5 things we wish Square One had back in Mississauga

Published April 8, 2023 at 11:38 am

old school Square One Mississauga 1974

Ontario’s largest shopping centre Square One in Mississauga has changed dramatically over the years — usually for the better, but some really cool stuff has sadly been lost to history.

Looking back at Square One over the last 50 years, it’s hard to pick just five things that you wish it still had.

Do you miss the orange tiles that stuck with us until the early 2000s or the garbage ashtrays?

There is so much to choose from, but here are the top five things we wish Square One still had:

Open Air Court in the Centre

Once upon a time, Square One had a magical place where you could ice skate in the winter, eat your lunch in the summer or listen to live music in the Gazebo.

Yes, this magical place was the open-air court that existed when the mall first opened in 1974. It closed in the early 80s to make room for the current food court and other stores. If this place still existed, it would be a very cool hangout.

In the below pictures, you can see events going on. The event that was going on in the picture was “Caravan 1974” (Toronto International Festival), which was like Carassauga before it existed.

R2D2 named Erica for the Mississauga Transit

Way before iPhones (and even the internet), Mississauga Transit introduced ERICA (as seen in the above cover photo) which stands for Easy Rider Information with Computer Assistance, in 1977 (as seen above). ERICA was a life-sized model of Star Wars character R2D2 and I’m sure there were some copyright laws broken in her creation.

ERICA was a talking computer that provided an interface between the buses and the Easy Rider system. Microcomputers on the buses relayed information to ERICA every 30 seconds, significantly improving the reliability of the information passed onto customers. She was located at Square One and was used until the late 80s.

The Original Movie Theatre (Where Goodlife is now)

The original movie theatre was nothing like today’s Coliseum. The one at Square One had four colour-coordinated auditoriums. Theatre 1 was purple, 2 was green, 3 was red, and 4 was yellow.

These theatres had old-school charm and class. The curtains would open before each movie, and the Square One song would come on, and the curtains would close again and then reopen when it was show time.

The theatre even had a movie museum upstairs with old film equipment. You could also see how the movie projectors worked. The theatre closed down in the mid-90s when the big box theatres started popping up everywhere.

Fun Fact:
Rollerball was the first movie ever shown at Square One in 1975.

The Water Fountains

There was a time when kids could wish upon a penny and throw it into the water fountain at Square One. Other less whimsical patrons could then steal the money for bus fare. Either way, it served a great purpose, and you just don’t see fountains at malls anymore.

The biggest water fountain was located in the center of Square One until about 2000. If you are super old school, you might remember the waterfall at the open-air centre court.

Stores/Restaurants to have back

There are so many to name, but these are the most memorable ones:

  • Rumpus Toy Store
  • Consumers Distributing
  • The Arcade
  • The German Deli (Does anyone know the name?)
  • Bretton’s
  • Woolco
  • Dominion
  • Sam the Record Man
  • Buffalo Bills Restaurant (The booths were like mini jail cells)
  • Corkscrew Restaurant
  • Diana Sweets
  • Eaton’s
  • WH Smith
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