Ballymena, County Antrim, Ireland
|Died||31 January 1907 72) (aged|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Resting place||Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto|
|Known for||Founder of Eaton's|
|Spouse||Margaret Wilson Beattie|
Timothy Eaton (March 1834 – 31 January 1907) was an Irish businessman who founded the Eaton's department store, one of the most important retail businesses in Canada's history.
He was born in Ballymena, County Antrim, Ireland (now Northern Ireland). His parents were Scottish Protestants, John Eaton and Margaret Craig. As a 20-year-old Irish apprentice shopkeeper, Timothy Eaton sailed from Ireland to settle with other family members in southern Ontario, Canada. On 28 May 1862, Eaton married Margaret Wilson Beattie. They had five sons and three daughters. Among the sons were John Craig Eaton and Edward Young Eaton. One of the daughters, Josephine Smyth Eaton, survived the sinking of RMS Lusitania off the Irish coast in 1915. His granddaughter, Iris Burnside, was lost in that sinking.
In 1854, he worked for a short time in a haberdashery store in Glen Williams, Ontario. His sister married William Reid; they owned a farm in Georgetown, Ontario, a short distance from Glen Williams. In 1865, with the help of his brothers, Robert and James, Timothy Eaton set up a bakery business in the town of Kirkton, Ontario, which went under after only a few months. Undaunted, he opened a dry goods store in St. Marys, Ontario.
In 1869, Eaton purchased an existing dry-goods and haberdashery business at 178 Yonge Street in Toronto. In promoting his new business, Eaton embraced two retail practices that were ground-breaking at the time:[ citation needed ] first, all goods had one price (no haggling) with no credit given, and second, all purchases came with a money-back guarantee (a practice expressed in what would become the long-standing store slogan of "Goods Satisfactory or Money Refunded").
Starting in 1884, Eaton introduced Canada to the wonders of the mail-order catalogue, reaching thousands of small towns and rural communities with an array of products previously unattainable. In these tiny communities, the arrival of Eaton's catalogue was a major event. More than clothing, furniture, or the latest in kitchen gadgetry, the catalogue offered such practical items as milking machines, in addition to just about every other contraption or new invention desirable. And, when rendered obsolete by the new season's catalogue, it served another important use in the outdoor privy of most every rural home.
Eaton spawned a colossal retail empire that his offspring would expand coast to coast, reaching its high point during World War II, when the T. Eaton Co. Limited employed more than 70,000 people. Although Eaton did not invent the department store, nor was he the first retailer in the world to implement a money-back guarantee, the chain he founded popularized both concepts and revolutionized retailing in Canada.
Eaton died of pneumonia on 31 January 1907, and is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto. He was succeeded by his son, John Craig Eaton.
In 1919, two life-sized statues of Timothy Eaton were donated by the Eaton's employees to the Toronto and Winnipeg stores in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the company. For years, it was tradition for customers in both Toronto and Winnipeg to rub the toe of the statue for good luck. The Toronto statue is now housed by the Royal Ontario Museum, and the Winnipeg statue sits in the city's arena, Canada Life Centre (formerly MTS Centre and Bell MTS Place), in almost exactly the same spot where it stood in the now demolished Eaton's store (albeit one storey higher). Museum-goers in Toronto and hockey fans in Winnipeg continue to rub Timothy Eaton's toe for luck.
His grandson was flying ace Henry John Burden. In 1985, his great-great-granddaughter, Nancy Eaton, was murdered by a childhood friend, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity.
Timothy Eaton Memorial Church, in Toronto, was erected in 1914.
The town of Eatonia, Saskatchewan was named after Timothy Eaton.
The ground of Ballymena RFC, originally the sports grounds of the Mid-Antrim Sports Association, is called Eaton Park.
A school in the Scarborough district of Toronto, Timothy Eaton Business and Technical Institute, was named after him. It opened in 1971 for classes and closed its doors permanently in 2009.
Robert Simpson was the Scottish founder of Simpson's department store chain in Canada.
The Toronto Eaton Centre is a shopping mall and office complex in the downtown core of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is owned and managed by Cadillac Fairview (CF). It was named after the Eaton's department store chain that once anchored it before the chain went defunct in the late 1990s.
