Funland arcade in Toronto, Ontario closing in a few days!

SaraAB87 July 10, 2008 26

Here at Arcade Heroes we like to focus on the positive of the arcade scene but I feel this needs to be announced. Funland arcade in Toronto, Ontario (Canada) will be closing sometime next week so if you want to play something there, take pictures or relive fond memories of the place, better hurry because it will be gone soon. The arcade is located on Yonge Street. To my knowledge this arcade has been in business since at least the 1980’s so it will be very sad to see it go. Last I heard a very rare, F-Zero Super Deluxe cabinet with motion resides in this arcade. I cannot confirm if its still there but if you want a shot at playing one of these in the full deluxe motion cabinet and live near Toronto, you better hurry. I have wanted to visit this arcade but I was never able to get there.

Funland arcade on the verge of closing

Funland arcade on the verge of closing


26 Comments »

  1. Mike July 10, 2008 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    I fucking go there! and get my street fighter III 3rd Strike fix there and yes F-ZERO AX is still there. First a smaller one near the bay building closed but not this, not now:(

  2. Mike July 11, 2008 at 6:19 am - Reply

    Well I went there last night, played 1 round of 3rd strike got ass raped and left. Before leaving I asked the operator if this was true, alas he confirmed that it was closing on July 22nd.

    Horrible, this place lasted through the dog days of the early 2000s when the decline was at its peak, to close down now when arcades seem to be on the up and up is truly tragic. I think I’ll book the 21st off and prepare to say my last goodbyes.

  3. Old School J July 12, 2008 at 1:06 am - Reply

    Very sorry to hear about the closure Mike. It’s especially sad considering it was an arcade set up in the 80s. We have a similarly name arcade in London and there have been rumours for a while now that it too might either close or downsize, nothing confirmed as yet though.

    Our ‘Funland’ was also set up in the 1980s and I have many fond memories of this place. I hope it doesn’t close altogether as it represent the very last large scale arcade operation in London, the Namco Station near Westminster is just to slow at updating content and too much of a tourist type venture. Funland always has the newest titles on display and recently debuted Sega Rally 3.

    What other arcades do you have in Toronto Mike? And how big and up to date was Funland during its lifetime? All the best.

  4. Mike July 14, 2008 at 3:47 am - Reply

    Since I started going their in 1999 its been the same size more or less, about 50-60 meters long with about 70 arcades plus pinball and other entertainment things which make up about 80 things overall. Up untill about 2005 they we’re fairly up to date(tekken dark ressurection comes to mind). After that things dried up(no Virtua Fighter 5 VF 4 was broken and not being fixed). What was really telling was when one of the 3rd strikes broke down, no one fixed it(3rd strike is the bread and butter of that place along with in the grove).

    The only other place I know of is a playdium arcade set up in the late 90s. It does the card by hour system last I heard.

  5. Arby July 14, 2008 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    “To my knowledge this arcade has been in business since at least the 1980’s ”
    They opened in the 1960’s.

  6. Old School J July 16, 2008 at 11:21 pm - Reply

    Well Arby, if it dates back to the 1960s then it really is a great shame to see it close, seems like it was there right when the videogame arcade craze began in the 1970s.

    Interesting to hear about the Playdium arcade Mike and how it ustilises a card system, I have not come across a set up like that here in London as yet, hopefully it can provide for your gaming needs and keep up to date with titles and maintenance.

  7. Kaneda Jones July 18, 2008 at 7:13 am - Reply

    I only visited funland on a rare occasion since I live a town over (hamilton) but I had fond memories of taking a hour bus trip to toronto for arcade games on younge street and kung-fu movies in china town. we here in hamilton and two arcades in the downtown core very much like funland that closed in the mid eighties only to have two more open up down the street a few years later.. late nineties saw one turn into a clothing store and the other into a peep show place – ack!

    to see the lay of the land for playdium you can check their site at www playdium com and its prob better than seeing there in real life since it doesn’t have the closed in spaces I like of old style arcades. it has a large push on redemption machines, batting cages and go-carts bleck

    worst of all they weren’t making any money so they kept dumping old units in the lobbies of a local chain of movie theaters and treating them like little mini playdiums.. only more broken.

