History

The Mall first opened on Wed. November 23rd, 1966 at 10am and given the pre-Christmas date, Santa Claus attended and handed out Candy Canes to all the shoppers.

In “A History of St. Timothy’s Church, Agincourt and the parish of Scarborough, Robert R. Bonis writes that the village developed much later than other communities in the Township of Scarborough, such as Highland Creek or Malvern, which was already established by the mid-nineteenth century.

The story of how the area received the French name is rather amusing. John Hill was a local merchant, who owned a general store at Brimley and Sheppard Avenue East avenues, and wanted to open a post office there. When he travelled to Ottawa, he met with a member of Parliament, who represented a riding in Quebec, where Hill used to live prior to moving to Scarborough. He asked the MP for his help in establishing the post office. The MP agreed to help, on the condition that it was to have a French name. Accordingly, Hill named his post office “Agincourt” after the French battlefield, where Henry V won victory in 1415.

The coming of railways helped to establish the local economy and make it thrive for years afterward. There were 2 railway stations in Agincourt. One was built in 1871, (presently the Agincourt GO Station) owned by Toronto and Nippising Railway, and later by the Canadian National Railway. The second one was constructed in 1884 (now demolished) by the Ontario and Quebec Railway, which later amalgamated with the Canadian Pacific Railway. Among numerous economic advantages, the railways signified steady local employment.

 

Over the years, the village came to include it’s own library, bank (the Metroplitan), telephone exchange, community centre with sports facilities (Heather Hall), temperance hall, schools (Agincourt Collegiate being the oldest secondary school in Scarborough), more churches, and numerous bakeries and general stores. Most of these were demolished, starting in 1953, when the Horton’s subdivision began to buy the local farms one by one, and building houses and apartment buildings where farmers’ fields used to be located. The Agincourt Plaza (now Dynasty Centre) and the Glen Watford Plaza (now Cathay Plaza) were constructed around the same time. Agincourt Mall, at the corner of Kennedy and Sheppard, the first indoor shopping plaza in Scarborough, was completed in 1966, housing local Woolco among other retailers. The area was again transformed in the 1980’s and is now recognized as one of Toronto’s Chinatowns.

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