In Toronto, I try to go to the big box centers during the holidays because there's never parking at the malls. There still is never parking available on Saturdays at the mall closest to me.
I think part of the difference is the Canadian economy fortunately has not been as bad as the U.S. But also, many of the malls have adapted to changing conditions. For example, over the years, the mall near me tore down a bankrupt department store, old movie theaters, and a grocery store, and replaced them with modern theaters and multi-level popular retailers like Zara and H & M.
So I think the traditional mall concept can continue to be successful for the malls that are able to evolve.