Definitions

Pacific Mall

Pacific Mall

Pacific Mall is an Asian shopping centre located in Markham, Ontario, Canada. It is located on the northeast side of Steeles Avenue and Kennedy Road, right across the municipal border from the City of Toronto, on the site formerly occupied by Cullen Country Barns. Pacific Mall is surrounded by an existing shopping plaza, including the Market Village, and together they encompass over 500 stores and are served by both indoor and outdoor parking areas with over 1,500 parking spaces combined. It has two floors and an underground level that leads to an underground parking lot. Designed by Wallman Clewes Bergman Architects, their first proposal was modified by the aesthetic expectations of the Town of Markham. Pacific Mall first opened its doors for business in 1997. The Chinese name, "太古廣場" (Tai Gu Guang Chang), is derived from Pacific Place in Hong Kong.

Pacific Mall is the largest indoor Asian mall in North America and the largest retail commercial condominium in the Greater Toronto Area. It is located in Markham, Ontario, a town in York Region, where a great deal of the population is of Chinese descent. Pacific Mall is a very popular location for Chinese and other Asian shoppers. On statutory holidays, such as Christmas Day, the mall attracts a significant number of non-Asian and/or non-Greater Toronto Area visitors.

Pacific Mall incorporates a traditional Pacific-style market. This Asian shopping centre has over 450 mini-shops selling a large variety of retail goods, as well as specialties such as herbs and ginseng, Asian fashions, flowers, accessories, CDs, DVDs, audio hi-fi, cell phones, prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses, housewares, toys and stationery, and entertainment. It is also a well-known place for computer and car enthusiasts alike. There are a variety of places to buy Asian food and drinks in the mall.

As an official Canadian Tourist Attraction, the mall is exempt from the Retail Business Holiday Act and is open year-round including statutory holidays. Pacific Mall also hosts festivals and celebrations for the community.

Problems and Concerns

Piracy

Pacific Mall and neighbouring Asian malls are known for their proliferation of pirated video games, movies, music and other entertainment media. In May 2005, over $800,000 worth of pirated DVDs were seized by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

On July 13, 2006, the RCMP raided a number of stores in the Pacific Mall and other locations associated to the manufacture of counterfeit video game software, seizing a large quantity of games and shutting down a major illicit software manufacturing facility.

In the week of August 8th, 2008, thirty-three separate businesses were observed to be openly selling counterfeited merchandise in the mall, primarily counterfeit DVD movies.

Traffic Congestion

The mall is also a major contributor to traffic congestion in the area. It is not uncommon on a Saturday afternoon for all parking spots immediately surrounding the mall to be occupied, which can be frustrating for drivers who are inexperienced in navigating the Pacific Mall area. A few years after Market Village opened, it was already known to suffer from parking shortages; local drivers seeking parking were known to trail shoppers exiting the plaza. Though Pacific Mall itself contains an underground garage, that was the only new parking added to the area, and it was not enough to offset the significant increase in demand to the area's already busy lots.

Unlike most other malls which were planned with increased amounts of traffic projected in the future, Pacific Mall lacks the infrastructure to deal with its large amount of traffic. The road layout of the mall was designed only with Market Village in mind and was never intended to handle the volume of traffic it does today. There was no major expansion of Steeles Avenue and Kennedy Road to accommodate the opening of Market Village or Pacific Mall, and there is also is no freeway in close proximity. Furthermore, because Steeles Ave is a major arterial spanning across Toronto, Pacific Mall contributes to the already large volume of traffic in the area. The stretch of Steeles between Kennedy and Midland, containing a majority of other stores, is extremely slow moving. A similar problem exists on Kennedy Road just north of Steeles, as the left-turn lanes frequently overflow and block through traffic.

Recently the municipality had lengthened left-turn lanes, added islands, and installed additional traffic lights.

Future Expansion

On June 30, 2006, Pacific Mall and Market Village announced plans for a major expansion to the south shopping complex in south Markham. An additional 400,000 square feet (37,000 square metres) of retail space, a luxury hotel and a multi-level parking structure are to be constructed. The project is expected to begin in a year or two, and would bring the combined size of the malls to about one million square feet.

The expansion is necessary to compete with the new rival mall Splendid China Tower on the opposite side of Steeles Avenue East.

See also

References

External links

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