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Toronto’s Eaton Centre opens in 1977

The Story


In February 1977 the Eaton Centre opens in Toronto and is the jewel in the Eaton family crown. After years of backroom negotiations the Eaton family finally sees its dream come true. With its spectacular vaulted glass galleria, the massive downtown shopping complex is considered an architectural landmark and helps revitalize the city's downtown. The Eaton Centre boasts more than 200 stores and is anchored on the north end by a grand nine-level Eaton's department store. The shopping complex also caters to the more affluent customer as highlighted in this TV news piece.

Medium: Television
Program: Take 30
Broadcast Date: Feb. 23, 1977
Guest(s): Richard Shaw
Host: Mary Lou Finlay
Duration: 4:20
This clip was edited for copyright reasons.

Did You know?


• The Eaton family had a 20 per cent share in the Eaton Centre, earning them the right to own the name of the shopping complex.

 

• The Eaton Centre was an immediate success. The shopping complex averaged 500,000 visitors a week when it opened. Eaton's department store sales increased by 38 per cent in the first eight months.

• The Eaton Centre was first conceived as a larger complex which would have included a 69-storey office/apartment tower and a 500-room hotel. The development of this project hinged on the demolition of Old City Hall in downtown Toronto. Public protest over the planned demolition of a city landmark eventually forced a down-scaled revision of the original plans.

 


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