Explore the newly restored art deco 9th floor of Montreal Eaton Centre – a must-see for architecture enthusiasts!

A first look at the restored art deco 9th floor of the Montreal Eaton Centre

“A Time Capsule from 1931: The Rebirth of Montreal Eaton Centre’s Legendary Ninth Floor Restaurant”

Amidst the hustle and bustle of Montreal’s Eaton Centre, a hidden gem frozen in time is being brought back to life. The ninth floor, once home to the iconic Île-de-France restaurant, is undergoing a stunning restoration to transport visitors back to the glamour and sophistication of 1931. As the wooden floors, marble columns, and silver-plated wallpaper are meticulously brought back to their original glory, this historic space is set to reopen its doors to the public after 25 years of closure.

Reliving the Glory Days

In the midst of economic turmoil in the 1930s, the Île-de-France restaurant was a beacon of elegance and escape for Montrealers from all walks of life. From its exquisite interior inspired by the luxury of transatlantic oceanliners to its delectable yet affordable cuisine, the restaurant provided a sanctuary where patrons could leave their worries behind and indulge in a world of refinement. Lady Flora Eaton’s vision to bring a taste of modernity and luxury to Montrealers through this space was truly ahead of its time.

A Labor of Love

Led by architect Georges Drolet and his team at EVOQ, the restoration of the ninth floor has been a meticulous process aimed at preserving every aspect of its original design. From the recreated herringbone wood floors to the revival of the art deco frescos painted by Jacques Carlu’s wife, every detail has been lovingly restored to its former splendor. The careful attention to preserving the heritage of the space showcases a deep respect for the history and significance of the Île-de-France restaurant.

Preserving the Past for the Future

As the ninth floor prepares to reopen, the spirit of the original Île-de-France restaurant will once again come alive. With a cocktail bar and smaller restaurant occupying the space next to the dining hall, visitors will have the opportunity to experience the elegance and charm of this historic landmark. The blend of tradition and modernity in the restoration process, as recognized by heritage advocate France Vanlaethem, highlights the importance of preserving these exceptional works of architectural history for future generations.

A Palimpsest of Time

In a city rich with layers of history and culture, spaces like the ninth floor of the Eaton Centre serve as a palimpsest of time periods, each contributing to the tapestry of Montreal’s identity. As we reopen the doors to this storied restaurant, we are not simply reviving the past but embracing a living connection to our heritage. The reopening of the Île-de-France restaurant marks a celebration of the city’s history and a commitment to preserving its architectural treasures for years to come.

As we step back in time to the elegance of 1931, the revitalization of the ninth floor at Montreal Eaton Centre serves as a reminder of the timeless allure of a bygone era. It is a testament to the power of preservation and restoration in honoring our heritage and enriching our cultural landscape. Let us raise a glass to the rebirth of this legendary space, where the echoes of the past mingle with the possibilities of the future.”



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