Elgin & Winter Garden | Dark History & Ghost Stories

The Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre on Yonge Street in Toronto
The Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre on Yonge Street in Toronto

Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Address – – Toronto, Ontario | 189 Yonge Street – MAP

Ghost Walks of Toronto - Animated banner
GHOST WALKS OF TORONTO - - CLICK TO BOOK!

VIDEO :: Ghost Articles Read w/Daniel

AUDIO :: Download MP3 of Ghost Articles Read w/Daniel (right-click and “save target as…”)

History of the World’s Only Double-Decker Theatre

Called the Elgin & Winter Garden.  That’s 2 theatres in one “double-decker” design.

Started as a Vaudeville stage in the early-1900’s.  Vaudeville was a theatrical event, a variety of shows mixed into one evening with many different talents and characters.

ADVERTISEMENT




The Legends of Elgin

This included many legends and over those years the theatre hosted some of the greats.  Including…

The End

Then the moving picture was invented.  Theatre became cinema and by the 1920’s Vaudeville was dead.

In 1928 the Winter Garden Theatre was sealed up.  Not to be opened again for over 60 years.

The neighbourhood faded, turning into an unofficial red-light district.  Then, like in New York City, a reemergence.  The area became known as Yonge-Dundas.  Our version of Times Square.

Historic Photo - The Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre on Yonge Street in Toronto
Historic Photo – The Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre on Yonge Street in Toronto

ADVERTISEMENT



In 1981 the Ontario Heritage Trust purchased the theatre.  The Elgin converted for live shows and the Winter Garden opened for the first time in over 60 years.

Interesting Fact :: This building now stands as the only functional double-decker theatre in the entire world.

Samuel on the Ouija

Did you know renovations stir up ghosts?  A disturbance in the energy of a building so to speak.

4 volunteers helping with the 1980’s renovations took advantage of this energy at night.  They brought a Ouija Board into the Elgin Theatre.

Using the Ouija Board, just like what happened in the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre (Toronto)
Using the Ouija Board, just like what happened in the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre (Toronto)

ADVERTISEMENT



Normally the board never worked for them but tonight it was electric.  They touched the planchette and it took off.  Sliding around, answering question after question…

“What is your name?”  … S-A-M-U-E-L

“When did you die?” … 1-9-1-8

“How did you die?”  … There was a long pause before it slowly spelled, F-E-L-L  I-N-T-O  T-H-E  O-R-C-H-E-S-T-R-A  P-I-T

The group tried not to laugh.  In that moment too insensitive.  Then simply asking, “Are there other ghosts in the Elgin?”

Quickly Samuel spelled … Y-E-S.  T-H-E-R-E  A-R-E  M-A-N-Y

The group asked, “Can we talk to them?”  And the planchette went quickly to “No”, and the board stopped.

They asked more questions but the planchette refused to move.  Samuel was gone.

The Lost Seat

Also during the renovations, the Winter Garden was opened after 60 years of nothing.  You can only imagine what they found.

Dust, damage, wear and tear.  But worst of all the seats were destroyed by time.

The contractors started looking for deals.  Then they found it at the Biograph Theater in Chicago, USA.  They were selling old seats.

Purchased and shipped to Toronto.  Unpacked and the workers noticed one seat was a different colour.  All seats were red and this one was dark green.  A mystery soon forgotten.

Inside the Winter Garden Theatre, Toronto
Inside the Winter Garden Theatre, Toronto

All were beautifully reupholstered with green felt and wood trim.  Then installed in the Winter Garden.  And that’s when they find out why the one seat was different.

Hint… it has to do with an infamous bank robber’s end.

Hear the entire story on the Ghost Walks of Toronto...

Ghost Walks of Toronto - Animated banner
GHOST WALKS OF TORONTO - - CLICK TO BOOK!