The world’s largest mall was almost built in Mississauga

Published on June 4, 2022 at 1:53 p.m.

If this mall in Mississauga had been built, it would have been the largest mall in the world at that time.

Imagine a $1.5 billion amusement park and mall just south of Pearson Airport.

Well, it almost happened!

In the 1980s, Triple Five Development, the company that built the West Edmonton Mall, once known as the largest mall in the world, offered the city of Mississauga an amusement, shopping and entertainment complex. Fantasyworld”.

Fantasyland shown in comparison to existing malls in the area, 1986
(Peel Planning Department Artwork Files, PAMA)

The whole project was going to be 10 million square feet in Mississauga. Just to compare what 10 million square feet looks like, here are some comparisons.

Square One Shopping Center – 1,700,000 square feet
The Rogers Center – 479,160 square feet
CNE – 15,246,000 square feet
Canada’s Wonderland – 16,509,240 square feet

Fantasyworld was to occupy one and a half million square feet and would include an underwater ride, a water park and wave pool, a sea animal theater, the largest amusement park in the world, a petting zoo, a NHL-sized arena, an interactive space museum, gardens, art exhibits, a sports hall of fame, 20 choreographed fire and water fountains, 26 movie screens, a concert stage, an international themed hotel with 1 250 rooms and “the best shops and boutiques around the world”.

Proposed mega-centre site plan, 1986 (Peel Planning Department, PAMA artwork files)

The site plan showed how massive this project was as it stretched from Highway 401 in the north to Eglinton in the south.

Themed “districts” filled with entertainment, shopping and dining would include Bourbon Street in New Orleans and Piccadilly Circus in London. Little Italy would have had actual gondolas crossing inland canals, while the replica of Paris’ Left Bank (La Rive Gauche) would include a live theater.

Sounds amazing, unless you’re a mall, like Square One, or a theme park, like Canada’s Wonderland.

Both spoke about the damage Fantasyworld would do to their businesses.

Mississauga’s rejection of the first proposed site prompted the developers to explore other lands in the area, but they ultimately abandoned their proposal. Mississauga’s “Fantasyworld” was not meant to exist.

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Edwin S. Wolfe