Shopping malls are in trouble all over North America, as retailers fail, shrink or flee to the cheaper freestanding box stores. Many are changing from shopping to entertainment and services. One expert is quoted in the Montreal Gazette:
“People are spending more on experience and service and less on stuff. The world is awash in ‘stuff’.”
In Côte Saint-Luc, Quebec, they are going even further; they are demolishing a big chunk of the mall and building medium density mixed use housing for families and seniors in what they call a "walkable community" although it looks a lot like suburbia in the site plan.
But we are beginning to see what Ryerson Architecture students predicted two years ago: the greening of the shopping mall, the removal of paving and the introduction of housing. It's about time.