There is perhaps no better example of the private mall as community space than the now defunct and demolished Morningside Mall in this community in the east end of Toronto. A classic enclosed form, Morningside was home to a food court that served as an informal meeting place for a men’s card club and a South Asian seniors’ social group — uses that persisted long after the waning of the core retail function.
...in the late 1990s, Walmart entered the mall through the purchase of Woolco. At this time mall life was still active, but as Walmart de-malled their entrance to the internal corridor, smaller stores slowly began to die. Vacancies increased and made it possible for more community groups to enter. In 2001, the East Scarborough Storefront (ESS) made a home in the mall, inhabiting the former space of the public library that had moved down from the third to the second floor. ESS is a coalition of more than 40 community groups and organizations providing free services, programs and referrals in the fields of health, education, employment, settlement, parenting, legal services, etc.
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