Toronto Eaton Centre

From Academic Kids

Missing image
TorontoEatonCentre.jpg
Interior of the Toronto Eaton Centre, looking south.

The Toronto Eaton Centre is a large shopping mall in downtown Toronto, Ontario Canada. It is bounded by Yonge Street on the east, Queen Street West on the south, Dundas Street West on the north, and buildings on the east side of Bay Street on the west. Its interior passages also form part of Toronto's PATH underground pedestrian network. The shopping centre is also served by two TTC stations: Dundas and Queen.

It was built by Eaton's in the 1970s to house the chain's flagship store. To build the centre a long stretch of smaller stores on Yonge Street was destroyed, which has long been lamented by urban planners. The original plan for the mall also required tearing down the Church of the Holy Trinity, but the parishioners successfully resisted and the mall's design was changed to accommodate the church. (Another bit of Canadian culture might never have happened if the church had been demolished, as Cowboy Junkies recorded their classic album The Trinity Session at that very church in 1987.)

In 1999, after the Eaton's chain declared bankruptcy, it was acquired by Sears Canada. Sears closed some Eaton's stores and converted others to Sears outlets, but the Eaton Centre store was one of seven that Sears kept as a relaunched eatons chain. However, in 2002, Sears deemed the experiment unsuccessful and folded the eatons stores, converting them to the Sears brand.

Although the mall's flagship department store is now branded as Sears, the mall itself continues to be known as the Eaton Centre.

In recent years, developers have redesigned the mall's Yonge Street facade, bringing it closer to the street and making it more closely resemble an urban shopping district, with stores opening directly onto the street, and presenting a variety of facades to create the perception of an urban streetscape. Further redevelopment, completed in 2004, added new retail space at the northeast corner (Yonge and Dundas intersection) of the mall, across from Dundas Square. This extension houses H&M's Canadian flagship store. There are now about 330 stores in the retail complex, which encompasses about 1,600,000 square feet (150,000 m²), making it possibly the largest downtown shopping centre in North America.

Other Eaton Centres

Following the success of the original Eaton Centre design, several other Eaton Centres were built in cities across Canada, including Montreal, Calgary and Victoria. Like the Toronto mall, some of these shopping centres have continued to be known by the name Eaton Centre (sometimes Eaton's Centre) despite the lack of an Eaton's store, but others, such as the Victoria mall, have been renamed.

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