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Memories at Woodbine Mall

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What are your favourite childhood memories? Growing up in Bolton, one of our closest malls was Woodbine Mall & Fantasy Fair. Located at Rexdale Boulevard and Highway 27, Woodbine used to be home to over 100 stores and anchored by shops like Sears, Zellers and Hudson’s Bay. Even though most of the stores have changed since the 1990s (when I used to visit), the mall is still in operation today.

Although I frequently drive past Woodbine on my travels between Toronto and Caledon, I had not visited the mall in decades. But, on a cold Winter day with nothing better to do, I decided to take a quick visit. It is amazing how quickly the sights and smells can transport you back in time. Although much has changed, I could still see hints of the old forest green and gold paint that covered the railings and signage. Look closely and you will also find hints of previous tenants, including one that is trying to make a comeback: Zellers.  

The Fantasy Fair section is Ontario’s largest indoor amusement park and includes a beautiful antique carousel, replica steam train, ferris wheel and more. I have fond memories of enjoying these rides in the 90s with my dad and brother as my mom spent time shopping in the mall.

It was also quickly clear to me how small Woodbine is in comparison to other malls in Toronto such as Sherway Gardens or Yorkdale. As a child, this place seemed huge! And this is likely due to the magnificent skylights and glass walls that bring in a ton of natural light and help to open up the space.  

As the Toronto area shifts and transforms, we don’t always get the chance to visit the places we once enjoyed as children. But if you do have the chance to take a trip down memory lane like I did, I certainly recommend the adventure. 

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