Eaton Centre 35 anniversary

The Eaton Centre turns 35 years old

The Eaton Centre, everyone's favourite urban eyesore, has reached the ripe old age of 35. That might be a harsh way to start off an anniversary toast — particularly given all the efforts to make our monumental downtown shopping mall more friendly to the street — but it comes from an affectionate place. Even if the idea to plop down a massive, inward-oriented shopping mall in the heart of the city seems strange today, back in the 1970s this type of planning was all the rage — and that gives the place a certain historical quality that's survived the numerous changes to its facade.

Beyond that, the Eaton Centre has always been a rather fabulous building on the inside. With its vaulted glass ceiling and multiple levels, it's always struck me as a futuristic version of the long-lost Yonge Street Arcade, which was located down the street at Temperance until its demolition in the mid 1950s. In this regard the building has in fact aged quite well. Scrolling through photos of the galleria, only the retail signage distinguishes between the contemporary and vintage images. Well, that and the fact that Eaton's itself no longer exists.

We've already written about how the mall came to be, what it might have looked like if the Eaton family's original plans came to be and about the snazzy new food court, so today let's keep it light and celebratory. Unlike Ontario place, Eberhard Zeidler's downtown shopping mall is still going strong at 35. Here's a little collection of photos and videos of the Eaton Centre over the years. Suffice it to say, the building has aged more gracefully than its representation in television commercials.

PHOTOS

20120210-PreEatonCentre.jpg

Yonge Street before the Eaton Centre

20101127-yongeDundasNight.jpg

At night, late 1970s (via Damon Schreiber)

2011519-EatonCentre1970s.jpeg

Postcard 1970s (via Chuckman's blog)

20120210-EatonCentre-Postcard

Postcard 1970s (via Chuckman's blog)

2011211-Eaton_centre-queen80s.jpeg

Yonge & Queen 1980s (via Canada Good)

Eaton's

1990s (via the Toronto Archives)

VIDEOS (via Retronatrio)

Eaton Centre 1983

Food Court commercial 1984

Fashion in 1984

More fashion, this time in 1986

The Centre of it all 1989

Lead image from the Ontario Archives


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

Toronto to get more winter weather ahead of the holidays than usual this year

Spadina Fort York MP Kevin Vuong responds to controversy amid calls for him to step down

Toronto cops who allegedly assaulted Black TTC rider say he was the one being racist

Toronto to get walloped with a deluge of rain possibly totalling up to 75 mm

Ontario vaccine receipt website not working on first day of new passport system

Doug Ford's daughter just went on another anti-vax rant on social media

A harvest moon lit up Toronto skies this week and the photos are breathtaking

How to download your vaccine passport in Ontario