TLTV Ep 94 – Eaton Hall
The Eaton family, upscale owners of the T. Eaton Company department store chain, originally owned what was a 700 acre farm in King City, Ontario — about a 30 minute drive from Toronto. The remodelled farmhouse on the property served the family for weekend barbecues and picnics, but Lady Eaton wanted a large country home and Eaton Hall was built by 1938, designed like a French chateau using the brownish-grey stones from the nearby Humber River.
It is modelled after a Norman French chateau with rounded turrets and grand halls, and though it originally started as a summer residence and working farm it became a focal point for steeplechase days, hunter trials and a place for the Toronto and North York Hunt Club meets. During the Second World War Eaton Hall served first as a refuge for British children who had been sent to Canada to escape the London bombings and later the Royal Canadian Navy was given use of the house and grounds as a burn convalescent hospital and rehabilitation centre. Lady Eaton donated the funds for all the medications and staff. At war’s end, Eaton Hall returned to its role as a private residence and working farm. By 1971 it was purchased and used by one of Canada’s outstanding community colleges, Seneca College. By the summer of 1991 it became a more public hotel and conference centre and is a popular destination for corporate meetings.
Eaton Hall is likely now the second largest castle/chateau in The GTA. Any guesses on what the #1 castle is? You’ll see it in a future episode of TLTV. Stay tuned!