Scarborough Town Centre recently unveiled its $62-million transformation at an official ceremony on Nov. 17.
But it looks like very little changed.
The shopping hub, which also serves as a station for more than 20 bus routes, definitely needed the facelift.
But after visiting the mall, it’s difficult to tell what was done.
According to Kathy Meyers, general manager of the Scarborough Town Centre, the biggest things consumers will notice are the ceilings and skylights — changes that were made years ago. The renovation included a new home for Santa, which is nice, but will be gone after the holidays. Apart from the skylight replacement, the project included new escalators and elevators, renovated entrances and improvements to both the food court areas.
It’s great that the renovations are also green and environmentally friendly. But people are going there to shop – something that is difficult in a mall that has few options when compared to other malls of a similar size, like Fairview Mall. Scarborough residents have to travel all the way to Yorkdale if they want higher-end stores with more options and availability.
It seems as though the mall is a dumping ground for products that Yorkdale patrons don’t want. For example, a sweater you could find at a particular store in Yorkdale is typically not available at the same store in Scarborough Town Centre.
Of course the value of homes in an area has an effect on the commercial property but people in Scarborough deserve high-end stores and quality shopping as well. It seems we will always have to go west if we want the goods.
The $62 million spent on revamping Scarborough Town Centre should have been spent on attracting better retailers, as Fairview did years ago when it added an Apple Store, LCBO, Forever XXI, BCBG Max Azria, Aritzia, among other stores, to their outdated property.
Scarborough Town Centre will have to do better than that to impress people who live in the city, yet always shop elsewhere.