Eaton’s 9th floor
700 St. Catherine Street West
Eaton’s 9th floor is a very good example of interior Art Deco, with its unique composition and space which recall the artwork and furnishings of the great ocean liners.
In the collective memory of Montrealers, the 9th floor is remembered as part of the era of the downtown department stores. Legend has it that this restaurant was modelled after the Île de France liner. The reality however, is that the French architect who designed the 9th floor – Jacques Carlu, who also built the Palais de Chaillot in Paris – worked on the interior design of several luxury liners in the 1920s and 1930s.
Transformation of the old Eaton department store into a shopping mall included the demolition of the kitchens of the 9th Floor Restaurant, with some of the old equipment salvaged and placed in storage. While the owner, with the scrutiny of the Ministry of Culture and Communications, has preserved this magnificent space in a stable condition, the passing of each year means the memory of the restaurant is fading, as people no longer have access to this part of our heritage. In the medium term, this could threaten its preservation.
Upon Héritage Montréal’s request, following the bankruptcy of the Eaton’s department store, the Art Deco restaurant on the 9th floor was classified as a historic monument by the Quebec Minister of Culture, the only authority able to protect interior spaces. In Quebec Since then, Héritage Montréal has concentrated its focus on maintaining the attention of authorities and the owners to encourage them to invest in bringing this extraordinary heritage back to life and open to the public.