Vintage Toronto Ads: What Every Mall Would Like To Be
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Vintage Toronto Ads: What Every Mall Would Like To Be

Shouldn’t every mall should include a place to pose against an elegant concrete wall with your favourite magazine or a romantic hidden spot to meet that lawyer you’re having an affair with while their spouse shops?
The Bayview Village neighbourhood was one of several planned communities that sprang up in North York in the wake of Don Mills. Before unveiling the design for Bayview Village with developer A.W. Farlinger in 1954, planner Eugenio Faludi had designed the curving, tree-lined layout of several neighbourhoods to the west, including Thorncrest Village and Humber Valley Village. Within a decade, farms bounded by Bayview, Sheppard, Finch and Leslie had been completely developed or reserved for parkland. Home buyers were promised luxurious yet affordable country-style living on the edge of the city as well as easy access to the newly-constructed 401. Newspaper ads from 1963, the year Bayview Village Shopping Centre officially opened, offered buyers interested in living near present-day Bessarion station homes with five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a study, a dining room, and 2,500 sq. ft. of living area—all for the equivalent of $220,000.
Despite some residential protests, the northeast corner of Bayview and Sheppard was earmarked for a large commercial development. Loblaws was the first major retailer on the site, opening its store in 1959. The central corridor opened as an open air strip four years later, though protection from the elements was provided by a cupola in the centre. The ad makes no mention of the mall’s second anchor, added in 1968, but then “sumptuous elegance” and K-Mart are rarely mentioned in the same breath. Blue light specials continued until the late 1990s, when the discounter was replaced by the current east wing.
Sources: Toronto Life, September 1985 (left) and November 1985 (right)