Arguably the busiest shopping mall on the continent, Eaton Centre is one of Toronto’s most popular places and where you can shop to your heart’s content.
Toronto’s Eaton Centre
Open since 1977, tens of millions of people visit the Eaton Centre each year. It receives more visitors than any other shopping centre in North America! With hundreds of stores and restaurants in a convenient location, this complex is a Toronto landmark. Ironically, the department store after which the centre is named no longer exists. Eaton’s was the dominant department store company in Canada for much of the 20th century, but went bankrupt in the 1990s. Since then Eaton Centre has been owned first by Sears Canada and now Cadillac Fairview, but it kept its name.
How to Get to the Centre
The Eaton Centre is located at 220 Yonge Street, in Toronto’s downtown core. It’s open year-round from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm Mondays to Saturdays and from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm on Sundays. One of the reasons why the mall is so popular is because of its ease of access. There are two subway stations directly connected to Eaton Centre: Dundas and Queen on the Yonge-University line. The centre is also one of the main pieces of the PATH network of underground pedestrian tunnels.
All of this (combined with its location in the heart of Toronto) means that Eaton Centre is quite busy all the time. Tens or even hundreds of thousands of people visit each day, meaning that if crowds aren’t your thing, this mall isn’t for you. But for those looking for a top shopping destination, then this is a great place to go.
Eaton Centre’s Layout
The Eaton Centre is four storeys tall, although one of those is primarily for parking. The building complex is over 1.7 million square feet, making it one of the largest shopping centres in the country. Only West Edmonton Mall in Alberta and Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga are bigger. The building has plenty of natural light as there is a giant domed glass ceiling over the central path in the mall. Suspended up in the air is the well-known art installation Flight Stop, a collection of 60 fibreglass and Styrofoam Canadian Geese in flying formation.
The biggest store in Eaton Centre is the Hudson’s Bay. It’s here that you’ll find the flagship location for the iconic department store. The other big retailers include H&M, Nordstrom, Canadian Tire, Best Buy and Saks Fifth Avenue. Other very well-known brands like OVO, Banana Republic, Samsung and more have their own stores within the complex. There are hundreds of options to browse.
As expected there are a number of different options for eating in the mall. Along with the standard food courts there are a few proper sit-down places as well. These include JOEY Restaurant and Trattoria Mercatto. Both these restaurants offer full meals and drinks. They can be good options to check out regardless of whether you’re doing any shopping.
Eaton Centre can also lay claim to having had the first ever Cineplex Odeon theatre complex. It opened inside the Eaton Centre in 1979. At the time it was one of the largest movie theatres in the world with 18 screens. The Cineplex closed in the early 2000s, however. Today there is a different one directly across from Eaton Centre at 10 Dundas Street East.
For more information visit the CF Eaton Centre website.
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