The T. Eaton Company Limited, later known as Eaton's and then Eaton, was a Canadian department store chain that was once the largest in the country. It was founded in 1869 in Toronto by Timothy Eaton, an immigrant from what is now Northern Ireland. Eaton's grew to become a retail and social institution in Canada, with stores across the country, buying-offices around the globe, and a mail-order catalog that was found in the homes of most Canadians. A changing economic and retail environment in the late twentieth century, along with mismanagement, culminated in the chain's bankruptcy in 1999.
Canada Life Centre is an indoor arena in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba. The arena is the home of the National Hockey League's Winnipeg Jets and their American Hockey League affiliate, the Manitoba Moose.
Ardwold was the residence of Sir John Craig Eaton and Lady Eaton of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Sir John was the youngest son of Timothy Eaton, the founder of the T. Eaton Company Department Store, or Eaton's, and he inherited the business and became its president upon his father's death in 1907. Sir John was one of the wealthiest men in Canada, and in 1909 he commissioned a home to be built on "The Hill", a name used to describe the neighbourhood on the Davenport Hill in Toronto where many wealthy families built their homes. Casa Loma, built by Henry Pellatt and the largest private house ever constructed in Canada, was near Ardwold, as were Spadina House, the mansion of James Austin, and Glenedyth, the estate of Samuel Nordheimer.
Sir John Craig Eaton was a Canadian businessman and a member of the prominent Eaton family.
The Eaton family is a Canadian family of Scottish-Irish Methodist origin. Established in Toronto, the family dynasty began in 1869 when Timothy Eaton (1834–1907) founded Eaton's, which became a national chain of department stores. At its height, the family's net worth was around $2 billion. Although the Eaton's department store chain went bankrupt in 1999, the family still holds considerable wealth.
Ballymena is a town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It had a population of 31,205 people at the 2021 Census, making it the seventh largest town in Northern Ireland by population. It is part of the Borough of Mid and East Antrim.
Sarah Evelyn Florence "Flora" Eaton, Lady Eaton, was a Canadian socialite, philanthropist and nurse. As the wife of Sir John Craig Eaton, who inherited the Eaton's department store business, she was a member and later matriarch of the prominent Eaton family.
Robert Young Eaton (1875–1956), commonly known as R.Y. Eaton, was a Canadian businessman and a member of the prominent Eaton family. He was a nephew of Timothy Eaton, who established Eaton's department store.
John David Eaton was a Canadian businessman and a member of the Eaton family. He was the second son of Sir John Craig Eaton and Lady Eaton of Toronto, Ontario. He was married to Signy Stefansson, and they had four sons.
Harry Rosen, CM is the founder and executive chairman of the Canadian luxury men's wear store Harry Rosen Inc., which in 2015 was Canada's largest upscale menswear retailer.
Fredrik Stefan Eaton, was a Canadian businessman and philanthropist who was a member of the prominent Eaton family. He was the great-grandson of Eaton's department store founder Timothy Eaton.
Eaton Centre is a name associated with shopping centres in Canada, originating with Eaton's, one of Canada's largest department store chains at the time that these malls were developed. Eaton's partnered with development companies throughout the 1970s and 1980s to develop downtown shopping malls in cities across Canada. Each mall contained an Eaton's store, or was in close proximity to an Eaton's store, and typically the mall itself carried the "Eaton Centre" name. These joint ventures were a significant retail development trend in Canada during that period.
There are two castings of the well-known statue of Timothy Eaton, the famous Canadian retailer: one in Toronto, Ontario, the other in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Ivor Rhys Lewis was a Canadian artist and business director.
Eaton's Annex was a 10-storey building containing both retail and office space in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It opened in January 1913 and was located at the northwest corner of Albert Street and James Street, west of Eaton's Main Store and north of Toronto's City Hall.
Cityplace is a nine-storey office and retail complex situated in Downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The number of weekly shoppers is 150,000.
John Craig Eaton II is a Canadian philanthropist and former businessman who is a member of the prominent Eaton family.
Signy Hildur Eaton was a Canadian socialite, art collector and philanthropist. She was married to John David Eaton, of the prominent Eaton family of Toronto.
Media related to Timothy Eaton at Wikimedia Commons