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 theatre, which is a combination of two previously separated theatres: 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 theatre was remodeled in the late-1920’s for sound movies.

The Winter Garden Theater opened on February 16, 1914 with 1,422 seats. It was equipped with a Warren 3 manual 12 ranks theatre pipe organ which was opened by organist Horace Lapp. It was closed in 1928, when it became part of the Elgin Theatre.

The theatres were restored and reopened on Dec 15, 1989, 76 years to the day of their original opening on Dec. 15, 1913. One thearer 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 theatre 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.

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.

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.

robboehm
robboehm on December 2, 2020 at 9:25 am

When I was there they were preparing for an event in the Winter Garden. They had portable projectors since, apparently, the Winter Garden had never been outfitted for films.

MarkNYLA
MarkNYLA on December 2, 2020 at 6:02 pm

Both the Elgin and Winter Garden have projectors installed by Christie every September for the Toronto Film Festival. It’s a fairly major venue for the TIFF.

robboehm
robboehm on December 2, 2020 at 6:58 pm

MarkNYLA no full time projectors in either theatre? The Elgin was once a movie theatre.

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