Toronto theater history

posted by Michael Zoldessy on March 31, 2008 at 7:40 am

TORONTO, CANADA — This piece in The Bulletin discusses some local theater history.

Toronto was considered hitting the big time on the traveling vaudeville circuit and with over 50 theatres from the opulent 3,000 seat Shea’s Hippodrome (now the site of New City Hall) to the small 50 seat Moore’s Musee Theater (once stood near the corner of Adelaide and Yonge) to prove it.

However what we needed now was a first-class Vaudeville house to rival anything New York City had; a theatre that would be beautiful in design, a theatre that could attract an up-market crowd, a theatre that offered only one top-billed show a night and thus making going to see a Vaudeville show an event! On Monday Feb. 16, 1914 Toronto got that upscale Vaudeville house with the astounding Winter Garden theatre. It loomed seven stories above Loew’s Yonge Street Theatre (now known as the Elgin), which opened the previous year on Yonge Street just north of Queen.

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