The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre is the last operating, fully restored Edwardian double-decker theatre in the world!
Both theatres were originally built as the centrepiece of Marcus Loew's theatre chain in 1913. The building was designed by architect Thomas W. Lamb, who also built The Canon Theatre in Toronto, Madison Square Gardens in NYC, and even Hamilton's own Capitol Theatre (demolished in 1973).
The ornate lower theatre, then named Loew's Yonge Street Theatre, was home to plays and vaudeville productions that attracted some of the world's top talent. The upper level Winter Garden, which is decorated to resemble a forest, also housed vaudeville productions.
A woman dressed in pure white has been seen standing, and sometimes floating, slightly above the steps of the first level grand staircase. Witnesses knew right away that the woman wasn’t of the living, because they could see right through her. On one occasion, the woman in white was seen by a lady working the gift shop. She saw the spirit standing calmly and quietly in her peripherals. The lady yelled to a volunteer, “She’s behind me!” The volunteer saw nobody standing there.
The House Manager was called into the theatre one morning at 4:30am to unlock for a film shoot. The security guard greeted her as she walked through the stage doors. She went about unlocking the theatre and was on the balcony of the Elgin when she heard a woman’s voice right behind her say her name. The manager quickly turned to find nobody behind her. She ran to the edge of the balcony and found the theatre dark and empty as it was a moment ago. An usher also experienced the same thing, when hearing a disembodied woman’s voice call his name when alone in the Elgin Theatre.
Other ghosts include: A woman in an early 1900’s costume has been seen “floating” out of the coat room. The original elevators will mysteriously stop at Level 3 when the only way to stop it is to press the button in a very empty lounge. A man in a brown Edwardian suit has been in sitting in the orchestra stalls. The Lavender lady still walks the hallways and has been seen by the elevators. Seats in the Elgin Theatre have flipped up and down on their own. And many more ghosts and ghost stories make up this one-of-a-kind theatre!