wexford toronto

A Toronto strip mall parking lot is being converted into an outdoor movie theatre

While strip malls are ordinarily where you'd pick up a piping hot meal, pay a visit to your dentist, or grab an icy drink from a convenience store, one plaza in Toronto is having its parking lot converted into an outdoor movie theatre soon. 

Led by the local community, plazaPOPs is an organization that supports the transformation of strip mall parking lots into free, safe, and accessible gathering places that support small businesses in the area. 

Their next project at the Wexflord Plaza in Scarborough invites you to a double-bill film screening under the stars and surrounded by the "dynamic lights of the strip mall signage." 

The screening will include two movies about the strip mall itself — with "Wexford Plaza" being the feature film of the night. 

The flick, directed by Toronto-based Joyce Wong, immerses audiences in the lives of two distinct characters — a disillusioned security guard and a charismatic bartender. 

"As their paths intertwine in unexpected ways, 'Wexford Plaza' delves into themes of longing, connection, and the search for meaning, offering a poignant and authentic portrayal of the human experience and life in Scarborough," a description of the film reads. 

"The Wexford" documentary, directed by Michael Barry, is set to play before the feature film. The heartwarming documentary sheds light on the Wexford Restaurant, a Scarborough landmark operated by three generations of the Kiriakou family. 

"This heartfelt film celebrates the enduring legacy of the Wexford Restaurant and its significant role in bringing people together through food, stories, and laughter, and is an homage to the restaurant that closed its doors after 63 years in 2020," a description of the documentary says. 

This year, plazaPOPS has also partnered with the Working Women Community Centre and the Wexford Heights BIA to deliver four installations along Lawrence Ave East, which will be installed and programmed until the end of October 2023.

In the spirit of supporting local businesses, plazaPOPS is encouraging attendees to patronize the Wexford Heights BIA's array of restaurants to purchase treats for the screening. 

The completely-free event is open to all, and you're invited to bring your own lawn chairs or grab a seat at the WexPOPs installation in the parking lot. 

The event takes place on Tuesday, Aug. 8 at 8 p.m. at 2072 Lawrence Ave E.

Lead photo by


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