A big mall should have more than a little parking
Here’s a good way for a major shopping centre to put off customers: Make them look so hard for a parking spot that they give up.
On Saturday I went for an appointment with the woman who cuts my hair at Fairview Mall, at Sheppard Ave. and Don Mills Rd., which can be a busy place on weekends.
Since last spring, a large portion of the second-storey parking deck has been closed for repairs. It has made parking a lot tighter, but still manageable, if you’re willing to walk a bit further.
I seldom go to Fairview except for a haircut, which I hadn’t done since early July, so I was unprepared
for the parking chaos I found, due to the more recent closure of a huge number of parking areas on the main level.
I arrived 10 minutes early for a 3.30 appointment and started a frustrating journey around the entire periphery of the mall, looking (hoping, praying) for a parking spot that went on for nearly 15 minutes.
Twice I spotted someone pulling out of a spot and put on my turn signal to claim it. But both times I arrived at approximately the same time as another driver, and didn’t want to get into a screaming match over who got there first, so I moved on.
With the clock at 3.30, and a hair doctor who has a tight schedule on Saturdays and doesn’t like to be kept waiting, I ditched my car in one of those areas with diagonal yellow lines painted on it and dashed for the entrance.
I never saw even one open parking spot, but I sure as hell saw a lot of people looking for one. It was like the Saturday before Christmas.
For the 20 minutes it took me to rush to the hair saloon, get a cut and hurry back to the car, I was wondering (hoping, praying) that I wouldn’t be towed. I had planned to do some shopping, but with my car illegally parked, I ruled it out.
The manager of the hair saloon apologized, saying 50 per cent of the spaces have been closed for renovations to the second-storey deck, and that the work is supposed to finish in a few weeks.
The completion date is more likely a moving target, but here’s something you can count on: I won’t be going back any time soon.