woodbine mall

Ferris wheel at Toronto's famous 'dead mall' jams and traps riders

A group taking cover from the rain and enjoying the rides at Toronto's largest indoor amusement park experienced a nightmare scenario this week when they got stuck on an attraction 50 feet in the air and had to be rescued by first responders.

A total of 10 people patiently waited for help while trapped on the Ferris wheel at Woodbine Mall's Fantasy Fair Thursday afternoon after the mechanism inexplicably jammed and operators on the scene were unable to get it going again.

Toronto Fire sent four trucks to the shopping centre at Highway 27 and Rexdale Blvd., where crews carefully extricated passengers from the decades-old ride over the course of an hour.

woodbine mall

Woodbine Mall and its Fantasy Fair have fallen far from their former glory, though the attraction is still full of nostalgia. Photo by Jack Landau.

"TFS Crews have successfully rescued ten persons from a stalled amusement ride at Woodbine Centre," Toronto Fire wrote in an update around 3:20 p.m.

Though the story has prompted some online to share warm childhood memories of time spent at the aging fair, others are marvelling at how the rides haven't had more issues like yesterday's.

"All are safe with no reported injuries."

"Damn that thing is still around?!" one person on Reddit asked, which turned out to be a popular question in everyone's mind.

"Wow... It had 10 people on it at the same time? That's the real headline," another joked.

Others commented on the deterioration of the park and the centre in general in recent years, noting that Woodbine Mall was recently made a stop on a new tour of the city's "dead malls."

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Built along with the mall in 1985, the underappreciated Fantasy Fair has 12 major rides, midway games, party rooms and more — including bumper cars, a carousel, a climbing wall, a playground and a mini set of a town  — across 60,000 square feet.

It was peculiarly listed for sale in fall 2021, and Woodbine Mall Holdings went into receivership last May, though its owner quickly appealed the receivership order.

Lead photo by

Canmenwalker/Wikimedia Commons


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