The Eerie, Old-Fashioned Joys of Toronto's Galleria Mall

The shopping centre looks like a piece of an alternate 1970s universe.

by Nam Phi Dang
24 August 2015, 5:00am

Located on the outskirts of Toronto's Junction Triangle, the Galleria Mall has always been known as an odd, but fiercely independent time warp of a place, somewhere to go if you were ever curious to see what a mall was like in the 1970s in some eerie alternate universe.

With recent news that Galleria has been bought out by (surprise!) condo developers, I spent the day there to see what sort of imprint it would leave before being torn down. The first thing I noticed was the lack of branding—a tall structure on the corner of Dupont and Dufferin had places for ads but were mostly left empty except for a few filled in by chain stores. While other shipping centers try to maximize impact with huge signs and flashing lights, its as if Galleria didn't even bother trying to call attention to the place.

But Galleria has a charm that many major malls are missing. It doesn't carry that same rich, extravagant, materialist aura others have, nor does it have the big brands you'd want to spend your parents' cash on. Sure, it's hard to see in front of you because it's barely lit inside, but it's also empty enough that you don't have to worry about constantly bumping into strangers. Galleria Mall doesn't try to dress itself up to be like other big malls. Rather, for now, it's a place stuck in time.

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