success and failure over its years. The massive Peanut Plaza near Don Mills and Finch has known the latter, but is currently experiencing the former in spades. Built in the 1960's, this 100,000+ square foot beast has been many things to many people over the years.
Here's what you need to know about the Peanut Plaza:
Of all the local businesses drawing customers in, no one has made a bigger impact than Tone Tai Supermarket. After IGA's closure in 2005, Peanut Plaza had no supermarket to speak of. With no main draw, the volume of customers receded. In 2009, Tone Tai overtook IGA's empty space, and became an instant success. The area's growing Asian population took to the place immediately, capitalizing on its amazing variety (4 kinds of durian!) and ridiculously low prices.
Tone Tai's success brought a Bank of China branch, while Seneca Pub has met the increased volume of people by transforming into a full-blown (and well-frequented) sports bar.
While Peanut Plaza has been around for some time, its current success is reflective of the cultural changes all around it. Come for a Big Mac and 12-pack, stay for the fresh eel and curried goat.
Writing by Daniel Gerichter
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