The Eaton’s merchantile empire was founded in Toronto by Timothy Eaton in 1869, and expanded to encompass the entire country, becoming a beloved national institution. In 1911, the Illustrated London News stated: “The T. Eaton Co. of Toronto can claim their stores are the greatest in the British Empire.”
The Eaton’s Catalogue started as a small booklet in 1884, but was soon a household staple in every Canadian home, offering everything that anyone could want, including furniture, appliances, clothes, food, medicines, and even pre-fab houses! The last catalogue was issued in 1976, to the dismay of many Canadians, especially those in rural areas who had relied on their orders from Eaton’s to bring them big-city merchandise. The Eaton’s stores declared bankruptcy in 1999.
Both Timothy Eaton and his son, Sir John Craig Eaton, had summer homes in Muskoka.