Play Makers: Fourteen Shops and Services???

The Whitehorse shopping experience is one of a kind.

So much so that it really is hard to know where to even begin the dissection.

Perhaps we could look at the fact that we have no IKEA, yet there are two “adult” shops within a two-block radius and within that same two-block space is an elementary school.

Then there’s our mall … yes, we have a mall, it is right next to the vacant Canadian Tire lot that has been up for sale for more than a year.

I know, I was just as shocked and even more so when I saw the red and white sign positioned in the parking lot that reads, “Qwanlin Mall 14 Shops and Services”.

I’m no math professor, but I struggle to count five shops let alone 14.

Unless of course there is some secret door I am not aware of that is positioned in the back corner of Staples that leads to a metropolis of boutiques.

Maybe it’s in Shoppers Drug Mart or Coffee Tea & Spice.

Come to think of it, they probably put it in the produce section at Extra Foods.

I can remember as a kid, growing up in Victoria, we would go to the mall on the weekend to try on various pairs of sneaks.

LA Gear, Reebok Pumps, Air Jordan’s … it really didn’t matter.

We couldn’t afford them, but it was just part of the routine of hangin’ at the mall.

We would also hit up Baskin Robbins and then check out the girls.

Yes, the mall was a pretty sweet place for a 14-year-old.

I don’t think the “Qwanlin” experience is the same for Whitehorse teens.

“Hey Ma, I’m heading to the mall to check out the new loose leaf at Staples, and then Jimmy and I are going to grab a couple of large Orange Pekoes and hit up the dairy section at Extra Foods.”

Yes, the Whitehorse mall experience is a tad unique.

At least Whitehorse is a frontrunner when it comes to second-hand clothing store options with a plethora of shops that sell well-worn goods.

There is the Salvation Army or “Sally-Ann”, Sequels, And Again and the newly opened consignment shop at the bottom of two-mile hill.

And while used garments are aplenty, a man struggles to find a brand new suit in town.

I recently spoke with a local barista and she mentioned her own personal struggles in finding well-priced women’s undergarments.

“You can pay $40 or you can pay $5 at Wal-Mart, there really is no in-between,” she lamented.

But at least we have not one, but two, dollar store options and what is described as the largest Canadian Tire in western Canada.

No suit, cheap undies or Swedish furniture but options galore to spend our Canadian Tire cash on.

Yes, the Whitehorse shopping experience is truly one of a kind.

There is a plus though: well utilized time for the youth of the territory.

Something I should have thought about as I was devouring Rocky Road ice cream and gawking at girls as a teen.

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