Reason Why I Love Toronto #24
The Timothy Eaton Statue at the ROM
So yesterday the Urban Eatery in the Eaton Centre made my list. I told this to my friend Sanjana and we then had a discussion about the Eaton Centre which got me thinking about the Timothy Eaton statue at the ROM. Now if you are asking who Timothy Eaton is then shame on you! The man is an important figure in Canadian retail.
Timothy Eaton founded the now defunct Eaton department store. Now if you go and ask your mom, dad or grandparents what Eaton`s was they will probably tell you about the Eaton`s catalogue which was the most highly anticipated catalogue of the year! My generation may not understand the excitement people had for this catalogue which is understandable since many of us go online to view catalogues for certain stores. My grandmother, who loved Eaton’s, said people would wait and check their mail boxes constantly to see if it had come in and when it did come in some people would dedicate a whole evening to reading it with a glass of wine in hand.
Timothy Eaton was important because he revolutionized retail in Canada. He was also a very generous man. For example the area around Kipling station used to be called Eatonville because he established a farm their so his employees could have milk in their lunchroom! Another cool fact for those who don’t know is that the Sears at the Eaton Centre was actually an Eaton`s department store, before it went bankrupt in 1999. Another other cool fact was that Eaton’s was all about employees first, he guaranteed that his employees could keep their jobs if they went off to war and some of his staff still got paid even when they were overseas.
The Globe newspaper even said “There is hardly a name in Canada, with the possible exception of the Prime Minister, so well known to the people at large as that of Mr. Timothy Eaton.” This man was so influential and well known that in 1919 his employees presented Eaton family with two bronze statues of Timothy Eaton as a thank you. One statue was located at the Eaton Centre (I remember it being there) and the other at a Winnipeg location. Like most statues there is a legend, and for this one it is said that if you rub Mr. Eaton’s the left toe you will have good luck.
When the brand closed down in 1999, many people lay flowers and cards as a sort of memorial to the retail giant. Eventually the Toronto statue was relocated to the ROM and the Winnipeg one was deemed a heritage object and therefore will forever remain in the province of Manitoba. But if you go down to the bottom floor of the ROM, you can rub the toe of Timothy Eaton for good luck and you take a look at the man who had a major influence on Canadian Retail.
That Is Why I Love Toronto