Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre

189 Yonge Street,
Toronto, ON M5B 1M4

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Related Websites

Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Loew's Inc.

Architects: Thomas White Lamb

Functions: Performing Arts

Styles: Beaux-Arts, French Renaissance

Previous Names: Loew's Yonge Street Theatre, Elgin Theatre, Loew's Winter Garden Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 416.314.2901

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News About This Theater

Visa screening room

The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre is a fully-restored double decker theatre, which is a combination of two previously separated theatres: the 2,149-seat Elgin Theatre and the 1,410-seat Winter Garden Theatre.

The Elgin Theatre opened on December 15, 1913 as Loew’s Yong Street Theatre and was used for vaudeville and movies. The interior decoration in a Beaux Arts/French Renaissance style were by theatre interior decorator Harold Rambusch. In 1918 it was equipped with a Canadian manufactured Warren 2 manual 10 ranks organ. On May 4, in the basement under the stage. 1928 the organ was destroyed by a fire which had started in an overheated blower. It was replaced by a Wurlitzer 3 manual 13 ranks organ in June 1928. The theatre was remodeled in April 1929 for sound movies.

The Winter Garden Theater opened on February 16, 1914 with vaudeville and movies. In 1919 it was equipped with a Canadian manufactured Warren 3 manual 12 ranks theatre pipe organ which was opened by organist Horace Lapp. It was closed on June 16, 1928 and was mothballed.

In 1958 the Wurlitzer organ in the Elgin Theatre was removed from the building to a barn in Picton, ON. The theatres were restored and reopened on December 15, 1989, 76 years to the day of their original opening on December 15, 1913. One theatre has 1,563 seats, while the other has 981.

Guided tours are held on Monday evenings for details: 416-314-2874

Contributed by Jason R, Bryan Arseneau

Recent comments (view all 44 comments)

DavidZornig on April 23, 2019 at 7:31 am

Full history with photos in below two links.



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 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 on January 27, 2020 at 7:06 am

Current article with photos.


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 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 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 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 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 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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