A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘galleria shopping centre

[PHOTO] Fifteen photos of the Galleria Mall near its end

As the Galleria Mall winds down, many of its smaller independent stores still remaining planning to shut down and perhaps relocate this weekend, I thought I would visit this neighbourhood icon on this busy Saturday afternoon. The massive redevelopment planned may yet eradicate all physical traces of this build with its many arches and its orange-green colour scheme from the 1970s, but our memories of this space both personal and digital may yet survive the Galleria Mall’s end.

Closed shops #toronto #galleriamall #wallaceemerson #shoppingmall

Under the arch #toronto #galleriamall #wallaceemerson #shoppingmall #arch

Closing out sale #toronto #galleriamall #wallaceemerson #shoppingmall

Stripes and spaces to the north #toronto #galleriamall #wallaceemerson #shoppingmall

Stripes and spaces to the south #toronto #galleriamall #wallaceemerson #shoppingmall

Under the arch (2) #toronto #galleriamall #wallaceemerson #shoppingmall #arch

Fashion sale (1) #toronto #galleriamall #wallaceemerson #shoppingmall

Fashion sale (2) #toronto #galleriamall #wallaceemerson #shoppingmall

Fashion sale (3) #toronto #galleriamall #wallaceemerson #shoppingmall

Closed for business #toronto #galleriamall #wallaceemerson #shoppingmall #restaurant

Under the arch (3) #toronto #galleriamall #wallaceemerson #shoppingmall #arch

Under the arch (4) #toronto #galleriamall #wallaceemerson #shoppingmall #arch

Under the arch (5) #toronto #galleriamall #wallaceemerson #shoppingmall #arch

Real estate #toronto #galleriamall #wallaceemerson #shoppingmall #kiosks

Written by Randy McDonald

September 29, 2018 at 5:00 pm

[PHOTO] Towards the Galleria

Towards the Galleria #toronto #galleriamall #blue #sky

This sight won’t be around for too much longer.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 19, 2016 at 12:52 pm

[URBAN NOTE] Two reviews of Long Winter at the Galleria Mall, Toronto

Toronto’s two major blogs both reviewed Long Winter at the Galleria. Amy Carlberg’s “Field Notes: Long Winter at the Galleria” was relatively text-heavy, albeit also including good photos by Josh Allsopp.

A long white hallway leads into the Galleria. It normally serves as the back entrance to Planet Fitness, the mall’s 24/7 gym and one of several recent attempts at more modern relevance to the community. Joggers can still be seen trudging on treadmills alongside a photo exhibit by Shari Kasman that categorizes the various shades of “Galleria green” into different Pantone paint chips.

The fluorescent lights that lend the local landmark that nauseating hue are all off now. Music fans load up on mall hot dogs and tuna fish sandwiches from Galleria’s iconic snack bar as bands scream their lungs out against the backdrop of the closed Dollarama. Anni Spadafora of New Fries stares dead ahead into the audience, her guitar strapped up high under her armpit, letting spastic chords and killer riffs squeal from the instrument. The white-suited, left-handed bassist shakes his shaggy hair along to wandering lines. A dancer in a green M&M costume and a mouse mask joins the band on stage, moving their arms and hands as if summoning a goddess or a demon.

One girl manages to crowd surf for maybe six awesome seconds. One area is marked by a banner emblazoned BUNZ SHOP GALLERIA 3000, an IRL manifestation of the Internet craze/Facebook group. A quick tour of the art exhibits includes a sort of pink glowing light sabre surrounded by sound machines, a blacklight tent filled with music and multi-coloured neon pebbles, and a giant pigeon’s head constructed from shredded plastic bags.

19+ cultural buffs expecting a beer at a concert were crammed into one of two claustrophobic abandoned storefronts from which almost none of the general art or music were visible. One of these was christened “Shoppers Dance Mart.” A few glassy-eyed knots of kids swing their heads about and bend their knees slightly, glancing around self-consciously. Most people are so exhausted by waiting in line to get in, for drink tickets, and then drinks, that with no seating they take up residence against the wall, peering into their phones while clutching one of their maximum four drinks.

blogTO’s Amy Grief wrote the shorter “Toronto learns parties in malls can only be so much fun”, featuring the photos of Andrew Williamson.

Only two rooms (both empty storefronts) were licensed. This made getting drinks ($5 each) a little tough. At one point, I waited more than 15 minutes just to hear that I’d have to stand in yet another line for beer and liquor.

Luckily, no one seemed to want red wine, so I hopped right on over to the Dionysus-inspired booth and grabbed a glass.

The “It’s Not U It’s Me Shoppers Dance Mart” took over another one of these empty storefronts. It featured music and video installations from local artists, as well as a bar. Unsurprisingly, this proved to be popular, with many people dancing under the pulsating strobe lights for hours.

