One of the most popular tourist attractions in Toronto is Eaton Centre Mall, a three-storey shopping centre. It is estimated that around 20 million people visit the Eaton Centre Toronto each year. The Toronto Eaton Centre cost over $250 million CAN to build and stretches from Dundas Street south to Queen Street. In total, the Eaton Centre Mall covers 557,418 sq. m (6,000,000 sq. ft). There are more than 285 stores and restaurants for exploration, including the large Sears department store that has replaced the original Eaton’s store.
Eaton Centre Toronto is located across from the Elgin Theatre and is named after Timothy Eaton, an immigrant from Northern Ireland, who opened his first store here in 1869. Timothy Eaton gained a huge reputation from his cash-only, fixed-price, money-back guarantee trading policy, eventually making him a very rich man and revolutionizing the Canadian market. Eaton department stores have since cropped up all over Canada, a uniquely Canadian chain. More recently the Eaton company was sold and is now run by Sears.
The Eaton Centre Toronto includes special touches that make it stand out from the average mall. The Galleria, an 866- foot arcade filled with plants, trees, fountains and benches makes a pleasant sitting area. Above are the 60 flying Canadian geese, a sculpture by Michael Snow. These birds are actually black-and-white photos mounted on fiberglass frames. Take the glass elevator up to the three stories for views over the entire mall. The designer of Eaton Centre Mall was Eb Zeidler, the same man who designed Ontario Place.
A side exit about two-thirds along the Eaton Centre on Queen Street leads directly to the Church of the Holy Trinity. This church is a nice side visit, made of yellow brick in 19th century style. The Church of the Holy Trinity, surrounded by skyscrapers, was the setting for Canadian-directed film Dead Ringers.
If you are coming to the Toronto Eaton Centre with a tour or bus group, be sure to stop by the Information Desk on Level 2 of the centre to pick up an Experience Card. These cards provide groups with discounts and coupons for most of the stores and restaurants. The Info. Desk also can provide good information about Toronto attractions, theatre and entertainment, as well as give you free maps and brochures of the city.
For the convenience of tour groups, Toronto Eaton Center has the added convenience of drop-off and pick-up at the front doors. The Albert’s Way entrance (on the corner of James Street and Albert Street) is designated for this purpose.