Do you know which Canadian mall runs through nearly 32-kilometres of tunnels, or which one makes the most cash? Read on to discover Canada’s biggest and coolest malls, and be sure to click through the rest of the Reader’s Digest Holiday Travel Guide for more festive travel fun.
(Photo courtesy of TOrebelxtguy/Flickr)
Toronto Eaton Centre
Built right in the heart of Toronto, the Eaton Centre-which, not surprisingly, was once anchored by quintessentially Canadian (and now long gone) retail giant, Eaton’s-is the nation’s largest urban mall, with four levels of shopping and some 230 retailers. Massive, arching skylights run the length of the mall, providing plenty of natural light to keep your shopping days sunny.
(Photo courtesy of lytfyre/Flickr)
West Edmonton Mall
Once the world’s largest mall (and still in the Top 10), this sprawling complex-which includes several amusement parks, an ice palace, a miniature golf course, a number of themed areas (Bourbon Street, Chinatown, Europa Boulevard), a waterpark, and a hotel-puts up some staggering numbers. It covers more than 6.1 million square feet, employs some 23,000 people, and welcomes more than 28 million visitors to its 800 stores and services every year.
(Photo by West Edmonton Mall)
The largest shopping mall located between Toronto and Edmonton, Winnipeg’s massive mall serves up more than 200 retail outlets. One of the first covered malls in Canada, it takes its name from the (now closed) racetrack that used to sit next door, and sits across from the home stadium of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. It’s also a major media centre, hosting three of the city’s largest radio stations in a state-of-the-art facility that’s part of the mall complex.
(Photo courtesy of Allan Lorde/Flickr)
Metropolis at Metrotown
British Columbia’s largest mall, Metrotown offers more than 400 stores and services-everything from big brand names like Banana Republic, H&M and the Disney Store, to small wine shops and a Build-a-Bear Workshop-as well as a Silver City multiplex and CHQ, one of the largest and most popular video arcades in Western Canada. The mall’s Grand Court often hosts special events, including art shows and concerts.
(Photo courtesy Dennis Sylvester Hurd/Flickr)
Located within easy walking distance of the Parliament Buildings, this mall in our nation’s capital offers about 180 stores and services, as well as a movie theatre, a hotel and a cool rooftop garden, which fills with an amazing array of colourful tulips during the city’s annual Tulip Festival. It’s also right next door to the ByWard Market, one of Canada’s finest and largest open-air markets-taken together, mall and market, these could provide enough shopping for days and days.
(Photo courtesy of Robbiest Photo Art/Flickr)
Les Galeries de la Capitale
In a stylish place like Quebec City, you’re sure to find some great shopping-and you’ll definitely find it at Les Galeries de la Capitale, the city’s largest mall with 1.5 million square feet and more than 300 retail outlets. But you’ll find more than stores-the mall also offers le Mega-Parc, one of Canada’s largest indoor amusement parks, with roller coasters, a Ferris wheel and an ice rink, plus an IMAX theatre with the largest screen in Canada.
(Photo courtesy of Les Galeries de la Capitale
Montreal’s Underground City
While not a mall in the traditional sense, Montreal’s vast network of underground passages and concourses-which host a mind-boggling array of stores and services-has become a world-famous attraction. Known as La Ville Souterraine en francais, it includes more than 32 kilometres of tunnel, linking together several shopping malls. In all, it makes up 35 per cent of all the commercial retail space in downtown Montreal-not surprisingly, more than 500,000 people use the underground city every single day in the winter.
(Photo courtesy of Simplethrill)
Located in central Vancouver, this urban mall’s 1.3 million square feet of commercial space hold some of the busiest cash registers in the nation-a recent study found that the 100-plus stores here (which include Holt Renfrew, fashionable Miss Sixty, and the province’s first Apple Store) produce more sales per square foot than any other mall in Canada.
(Photo courtesy of Matthew Kendall)
If finding high-end stuff at bargain prices is every shopper’s dream, then Vaughan Mills, one of the few true factory outlet malls in Canada, is a dream come true. Here, you can snap up designer fashions for a fraction of their original retail price at places like Holt Renfrew Last Call, Michael Kors Outlet, Hugo Boss Factory Store and Juicy Couture.
(Photo © Vaughan Mills)
More market than mall, this suburban Toronto shopping centre is the largest Asian mall in North America. Corridors on the main level take their names from streets in Hong Kong, and hundreds of mini stalls sell everything from fresh flowers to herbs and ginseng to CDs and DVDs (some of which are of the, ahem, bootleg variety). There are also a number of places to pick some authentic Asian food-which, in many cases, is the best you’ll taste on this side of the Pacific.
(Photo courtesy of Inspiration Point Studio/Flickr)