During my formative years, the Woodbine Centre mall just outside of Toronto was the most magical place on Earth. Featuring an amusement park inside, I loved playing in the ball pit, sliding down the tall slide that starts three stories up, and riding on the park’s iconic carousel. Had to ride the horses that bobbed up and down, of course.
As a kid, my mom took night school courses in the area for a few years. Because the timing didn’t work out for my dad, brother, and I to go home, we hung out at Woodbine Centre instead. My brother was peak age for the amusement park, while we both got a kick out of playing at the arcade. This arcade is where I got my first taste of such classics as Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, and NBA Jam.
Since those days of making regular visits, I’ve seldom returned. I’m rarely in the area and haven’t had a reason to go back. That is, until the mall’s Baskin Robbins got converted to Scoops Ahoy for a limited time. Re-themed to match the look of the ice cream shop prominently featured in Stranger Things 3, my wife and I made a visit to the mall that was a pivotal piece of my childhood.