Eaton’s opened its first store on Sainte-Catherine Street West in 1927. During the store’s second expansion in 1930-31, a 600-seat restaurant was opened on the ninth floor. Inaugurated in early 1931, the restaurant also hosted various events that further enhanced Eaton’s renown. These events included fashion shows that would become a company tradition until the 1960s.
Agrandissement du magasin Eaton, 1930, Musée McCord Stewart
In the collective memory of Montrealers, Le 9e was associated with the life of downtown department stores. Legend has it that the dining room was a replica of the Île-de-France ocean liner, which was not exactly the case, although its architect was indeed inspired by naval forms, which gave the restaurant its ocean liner style known as Streamline Moderne. The French architect, Jacques Carlu (1890-1976), also designed the Palais de Chaillot in Paris. He worked in the United States, as well as for Eaton’s in Montreal and Toronto.