Known as a landmark as well as one of Canada’s most well-known retail centres--with over 200 shops-- it’s hard to miss the Eaton Centre in the heart of Toronto’s downtown core, stretching over two city blocks. Named after the now-defunct Eaton’s department store chain led by Timothy Eaton, the retailer filed for bankruptcy in 1999; Sears acquired all assets, though the Centre still retains its name.
Architecturally, the Centre is known for its flock of Canadian geese, designed by artist Michael Snow, suspended from the centre of a glass-galleria. During the holiday season, a massive Christmas Tree towers in the centre of the mall -- the swarovski crystal decorations have been popular with visitors and shutterbugs.
The mall has 7 different restaurants and a modern food court --renovated in 2011--appealing to all tastes. The mall is still undergoing renovations near the Queen entrance yet the Centre remains one of Toronto’s biggest tourist attractions, drawing 50 million visitors a year.
There are two main entrances to the mall, both at Yonge: the Queen Street entrance from the South (Subway stop: Queen) and the Dundas Street entrance from the North (Subway stop: Dundas). If you are walking, you can enter near the middle of the mall at Shuter and Yonge. The main food court is at the Dundas entrance; across the street is Dundas Square (for entertainment) and a movie theatre/restaurants, located on the north-east side of Yonge & Dundas. There are also more shops in the vicinity of Yonge and Dundas, including The World’s Biggest Bookstore (now Indigo) on Edward Street. The Bay department store is across the street from the mall on Queen Street. Steps west from the Queen street side is City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square. Also nearby are entertainment venues, Massey Hall and Elgin/Winter Garden Theatre. Mall hours are extended during the winter holiday season.