Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre

189 Yonge Street,
Toronto, ON M5B 1M4

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Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre

The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Center is a fully-restored double decker theater, which is a combination of two previously separated theaters: the Elgin Theatre and the Winter Garden Theatre.

The Elgin Theatre opened on December 15, 1913 as a Loew’s theater and was used for vaudeville. The theater was remodeled in the late-1920’s for sound movies.

The Winter Garden Theater opened with 1,422 seats, on February 16 1914 and closed in 1928, when it became part of the Elgin Theatre.

The theaters were restored and reopened on Dec 15, 1989, 76 years to the day of their original opening on Dec. 15, 1913. One theater has 1,563 seats, while the other has 981.

Guided tours are held Thursday
at 5 pm, and Saturday at 11 am. Special tours can be arranged and booked through the theater at 416-314-2871 or 416-597-0956

Contributed by Jason R, Bryan Arseneau

Recent comments (view all 44 comments)

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 23, 2019 at 7:31 am

Full history with photos in below two links.

https://tayloronhistory.com/2013/10/22/torontos-old-movie-housesloews-downtown-the-elgin/

https://tayloronhistory.com/2012/05/31/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-elgin-winter-garden-theatres/

robboehm
robboehm on April 23, 2019 at 11:31 am

David thank you for all the histories you have given us access to. In the future would it be possible for you to enter them in such a manner that we can just click on the addresses as a direct link rather than the necessity of coding each one ourselves?

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 23, 2019 at 11:41 am

Unfortunately I am not computer savvy enough to do that. I copy & paste them, and you should be able to copy, right click & open them up in a new window. I found this recent batch of previously unlisted Toronto theatres on the Vintage Toronto Facebook page. I then searched the name of each one with the words “Theatre Toronto Taylor History” to bring up those specific links.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on January 27, 2020 at 7:06 am

Current article with photos.

https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/2020/01/26/the-winter-garden-theatre-was-abandoned-for-decades-a-behind-the-scenes-look-at-how-torontos-secret-garden-came-to-bloom-again.html?fbclid=IwAR0kbLeSLuNfCnq5lWAR3dnTxSKzppoayMn3VBrI47xg1XZ95ZE9R8Wx9XI

robboehm
robboehm on January 27, 2020 at 11:21 am

If you’re ever in Toronto the free tour is a must for all theatre lovers.

hdtv267
hdtv267 on April 1, 2020 at 12:12 pm

I took the tour in March of 2020, and there was a fee of $12 CDN. Which was great and went to support the fund, ALOT of inside information on the complex as well as access unavailable if you just attended a performance. Great stories and a few surprises. At the conclusion of the tour the gift counter was open – I bought a great book on the history, which had alot of great photos.

robboehm
robboehm on April 1, 2020 at 12:23 pm

If you read the book carefully you note that some of the original design of the entrance was only realized after the restoration. I wonder when they started charging for the tour.

hdtv267
hdtv267 on April 3, 2020 at 10:06 am

I guess that would depend on when you had taken the tour. The tour guide pointed out that about the original design at the start of the tour, before being taken up in the elevators. When I started planning my trip back in December of 2019, I noticed that they were charging. I learned about the tour when I booked my tickets for Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo, which I was able to see in the Winter Garden ( I had been in the Elgin in the past)

robboehm
robboehm on April 3, 2020 at 11:12 am

I had taken the tour quite a number of years ago when I was visiting friends. I noticed the sign in front of the theatre announcing the tour that day and hung around for it. Don’t remember what the book cost, but that’s probably different too.

hdtv267
hdtv267 on April 4, 2020 at 12:30 pm

yeah, it’s amazing how things change over time. Prices go up for books, the information & access given on tours changes, once free tours are now charging to help support the renovation & upkeep of a grand old venue(s) – but some things though remain the same. In those occasions where I will be posting with information, I try to be sure it’s accurate and up- to-date and relevant to that theatre specifically.

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