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9 Stores Every Teenage Girl Visited at Willowbrook Mall in the 90’s

If you were a fellow teenage Valley girl in the 90’s, you probably logged a lot of miles in your Doc Martens wandering aimlessly around Willowbrook Mall, aka Willowbrook Shopping Centre.

Aside from spending your hard-earned babysitting money on the latest Babysitter Club book, those tempting noodles in the food court and chocolate brown lip liner, it was one of the few places around back then to just hang out and be silly with your besties.

My Mom would drop us off every Friday at 7 p.m. sharp,  and we’d congregate at the front entrance in our matching Body Shop shirts. Remember those? They were SO LONG that nobody could tell whether you were wearing shorts underneath or not.

So, let’s take a shopping blast to the past at this Valley landmark, shall we? Here are just 9 of our favourite hot spot from back when we were teenage mall rats.

1. Distrito

This was the ultimate retail hot spot for teeny-boppers at Willowbrook Mall. To find it, you’d just follow your nose to the scent of patchouli incense and B.O. My friends and I would try on all the silver rings and drool over the latest shipment of skater shoes we could never afford.

2. San Francisco

Before we had Spencer Gifts for boobie shot glasses, candy g-strings and SOA t-shirts, there was San Francisco. You could often find our gang giggling in the back corner at some of the naughty novelty gifts that weren’t exactly age appropriate for 13 year olds.

3. Karuba 

This little gem was a snazzy clothing store set up like a jungle that catered to the ultimate sophisticated  90’s woman. I begged my mom for a baggy peach denim jacket and felt too-cool-for-school sporting it on the playground. I even bedazzled a cat on the back of it with my bedazzler. Put your hands up ladies if you had one of those bad boys #Bedazzled

4. Mariposa

Oh Mariposa, how I miss thee so. It was through you that I started my love affair with body suits, crocheted vests with the snaps at the crotch, gypsy skirts, choker necklaces and inappropriate thigh-high stockings, paired with mini kilts. In retrospect, my style was very Stevie Knicks with a splash of Clueless, crossed with a stripper.




5. The Bead Loom

Where did you go Bead Loom? You came into Langley, got us hooked on beading, took all our allowance and then packed up shop in the middle of the night. I think I still have my little bead divider and a few full vials of beads. Someone’s getting a necklace for Christmas.


6. The Ol’ Food Court

I bet you totally forgot there was another food court, eh? This one was home to Orange Julius and that Chinese Food stand with the most amazing noodles. If you were in the market for mischief or to spy on boys, this is where sh%$ went down.




7. The Sugar Shack

Located smack-dab in the heart of the mall (right across from Karuba), this was the sweet spot of the mall — quite literally! There were colourful pinatas filled with candy overhead, bins of treats and lollipops the size of your head. This store was truly a feast for all the senses and your parents worst nightmare. Thank Gawd it’s gone now that I’m a mom. Phew!

8. Dollar store

This was when the dollar store was a legit dollar store. None of this $1.35 or $5 bull-s%$!. This is where we did the majority of our Christmas shopping as teenagers. Poor mom ended up with a lot of glass ashtrays and tacky ornaments made of lead.

9. The Arcade

Remember when there was an arcade at Willowbrook Mall for like 5 minutes? I don’t think I actually ever went in there — would much rather blow my bucks on Babysitter Club books and beads.


Willowbrook, here I come. Is it just me, or did I kind of look like Dan Akroyd?

Eat your heart out boys, Willowbrook, here I come. Is it just me, or did I kind of look like Dan Akroyd? Perhaps this is why I didn’t have a boyfriend until I was 16.


And there you have it my friends, just 9 stores that are probably a real blast to your teenage past. Is there one I’ve missed? Tell us all about it in the comment section below. Love the post? Please feel free to share on the social medias.


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