Letter: The Eatons church that never was

Dear Mr Bell,

I considerably enjoyed your article on Eatons and the Eaton family, mostly because every member of my (originally) Northern Irish extended family–including myself one summer when I was a student–worked there at one time or another, beginning in 1913.

Re Timothy Eaton church, there was a persistent rumour that with their enormous wealth the Eatons had decided that Methodism was too low-brow a religion for their status and so were going to convert to Anglicanism. The conversion was to be marked by building a church–there was no imposing uptown Anglican church–to be called St Timothy’s. The Church of England in Canada declined the condition placed on the gift and the conversion never took place. The fact that an imposing Methodist Church–Deer Park United–was being built at the same time just 2-3 blocks away from the Eaton site was apparently no obstacle to the family’s ambitions.

Best regards,

John McClelland

P.S. There was a third Eaton store that nobody mentions–Eatons Annex on the NW corner of James and Albert. It was a discount store, visibly downscale, that one reached via a tunnel from the basement of the main store.