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.
The entire project was going to be 10 million sqft.
Square One Shopping Centre – 1 700 000 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.”
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.
This content is courtesy of
Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives (PAMA)
The Regional archives at PAMA has dug through its records, looking for never realized commercial and government projects. The resulting show, “Unbuilt Peel”, highlights some of the gems that were found. The public is welcome to visit the archives and take a look at the copy of the development proposal in the City of Mississauga fonds, and read about the many attractions in greater detail.
The images in this photo story are in the collection of the Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives, at 9 Wellington Street East in downtown Brampton. Copyrights belong to their respective owners.