The iconic ninth-floor restaurant of the Montreal Eaton’s Centre will reopen to the public by the end of the year.
The unique and exceptional space has been closed off since 1999 and was classified as a heritage landmark in August 2000.
Eaton’s opened its first store in Canada on Ste-Catherine Street in 1927. The 600-seat restaurant followed suit in 1931.
“The art deco of the ninth floor is quite unique, it’s an outstanding piece and it’s great that it once again will be alive,” said Heritage Montreal spokesperson Dinu Bumbaru.
French architect Jacques Carlu was inspired by naval forms, which gave the restaurant its ocean-liner style, known as “streamline moderne.”
“It was shaped after some of the great ocean liners of the Compagnie Trans-Atlantique,” Bumbaru said.
“They were doing the journey of Europe and North America. It’s remarkable,” he added.
The project will be carried out in collaboration with EVOQ Architecture, a firm specializing in heritage conservation.
“We wanted to make sure that what’s going to happen is right for the place and that Montreal will find the ninth floor in its new life but really recognize it,” head architect Georges Drolet said.
Ivanhoe Cambridge, the company that owns the building, has been working closely with Heritage Montreal for more than two decades.
“We want to make sure that the access will be really good for everyone,” said Ivanhoe Cambridge Quebec vice-president Annik Desmarteau. “There are many offers, that’s why we are looking at many opportunities and working Heritage Montreal,” she added.
EVOQ Architecture said the company is committed to making sure the space is preserved.
“We are also working around that for all the new requirements of codes, safety and comfort that we need to integrate into the project,” Drolet said.
According to both EVOQ and Ivanhoe Cambridge, the space was always used as a restaurant and venue and it’s expected to remain that way.
“You can expect restaurant, events, exhibition, it’s a flexible space,” Desmarteau said.
The details are currently under wraps but construction is already underway. The site is expected to open by the end of the year.