The former Eaton’s College Street store, now College Park, is located at the southwest corner of College St and Yonge St in Downtown Yonge Toronto.
Step Back in Time at Eaton’s College Street
Construction began on the retail gem of T. Eaton Co. Limited in 1928 and was completed in 1930. Their Furniture and House Furnishings headquarters were designed by the architectural firms of Ross & Macdonald and Sproatt & Rolph. Also, a department store with “wearables and accessories,” the building originally extended from Yonge at Hayter Sts, through to College and Bay Sts. It was supposed to be a much taller building; however, due to the Great Depression, it was scaled back to 7 floors.
The Art Deco exterior of Eaton’s College Street is clad with ivory-coloured Tyndall limestone with accents of granite and stone carvings. There’s also Monel metal trim (a corrosion-resistant nickel and copper alloy) along with the door and window frames. The interior shopping concourse and elevator arcade were designed by Eaton’s own Interior Design Director, Rene Cera, and feature marble and granite.
The Seventh Floor by Jacque Carlu
Lady Eaton wanted to bring world-class culture to Toronto. She commissioned French architect Jacque Carlu to design the Seventh Floor. Along with Rene Cera, they designed the Eaton’s Auditorium, a 1300-seat concert hall, a restaurant called the Round Room and the foyer. Today, this grand event space is called The Carlu and is a National Historic Site of Canada.
Eaton’s College Street Becomes College Park
In 1973, Eaton’s College Street was one of the 490 buildings on Heritage Toronto’s initial induction list. When the CF Toronto Eaton Centre opened in 1977, the College Street store closed, and the property was sold. The portion of the store that was located on the southeast corner of College St and Bay St was demolished for an office tower.
Today, the historic structure is called College Park. It’s a retail and office complex with residential space added to the building’s southern portion.
In 1905, Timothy Eaton, the department store’s founder, started the Santa Claus Parade. What began as a publicity stunt has become a celebrated Toronto tradition for over 115 years.