Yorkdale Shopping Centre opened on February 26, 1964 as the largest enclosed shopping mall in the world. Located on a 119-acre site at Dufferin Street and Highway 401, the shopping centre was anchored by two department stores, Simpson’s and Eaton’s, and a Dominion grocery store. The success of the mall was partly due to its convenient access from the Allen Road (opened in 1966) and the Yorkdale subway stop (opened in 1978) on the Spadina line. When Yorkdale was built it was at the edge of the urbanized city but was quickly surrounded by development and transportation options.


Colour view of large shopping centre with parking lots. Sign saying Eaton's Yorkdale visible on the building. Road in the foreground with blue car.
Eaton’s, Yorkdale Shopping Centre
[ca. 1965]
Series 249, File 199, Item 1


Colour view inside shopping mall showing woman with stroller, water fountain and cars on display. Sign saying Simpson's Restaurant visible on the wall.
Entrance to Simpson’s, Yorkdale Shopping Centre
[ca. 1965]
Series 249, File 198, Item 1


Shopping plazas were also popular in North York. Plazas did not offer the enclosed experience of the mall, but did provide a convenient concentration of shops.


Black and white view of the front door of a Kmart store with shoppers coming and going. Sign in the window says denim flare pants $4.77
Kmart in a North York shopping plaza
[ca. 1965]
Series 1745, File 7, Item 12
Colour view of outdoor shopping plaza with woman and child walking.
Plaza shopping at the Don Mills Centre
[ca. 1970]
Series 1745, File 7, Item 3

The North York Centennial Centre, located at 580 Finch Avenue West at Bathurst Street, was built in 1966 and houses a large arena and sports facility. On May 2, 2001, it was renamed the Herbert H. Carnegie Centennial Centre in honour of the Toronto-born hockey star, Herb Carnegie, who was a Black hockey player in the semi-pro leagues. Carnegie was blocked from the Canadian National Hockey League in the 1940s and 1950s because of anti-Black racism. Carnegie was a successful businessman after his hockey career and founded Future Aces, one of the country’s first hockey schools. He was a member of the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada, and was inducted into both the Canada and Ontario Sports Halls of Fame. Carnegie passed away on March 9, 2012 at age 92.


View of a large white building with flagpole and grass in foreground.
North York Centennial Centre
[ca. 1967]
Series 249, File 19, Item 2
Black and white photo of three men looking at a large outdoor sculpture in front of a large white building.
North York Centennial Centre
July 4, 1967
Series 249, File 27, Item 7


Black and white view of seven men in a locker room, four wearing suits and three in hockey uniforms.
Herb Carnegie (far right)
[ca. 1960]
Series 249, File 276, Item 1