A mall 5 times bigger than Square One was going to be built in Mississauga

Published December 17, 2022 at 10:33 am

World's largest mall in Mississauga

If this shopping mall in Mississauga was built it would have been the biggest 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, a proposal for a “Fantasyworld” amusement, shopping, and recreation complex was made to the City of Mississauga by Triple Five Development, the company that built the West Edmonton Mall, once known as the world’s biggest shopping centre.

Fantasyland shown in relation to existing shopping centres in the area, 1986
(Peel Planning Department artwork files, PAMA)


The entire project was going to be 10 million sqft in Mississauga. Just to compare what 10 million sqft looks like here are some comparisons.

Square One Shopping Centre – 2, 200 000 sqft
The Rogers Centre – 479 160 sqft
CNE – 15 246 000 sqft
Canada’s Wonderland – 16 509 240 sqft

Fantasyworld was to occupy one-and-a-half million square feet and would include a submarine ride, waterpark and wavepool, marine animal theatre, the world’s largest amusement park, petting zoo, NHL-size arena, interactive space museum, gardens, art exhibits, a sports hall of fame, 20 choreographed fire and water fountains, 26 movie screens, a concert stage, an internationally themed hotel with 1,250 rooms, and “the best shops and boutiques from around the world.”

Site plan for proposed mega-mall, 1986 (Peel Planning Department artwork files, PAMA)

The site plan showed just how massive this project was as it span from Hwy 401 to the north to Eglinton to the south.

Themed “neighborhoods” filled with live entertainment, shopping, and restaurants would include New Orleans’ Bourbon Street, and London’s Piccadilly Circus. Little Italy would have had real gondolas traversing indoor canals, while the replica of Paris’ Left Bank (La Rive Gauche) would include a live theatre.

It sounds amazing, unless you’re an area mall, like Square One, or an area theme park, like Canada’s Wonderland.

Both were vocal about the damage Fantasyworld would cause to their businesses.

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

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