Bands like S.H.I.T, TEENANGER, The Highest Order, VCR and New Fries played short sets in the atrium, and at midnight, a surreal runway show dominated this main space.

Art installations, such as a giant pigeon head made out of plastic bags by Andrew Lamb and performance pieces by Carolyn Tripp and Jeremy Bailey, were situated in alcoves and hallways along with a BUNZ swap shop, enabling anyone to make trades on site.

Vintage photo booths, video games and coin-operated kiddie rides – many of which are permanent Galleria fixtures – were also a big draw.

“It was kind of fun to embrace the weirdness of it,” one young woman told me as we were leaving the mall at around 1 a.m., when the event seemed to be dying down.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 1, 2016 at 7:29 pm

[PHOTO] Santa’s castle, rear, Galleria Mall, Toronto

Santa's castle, rear #toronto #galleriamall #santa #santaclaus #santascastle

Written by Randy McDonald

December 23, 2015 at 1:57 am

[PHOTO] Lens flare early in the night, Dupont west of Dufferin across from the Galleria

Lens flare early in the night, Dupont west of Dufferin across from the Galleria #toronto #Torontophotos #night #dupontstreet #dufferinstreet #galleriashoppingcentre #galleriamall

Written by Randy McDonald

September 17, 2014 at 4:35 pm

[PHOTO] Watching the World Cup in the Galleria

Watching the World Cup in the Galleria

Written by Randy McDonald

August 26, 2014 at 2:11 pm

[PHOTO] Evening, Galleria Shopping Centre, Dupont and Dufferin

Evening, Galleria Shopping Centre, Dupont and Dufferin

It was late evening at Dufferin and Dupont, and the pillar advertising the Galleria Shopping Centre was aglow.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 8, 2014 at 2:17 pm

[PHOTO] Sunday morning in front of the Galleria

A Sunday morning in front of the Galleria, Dupont and Dufferin.

Sunday morning in front of the Galleria

Written by Randy McDonald

November 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Amigos on Dupont”

I’ve blogged a fair bit about the Galleria Shopping Centre, a neighbourhood institution on the southwestern corner of Dufferin and Dupont that has seen better days. Between the currently-grim aesthetics and the recent closure of its Zellers anchor store–I blogged about this back in June, and shared photographs of the scene this morning–it’s easy to fear for the mall’s future.

Joel McConvey’s brief article in Toronto weekly The Grid provides an interesting corrective to the consensus view of the Galleria. In it, he covers the 40th anniversary celebrations of the mall, highlighting the extent to which the Galleria was quite innovative in its time and is even now a hub for the neighbourhood’s Italian-Canadian and Portuguese-Canadian populations. The critical question as yet unanswered is whether or not, as the neighbourhood’s demographics change, the mall can change with it.

“Looking for squid, octopus, prosciutto, pig’s ears, or fresh sardines?” read the piece from the August 18, 1972 Toronto Star. “You’ll find them all at North America’s first ethnic food plaza in Toronto’s west end.”

It turns out that the Galleria, infamous for its time-capsule quality (and, increasingly, as the heir to nearby Dufferin Mall’s “ghetto mall” designation), was once a trailblazer in bringing ethnic diversity to the city. More recently, the building, one of the oldest enclosed shopping centres in the GTA, has developed a reputation as a lost cause. During last Saturday’s 40th anniversary celebrations, a series of musical performances took place in front of plastered-over windows of what was, just a few weeks ago, a Zellers.

But the bash at least proved that the mall’s original function—providing a gathering place for the neighbourhood’s large Portuguese and Italian population—remains intact.

“I’ve come here for 28 years,” said Miguel Da Silva, bongo player for the band Amigos da Dundas, while warming up to perform Spanish and Brazilian tunes at the festivities. “I’d like to see it stay how it is.”

With Price Chopper currently transforming into FreshCo, a newly opened outlet of the Ontario Conservatory of Music, and ongoing discussions about what will occupy the former Zellers location, Da Silva’s likely to be disappointed. But a Dufferin-style remake isn’t in the works either, as Galleria management is trying its best to stay true to the mall’s beginnings.

“It’s a community hub,” said Cristina Jackson, the mall’s property administrator, who started working there in 1979 and hopes to see it updated without compromising its familiarity to customers. “A lot of people who were in one way or another associated with the Galleria, they come back. I know people who used to come here with their grandparents who are now bringing their own children.”

Written by Randy McDonald

September 24, 2012 at 4:55 pm

[PHOTO] Galleria Shopping Centre, 40th Anniversary

Entering the space in the Galleria Shopping Centre where Zellers used to be, I snapped these photos.

Galleria Shopping Centre, 40th Anniversary (1)

Galleria Shopping Centre, 40th Anniversary (2)

Galleria Shopping Centre, 40th Anniversary (3)

Written by Randy McDonald

September 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm