[URBAN NOTE] blogTO on the empty Honeydale Mall
blogTO’s Derek Flack has a nice photo essay, “Toronto’s dead mall is stuck in limbo”, looking at west-end Toronto’s abandoned Honeydale Mall. It seems to be only a matter of time until the mall is redeveloped.
Toronto’s only true dead mall can be found at Dundas and the East Mall, almost directly across the street from Cloverdale Mall. Where the latter shopping centre has managed to carve out a lasting purpose in the shadow of the far busier Sherway Gardens, the former has fallen into virtual ruin after being closed down completely a few years ago.
Prior to being fenced off, Honeydale Mall spent its last years in a sort of zombie state, not fully alive but not entirely dead either. The majority of the vendors had cleared out, leaving only a weekly flea market as the action in the sprawling retail space.
During these years, Honeydale served as a playground for photographers looking to capture its peculiar end-of-the-world aesthetic rather than as a bonafide shopping destination.
It wasn’t always this way. While the mall was never the type of wildly popular destination as Yorkdale, back in the mid 1990s, the presence of Wal-Mart, a major grocery store, and a host of independent retailers meant that it served a valuable community presence, even as the older Cloverdale was always more popular.
When Wal-Mart moved out in 2004, the major decline began. The No Frills hung on for about a decade, but eventually things got so dismal that it packed it in as well. The entire property was finally fenced off at some point in 2014, leaving only the hulking shell of the former mall to be viewed from a distance. It’s remained that way to this day.