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Toronto's Top 10 : Eaton Centre

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Named after Canadian retail legend Timothy Eaton – whose mail-order catalog and department store, Eaton’s, was a beloved national institution until 1999, when the company declared bankruptcy – this multi-story shopping center is the quintessential downtown mall: big, busy, and boisterous. Opened in 1979 and heralded as the anchor that would transform down-at-heel Yonge and Dundas streets into an upscale destination, the complex houses some 300 stores, restaurants, and cafés.

  • 1 Dundas St W (with alternative entrances along Yonge St between Dundas and Queen, and at Queen St west of Yonge St)

  • 416 598 8560

  • www.torontoeatoncentre.com

  • Open 10am–9pm Mon–Fri, 9:30am–7pm Sat, noon–6pm Sun; closed Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Dec 25


Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC)

For 200 years, HBC controlled North America’s lucrative fur trade. It was so powerful that it could make laws and wage war with Native tribes. After years of English-French battles over its posts, HBC lost its monopoly. In 1870, it sold its land to the Government of Canada. Turning to retail, HBC opened its first store in 1881, but kept a hand in the fur trade until 1991, when its last fur salon closed.


Plan of Eaton Centre

Shoppers

Grab a quick bite in the concourse food court, or head to the charming Trinity Square Cafe, in the Church of the Holy Trinity, for a good-value soup and sandwich.


Ride the glass elevators, near the central fountain, for a great view of the galleria.


Navigate PATH using the color-coded signs: the red P steers you south, the orange A west, the blue T north, and the yellow H east.


Founded in 1670, the Hudson’s Bay Company is one of the world’s oldest companies



Top 10 Attractions
  1. Flight Stop

    This sculpted gaggle of Canada geese by renowned Toronto artist Michael Snow – so lifelike that you almost expect to hear the birds honk – is suspended from the vaulted ceiling of the central atrium.

  2. Fountain

    A focal point of the Eaton Centre, this waterburst fountain lulls with soothing sounds of falling water and then astonishes as water shoots 100 ft (30 m) into the air. Encircled by stone benches, the fountain is a good spot to sit and take a break from shopping.

  3. Galleria

    Natural light pours through the soaring glass roof into the 865-ft- (265-m-) long arcade, which links the mall’s two anchor department stores. Designed by Eb Zeidler, architect of Ontario Place, the galleria is modeled on Milan’s 19th-century Galleria Vittoria Emanuele.

  4. Yonge-Dundas Square

    Toronto’s once-tawdry intersection is now a public square embellished with 22 fountains set flush to the ground. At its east end, Olympic Spirit Toronto, which is staffed by athletes, offers an exciting variety of simulator games for young and old.

  5. The Labyrinth

    This circuitous grass path is modeled on the 13th-century labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France.

  6. Church of the Holy Trinity

    This Anglican church dating to 1847 is as an oasis of calm amid commercial bustle. Admire the turreted entranceway while picnicking on the grounds; step inside to see the stained-glass windows.

  7. Bronze Plaque

    This historic plaque commemorates Yonge Street, ranked the longest street in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records. Yonge Street divides East and West Toronto and is the site of the city’s first subway line.

  8. PATH

    From the Eaton Centre you can access the 27-mile (16-km) underground walkway network PATH. Linking several major attractions, including the Air Canada Centre and Roy Thompson Hall, PATH winds through a veritable city of stores and food courts.

  9. The Bay

    The Bay, founded by Hudson’s Bay Company, is Canada’s largest department store chain. It sells a wide selection of merchandise, such as home furnishings and fashion, but might be best known for its point blankets, first used in 1670 to barter for beaver pelts with the Cree. Its trading posts, based in the vast north of what is now Canada, were influential centers of commerce.

  10. Scadding House

    Built in 1857 for the Church of the Holy Trinity’s first rector, this Georgian-Gothic house was moved here to make way for the mall. The church and house, once surrounded by woodland, may be Yonge St’s oldest building complex. The current rector lives in the house.

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