  8. ashley July 19, 2008 at 5:45 am - Reply

    Im so sad to here of more arcades closing around the world,i opened my arcde 3 yrs ago,it does ok,but i wonder how we can revive the old days,bringing the people back?i do honestly think if the makers of the games didnt charge so much,maybe an arcade would be more profitable.
    atm i dont make enough to hire anyone,i am a one man band owner ,operater and tech,i know i couldnt afford to get someone else to fix my games,as thats were a lot of the poutgoings goes.
    redemption is the key as thats were i see 70% of the money go video games have been taken over by consoles,only the virtual games seem to bring in money now and i think thats were things will head.if an arcade is struggling,tell them to get ticket games and prize games if they dont have any ,the operater will instantly see a good return.
    we had another arcade close in welloington new zealand,i bought most of his games,but he only had 2 cranes and a choc fac ,i can see why he closed.
    it makes me so sad to see another go,if only the people would come back or maybe if the game makers wouldnt port the games to consoles,consoles are plaged with piracy and may in turn see an end to them,like our beluved sega.

  9. Mike July 23, 2008 at 5:31 am - Reply

    Well…I’m home

    got to see it close down for the last time, went to get a crack at 3rd strike for a final time, Sameer the local reigning king of the hill of 3rd strike was there, he’s usually unbeatable but tonight there was something special about his performance, he reeled off 23 straight wins(2 against yours truly) and on the 23rd gave his last goodbyes and left funland torontos 3rd strike on top as he as been doing for the past many years now.

    Sadly I didn’t have a camera but a number of people brought them and I happen to be in some pictures. There’s one with me posing with sameer and other 3rd strike players. I said goodbye to the operators and wished them well, one dude(the fat mediteranian as I call him)worked there for 25 years. It hit him hard. I talked to a couple of people, we all were made to leave and we stood sheltered from the rain by the entrance for about 10 minutes. It was a nice level of intercourse. Then the operators exited and shortly after the crowd dispersed.

    I’ll miss you funland.

  10. darrell July 24, 2008 at 1:28 am - Reply

    I enjoy play games at funland arcade i score pretty good in mavel vs capcom you might see my letters as DDL or DAR in the score ranks. Even though the place is gone i still say its my favourite place to go. Today i still go there to get to see it one last time and i still depressed because done for good. If anyone from funland arcade reads these comments, that place is the best of all arcade. To the workers and the boss we never forget funland arcade because its our favourite place to go for fun.

  11. Lee July 27, 2008 at 5:10 am - Reply

    I was on Yonge street tonight and saw Funland’s locked doors. it closed 4 days ago, but luckily i made it there to play some pinball a couple of months ago. It was open for 46 years, but the 80’s were its heydey. Those were great memories, seems like every kid In Toronto was there (especially in the summer). Yonge street had Tons of arcades but Funland was the biggest. In the end, it was reduced to about half size , it began sharing space with a pizza place in the mid 90’s. My highlights – Rock Video Jukebox, Marble madness, Tron (back corner) and those centipede marathons with my wife a few years ago. i even kept a Funland token as a souvenir. Thanks Funland.

  12. Nelson August 1, 2008 at 5:33 am - Reply

    Wonder if they’ll reopen if like people sign a petition?Small donation for all who love the place to make it happen?
    like a Toronto landmark maybe?
    i went there recently
    to my disappointment….it was closed for good…. a little bit of me died along with it
    dame i still cant believe its gone….

    • Fantomex February 18, 2012 at 5:14 pm - Reply

      Petitions are crap-they’re basically treated by the recipient as one letter, and then tossed into the electronic dumpster, or the wastepaper basket if sent by standard mail. The best and only way to protest would have been for everybody concerned to have write individual letters to whoever owned Funland and try to get them not to sell-either that, or you could have formed an investment group, written up an investment plan, got a band or finance company to stake your group and then buy Funland and keep it going. However, that’s a big task for anybody to accomplish , considering that arcade games are dying in North America due to the popularity and power of game systems, computers, and on-line gaming.

      As much as I hate to admit it, arcades are just not very popular anymore due to home video gaming being just as better or even greater than arcade gaming (with the exception of this place that just opened up in Parkdale) and no petitions are are going to bring them back whatsoever.

  13. Jerry January 15, 2009 at 11:37 pm - Reply

    I go to school right by Funland and a month or two ago I decided to go play a couple games before class. Needless to say I was heartbroken when I saw the sign in the door. RIP Funland, one of their last bastions of good old fashioned fun on Yonge

  14. zai February 28, 2009 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    Do they have st fighter 3rd strike??

