Eaton’s College Street – An Art Deco Architectural Treasure

1929 - Looking northwest from Yonge St towards the construction of the Eaton's College Street store. Notice Hayter St once intersected with Yonge St
1929 – Looking northwest from Yonge St towards the construction of the Eaton’s College Street store. Notice Hayter St once intersected with Yonge St

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.

2020 - College Park entrance from Yonge St, once home to Eaton's College Street store
2020 – College Park entrance from Yonge St, once home to Eaton’s College Street store

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.

Eaton’s College Street Photos

2020 – Looking southwest towards College Park, formerly Eaton's College Street store at College St and Yonge St
2020 – Looking southwest towards College Park, formerly Eaton’s College Street store at College St and Yonge St
1972 - Looking northwest from Yonge St towards Eaton's College Street store. Notice the Oddfellows Hall in the distance at 2 College St
1972 – Looking northwest from Yonge St towards Eaton’s College Street store. Notice the Oddfellows Hall in the distance at 2 College St (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 124, File 3, ID 62)
1950 - Looking northwest from Yonge St towards the Eaton's College Street store. Notice Hayter St once intersected with Yonge St
1950 – Looking northwest from Yonge St towards the Eaton’s College Street store. Notice Hayter St once intersected with Yonge St (City of Toronto Archives, Series 574, File 16, ID 49357)
2022 - Looking north up Yonge St towards College Park, formerly Eaton's College Street store
2022 – Looking north up Yonge St towards College Park, formerly Eaton’s College Street store
1929 - Looking northwest from Yonge St towards the construction of the Eaton's College Street store. Notice Hayter St once intersected with Yonge St
1929 – Looking northwest from Yonge St towards the construction of the Eaton’s College Street store. Notice Hayter St once intersected with Yonge St (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 19440)
2020 - College Park entrance from Yonge St, once home to Eaton's College Street store
2020 – College Park entrance from Yonge St, once home to Eaton’s College Street store
1953 – Yonge St entrance to the Eaton's College Street store, decorated for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
1953 – Yonge St entrance to the Eaton’s College Street store, decorated for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 492, Item 26)
1972 - Eaton's College Street store, looking southwest from Yonge St and College St
1972 – Eaton’s College Street store, looking southwest from Yonge St and College St (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 124, Series, File 3, ID 1)
1972 – Looking north up Yonge St from Dundas Sq. Notice Eaton's College Street store on the left side
1972 – Looking north up Yonge St from Dundas Sq. Notice Eaton’s College Street store on the left side (City of Toronto Archives, Series 1465, File 312, Item 7)
1928 -  Looking southeast from College St, just west of Yonge St, towards the construction of Eaton's College Street store. In the background is Tamblyn Drugstore, once located at 435 Yonge St
1928 – Looking southeast from College St, just west of Yonge St, towards the construction of Eaton’s College Street store. In the background is Tamblyn Drugstore, once located at 435 Yonge St (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 14403)
1929 - Looking north up Yonge St with the construction of the Eaton's College Street store on the left. Notice Oddfellows Hall and the clock tower of Fire Hall No. 3/St Charles Tavern in the background
1929 – Looking north up Yonge St with the construction of the Eaton’s College Street store on the left. Notice Oddfellows Hall and the clock tower of Fire Hall No. 3/St Charles Tavern in the background (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 7442)
1930 - Lady Eaton & John David Eaton at the opening of Eaton's College Street store
1930 – Lady Eaton & John David Eaton at the opening of Eaton’s College Street store (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 1641)
1930 – An aerial view looking southwest towards Eaton's College Street store. Today the Art Deco landmark is home to College Park, a shopping mall, residential and office complex
1930 – An aerial view looking southwest towards Eaton’s College Street store. Today the Art Deco landmark is home to College Park, a shopping mall, residential and office complex (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 10054)
1950 - Looking west towards the corner of Eaton's College Street store from Yonge St
1950 – Looking west towards the corner of Eaton’s College Street store from Yonge St (City of Toronto Archives, Series 574, File 18, Item 49373)
