Square One Mall is the landmark in Mississauga. While you’re probably very familiar with the mall and everything within it, it may surprise you to know that Square One is the second biggest mall in North America.

It’s a huge mall that continues to grow every year, and we’re proud to call it our hub for shopping. Every now and again however, it’s good to take a walk back through history and remember where you cam from, no matter how humble the beginnings. And that’s why today we want to go way back to the 1960’s and witness the birth and evolution of Square One Mall.

Excavation

These two awesome pictures show the very beginnings of the mall. Square One first broke ground in 1969, on the barren land we see in the first picture.

Construction took around four years to complete, which should indicate how relatively small it was compared to now. The second picture is a newspaper clipping that shows the mall under construction in 1973. It’s important to bear in mind just how substantially different Mississauga was back then, but the vast fields in the background should help drive that home.

Finished Product

The following aerial shots of the mall show it as it looked near or upon completion in the early 1970’s.

Again we can see how much smaller the mall was back then. That being said, for the early 70’s, it was still a grand achievement and one of the best shopping experiences in North America.

Grand Opening

As you may imagine, the grand opening of Square One Mall was a massive event in the history of the city. Folks came from far and wide to be part of the opening ceremony, which you can see depicted in the first image.

The second picture shows inside the mall, in which it looked dramatically different to how it does today. The lighting fixtures are decidedly 70’s and there’s a lot more plant life than there is today. Generally it looks a lot more narrow and less brightly lit. To be honest, it looks like an entirely different mall. Which you can kind of see for yourself in the last picture, which shows the old map of the mall.

The third picture shows something very interesting. That picture was taken on the grand opening and it’s actually from dead centre of the mall. What now is the food court, was once an open-air food court with gazebo, water fountain, and more. It was vastly different and provided something different. For some reason though, it was closed and changed in 1984 to what we know today.

And the other picture here shows the front entrance with buses arriving. Suffice to say, the bus terminal and entrance to the mall look just a tad different today.

Through The Years

The first four photos here are from the late 90’s/early 2000’s, and they illustrate the changes that were made to the front entrance, as well as the brighter inside with new tiles, lighting, and windows. You can start to see the mall take shape into what we know today.

The second set of photos are from 2006, in which we can see the classic Hudson’s Bay sign, the food court looking surprisingly old, and The Bay, which looks markedly different from Walmart. The final photo is across the rooftops, showing Whole Foods being born. It’s quite incredible to see how much the mall has changed in the past decade alone, particularly as a foreigner.

Today

And finally we come to today, in which Square One Mall is a behemoth. The Mall has changed and evolved so radically in the past decade alone that it’s almost unrecognisable from what it was in 1973. It’s quite an incredible sight to behold.

Not only have there been several massive expansions and countless new stores, but the general look of the mall has fundamentally changed. The Mall today is a beautiful, bright space that somehow accommodates everyone from lower to higher class, without alienating anyone. It’s an achievement in architecture, interior design, and planning.

Square One Mall is a testament to Mississauga as a city and a deserved crown jewel that people from across the GTA can come to and we feel proud of. Here’s to the next 40 years!

All Photographs By Ron Duquette, Adamson Associates, Prange Way, & Bert Hoferichter