“The Old Eaton’s Penny Bank” Comes to Carleton Place

“The Old Eaton’s Penny Bank” Comes to Carleton Place

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December 2 1949-Montreal Gazette

Janice Martin from Wisteria--When I was a girl, growing up in Montreal, Eaton’s had “The Penny Bank Shop” at Christmas time so children could go and shop for their family without them seeing what they bought. It was a small shop within the store just for children. I know it dates me, but I remember it vividly.

Back in the days before shopping malls flooded the land and when the Bay was still Morgan’s, “going to Eaton’s” meant taking a trip to downtown Montreal. Eaton’s was the Blue Cake counter, the Penny Bank shop, and most of all, Eaton’s was Santa.


It may be hard for anyone younger than 35 to understand what it was like when the arrival of the Eaton’s catalogue came to the door. The Christmas Wish Catalogue and the Santa Claus parade signalled the coming of Christmas for all of us. Every child that I knew understood there was only one real Santa – and that man of Christmas was at Eaton’s.

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My Mother brought me to the Santa Claus parade a few times, and all I can remember at this very moment was the cold, and then bright lights, and crowds inside Eaton’s as we all pushed our way to go meet Santa. I can still see the frosted over windows as we went up the escalator with my stomach churning from a cold drink that we had at the Honey Dew Restaurant.


December 2 1949-Montreal Gazette


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I think I remember Santa’s sidekick Punkinhead– but in my mind he was a strange creature. I never remember the Toyville Express train, which wound around the fourth floor as I can still see as clear as day my mother shaking her head when I “lost” the Honey Dew drink. The orange stain on my red velvet dress still rings prominently with me today.


This next Saturday, December 2nd,  Janice Martin will attempt to re-create the same idea at Wisteria. From 10-3, children between the ages of 5 and 12 will be able to purchase presents for their family members for $5 and $10 tax included. Their purchases will be wrapped for them also.

(613) 253-8097

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Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)




People of Lanark County– Sharon from The Christmas Hut

The Eaton’s Sewing Girls

Memories of Eaton’s

Memories of Woolworths and Chicken in a Van




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About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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