Shoppers World Danforth

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Shoppers World Danforth
The Ford Motor Company plant under construction in 1921

Shoppers World Danforth is a hybrid shopping plaza and shopping mall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It has 40 stores serving parts of East York, Scarborough and The Beaches, near the Victoria Park subway station. Today a moderately sized suburban plaza, it has a notable place in history as one of the first suburban and one of the first enclosed malls in Canada. It is approximately 342,500 square feet (31,820 m2) in area.[1]

In 1921 the site was still a largely rural area on the fringe of the city of Toronto when the Danforth streetcar was extended to a new loop at Luttrell Avenue, just west of Victoria Park Avenue. This led to rapid development of the area. Most notably a Ford Motor Company assembly plant was built covering the large site at the southwest corner of Danforth and Victoria Park. The old factory building is now the main building of the mall.[citation needed]

The plant was the Canadian site of Ford production of the Model T and Model A. It remained Ford's primary Canadian facility until 1953 when Ford decided to construct the new Oakville Assembly Plant. It then became the first Canadian plant of Nash Motors making cars such as the Nash Rambler and the Nash Canadian Statesman. In 1954 Nash merged with Hudson Motor Car Company to create American Motors and soon after the Danforth assembly plant was closed.[2] AMC moved its assembly operations to a new plant in Peel Village Development's Peel Village in Brampton, and the Danforth factory was sold to Peel Village parent company Elder Mines & Developments Ltd, who planned to redevelop it into a shopping centre.

In 1962 it was redeveloped into a mall, built to serve the rapidly growing population of East York and Scarborough. Developer Elder Mines (later Peel-Elder) would go on to build a similarly named Shoppers World Brampton mall a few years later.[3] It was an early Canadian example of what would soon become ubiquitous, the fully enclosed and air conditioned, suburban shopping mall. When it opened it advertised itself as "the world's largest all electrically heated and air conditioned mall"[4] The anchor tenant was Eaton's, marking only the second time Eaton's had opened a store outside of a downtown area.[5] Another original tenant was a branch of Murray Koffler's drug store. Previously the stores had all been called Koffler's Drugs, but the new store adopted the name of the mall as Shoppers Drug Mart. Finding the name a great success, Koffler soon applied it to the entire chain.[6] The facility covered 300,000 square feet (28,000 m2) and was the primary shopping mall for the entire eastern Greater Toronto Area until supplanted a decade later by Scarborough Town Centre, which opened in 1973.[citation needed]

The Eaton's store was converted to a Zellers in the early 1990s. Target purchased most Zellers stores in 2012, and reopened it as a Target store in 2013. Target left in early 2015, and the store is now vacant.

Today, the mall serves a community shopping function, and its stores include Metro, Tim Hortons (inside Metro), Black's Photography, Burger King, Staples Business Depot, Dollarama, Bulk Barn, CIBC, Subway, Coffee Time, Premier Fitness, PetValu, Moores, M&M Meat Shops, Payless ShoeSource, and Shoppers Drug Mart.[citation needed]

Anchors[edit]

  • Metro 53,008 square feet (4,924.6 m2)
  • Staples 25,500 square feet (2,370 m2)

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.shoppersworlddanforth.com/leasing.html
  2. ^ Filey, Mike. A Toronto Album 2: More Glimpses of the City That Was Dundurn Press Ltd., 2002 pg. 102,
  3. ^ "Shopper's World Mall Home to 50 Stores Tuesday." Toronto Star, May 15, 1962
  4. ^ "Shopper's World advertisement." Toronto Star Saturday, May 12, 1962 page. 11
  5. ^ Memorable Moments in Ontario Retailing
  6. ^ Marketing Visionaries - Murray Koffler

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°41′23″N 79°17′26″W / 43.689629°N 79.290605°W / 43.689629; -79.290605