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Buffet in the Georgian Room, Ninth Floor of Eaton’s Queen Street Store, Toronto, 1939. Courtesy of the Archives of Ontario.

Advertisement for the Georgian Room in Eaton's Queen Street store. July 12, 1929. The Globe.

Advertisement for Simpson's Department Store Arcadian Court Evening Dinner, December 20, 1929, Toronto Star

Luigi von Kunits and orchestra at the Arcadian Court, Queen and Bay Streets, 1929, Courtesy of the City of Toronto Archives.

  • The Georgian Room

    Lady Eaton’s vision

    Lady Flora Eaton supervised many of the Eaton department store dining rooms and event spaces, including the Art Deco masterpiece the Round Room at Eaton’s College Street store as well as Le 9e, the luxurious ninth floor restaurant on top of Eaton’s Montreal store. Lady Eaton also ensured women had prominent roles in the management of the Eaton dining rooms. To design the menu for the Georgian Room, Lady Eaton hired dietician Violet Ryley, a graduate of Toronto’s Lillian Massey School of Household Science.

    The Georgian Room was a popular destination for Toronto lunches and dinners for over fifty years. Its dessert offerings proved so popular, a ground-level Georgian Room cake counter was opened in the late 1920s to offer Eaton’s shoppers the ability to order pastries, particularly its famous red velvet cake, to take home. The Georgian Room closed on Christmas Eve 1976 as part of the demolition of the original Eaton’s store to make way for the construction of the Eaton Centre shopping mall.

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  • The Arcadian Court

    Simpson’s Art Deco masterpiece

    Formerly located just across the street from Eaton’s Queen Street store was Simpson’s department store, Eaton’s long-time competitor. Perhaps inspired by Eaton’s Georgian Room, Simpson’s opened its own elegant dining room in March 1929, known as the Arcadian Court. Spanning the eighth and ninth floors of its new building on the corner of Bay and Queen Streets, the Arcadian Court also offered an elegant surrounding for lunches, teas, and dinners. With its Art Deco flourishes, the Arcadian Court boasted of 40-foot ceilings, with magnificent city views through its double-floor windows.

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  • The Arcadian Court

    Home of the legendary chicken pot pie

    Thanks to its ample space, with room to seat 1,300, the Arcadian Court became a popular event venue in Toronto. Among the first-ever car shows was held at the Arcadian Court in 1929, requiring cars to be craned into the eighth floor windows of the Arcadian Court. Also in its opening year, the venue hosted the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s first-ever radio broadcast. Auction house Sotheby’s held its first international auction in the space in 1967.

    Open for lunch and dinner, the Arcadian Court became famous for one particular dish: its chicken pot pie. Included on the menu for decades, the dish became synonymous with the dining room. The Arcadian Court remained open even after the Simpson’s department store was acquired by Hudson’s Bay Company in the late 1970s. The restaurant was slowly converted into a private events space and was renovated and reopened in May 2012 as a venue under the management of Oliver & Bonacini Events.

    LISTEN to an episode of “The Feast” podcast for more information on the chicken pot pie of the Arcadian Court.


    Carol Anderson and Katharine Mallinson. Lunch with Lady Eaton: Inside the Dining Rooms of a Nation. Toronto: ECW Press, 2004.

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