  15. kev mack March 9, 2009 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    I almost cried when I saw It was closed… I use to own Street fighter & mortal Kombat in that arcade back in the hay days.’ It suck a shame there use to be 3 arcades in that area. There was the spot across the street and the one that use to be right at Yonge & Dundas. I use to live in them like 17 years ago. It was like my get away now it’s nothing online gaming will never replace the arcade never.

  16. Sean March 9, 2009 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    So, where else beside closed Funland in Toronto we can play vintage pinballs and video games?

  17. eagle3 April 30, 2009 at 2:21 am - Reply

    Ohh that is too bad.. I used to go there as a teenager in high school back in the early 90s. My friend and I popped in there to play centipede. Yes its a girly game but that is what we are..
    Fond memories, that and sam the record man. Now I know I am getting older!

  18. Milad June 19, 2009 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    Why were all the Arcades in Toronto closed down?
    And I mean all of them, & the ones in Malls were all closed down. & no one seems to be giving me an straight answer for this action, The only one that’s left open is the one in pacific mall. (and I Think that’s because that’s an Asian mall)

    I do not understand “why”? when in fact all those arcades were always busy, and seem to be always bring in the big cash. someone in power must of forced this none sense rule to take actions. & it seems as if Toronto is being more pushed into the black whole, (meaning that anything “FUN” ?!) will be pushed a side, “Nightclubs” also were forced to change their rules so much, that a lot of them had no choice, but to close down, and now the Arcades. All this is causing is for ppl like me to dislike this place more and more.
    And no choice but to leave to different province or country.
    Thank you

    • arcads4ever June 19, 2009 at 8:47 pm - Reply

      I feel your pain. I come from the UK from sheffield and we used to have a really great arcade 2 years ago called Namco wonderpark and that was always busy and had the latest up to date games. Meadowhall however (a shopping mall where namco was) didn’t want them there anymore and decided to put 3 shitty restaraunts in its place. Namco offered to pay triple rent and more money on top but were still forced out. namco were also told that they were attacting alot of undesierables to the mall (meaning us and instead wanting more rich people to come) but I wrote to them asking why namco had shut and they told me that people had asked for more catering facilities (as if we needed more when there were plenty of them plus a few that were boarded up). the best thing was it was boarded up for over a year until the restaraunts opened up and they said they’d be open for early 08 (namco shut down in oct 07). I hate that shopping centre and has become a place of snobbery now and even more expensive.

      wish I was near somewhere like skegness or anywhere by the coast that has great up to the minute machines. until then I have hollywood bowl for now which isn’t too bad

    • Solex March 11, 2010 at 10:20 am - Reply

      Milad, please don’t be so negative: There’s still the arcade in Pacific Mall, and possible future arcades in two new Chinese malls that are being built, plus Playdium in Mississauga. There was and is no such thing as ‘someone in power’ determined to stop fun in Toronto: you can still find it if you want to. Maybe if the owners of Funland had upgraded the games to what was currently popular, it would still be around. But they didn’t and so, here we are. Also, maybe if the people who run Playdium had thought to set up Playdium Toronto around Yonge & Dundas, there would be another arcade around, and it would have been successful as well. But, they didn’t…so here we are!

      One day, somebody might open up an arcade on Yonge Street, and people might even play there. Until then, you know where to go and have fun-I just told you where the fun is.

  19. editor June 19, 2009 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    The whole Canadian amusement scene suffered a major issue over amusement in recent years. The cinema business (famous players) is growing, while the independents have been forced out of the market.

    Its a mess, and has nothing to do with popularity – to be honest the amusement trade is strong in a number of markets, but the ability to make the same profits as less proactive retail is difficult (more overheads).

  20. wasted youth November 3, 2009 at 2:43 am - Reply

    the pinball spot, the imperial 6 , cornet theatre, there were two pinball joints on the north east corner of yonge and dundas. listning to and playing captain fantastic at the same time, how about that old pool hall inside bloor station. and the gardens, it was like a dream.

  21. jairaju December 25, 2009 at 5:10 am - Reply

    i want to know the procedure for the the preparation of funland cack.

  22. john April 15, 2011 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    This is really sad. I spent countless hours there.

    I’ll never forget that amazing guy with his walkman absolutely distroying the tetris; or the sega rally chapmionship right next to the entrance door in the late 90s where I had the top score for many years, or the centipede which gave hours of fun for a couple of coins, or the best setup pinballs on the planet which allowed just a little bit of pushing and nudging before they would “tilt”…
    And after that, hop acros the street for one of the best pizza slices in the world – Big Slice.

    Aaah those were the times….

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