1958 - Looking north up Yonge St from south of Granby St, when they intersected. Notice Eaton’s College Street store on the left with Oddfellows Hall and the clock tower of Fire Hall No. 3/St Charles Tavern in the background
1958 – Looking north up Yonge St from south of Granby St, when they intersected. Notice Eaton’s College Street store on the left with Oddfellows Hall and the clock tower of Fire Hall No. 3/St Charles Tavern in the background (City of Toronto Archives, Series 648, File 33, ID 3)
1929 - Looking southeast from College St and Bay St towards the construction of the Eaton's College Street store
1929 – Looking southeast from College St and Bay St towards the construction of the Eaton’s College Street store (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 17970)
1930 – Looking east from College St and Bay St towards the nearly completed Eaton's College Street store. Notice the YMCA sign and building on the left
1930 – Looking east from College St and Bay St towards the nearly completed Eaton’s College Street store. Notice the YMCA sign and building on the left (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 7580)
1930 – Looking east from College St and Bay St looking east with Eaton's College Street store on the right and YMCA on the left
1930 – Looking east from College St and Bay St looking east with Eaton’s College Street store on the right and YMCA on the left (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 21914)
1948 - Looking south along Bay St from College St. Notice Eaton's College Street store on the left when it extended to Bay St
1948 – Looking south along Bay St from College St. Notice Eaton’s College Street store on the left when it extended to Bay St (City of Toronto Archives, Series 372, Sub Series 58, Item 1821)
1972 - Looking southeast from College St and Bay St towards Eaton's College Street store when it extended to Bay St
1972 – Looking southeast from College St and Bay St towards Eaton’s College Street store when it extended to Bay St (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2032, Series 841, File 59, Item 7)
1977 - The portion of Eaton's College Street store that extended to the southeast corner of College St and Bay St being demolished
1977 – The portion of Eaton’s College Street store that extended to the southeast corner of College St and Bay St being demolished (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 93, Item 31)
2020 - Interior of College Park entrance once home to Eaton's College Street store at College St and Yonge St
2020 – Interior of College Park entrance once home to Eaton’s College Street store at College St and Yonge St
2020 - Elevator at College Park, once home to Eaton's College Street store
2020 – Elevator at College Park, once home to Eaton’s College Street store
2022 - In the lobby of the former Eaton's College Street store, a photo of the Round Room at The Carlu, dated circa 1930
2022 – In the lobby of the former Eaton’s College Street store, a photo of the Round Room at The Carlu, dated circa 1930
2022 - Carlu display in the lobby of the former Eaton's College St store, today's College Park
2022 – Carlu display in the lobby of the former Eaton’s College St store, today’s College Park
2022 - The Eaton Auditorium and Round Room historic sites plaque
2022 – The Eaton Auditorium and Round Room historic sites plaque
2022 - Eaton's College Street store plaque
2022 – Eaton’s College Street store plaque
1890 - Portrait of Timothy Eaton (1834-1907)
1890 – Portrait of Timothy Eaton (1834-1907) (Toronto Public Library OHQ-PICTURES-S-R-4)
2021 - Timothy Eaton heritage plaque on the northwest corner of Spadina Rd and Lowther Ave. Timothy Eaton lived in a house in this location from 1889 to 1907
2021 – Timothy Eaton heritage plaque on the northwest corner of Spadina Rd and Lowther Ave. Timothy Eaton lived in a house in this location from 1889 to 1907
1914 – Looking southwest towards the corner of Yonge St and College St, the future site of Eaton’s College Street store
1914 – Looking southwest towards the corner of Yonge St and College St, the future site of Eaton’s College Street store (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 500)
1875 – Looking west from Yonge St towards the gates of College St
1875 – Looking west from Yonge St towards the gates of College St (Toronto Public Library R-4092)
2021 - Timothy Eaton Memorial Church at 230 St Clair Ave W, between Warren Rd and Dunvegan Rd on the north Side - built in 1915, designed by architects Wickson and Gregg in the English Gothic style - received heritage status by the City of Toronto in 2008
2021 – Timothy Eaton Memorial Church at 230 St Clair Ave W, between Warren Rd and Dunvegan Rd on the north Side – built in 1915, designed by architects Wickson and Gregg in the English Gothic style – received heritage status by the City of Toronto in 2008
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