Built in 1913 for vaudeville, the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre houses two large theatres, stacked one above the other. Unique for the time, fewer than a dozen “double-decker” theatres were built worldwide and this was the only one ever built in Canada. The elegant Elgin is the larger of the two theatres with 1561 seats, upstairs the whimsical Winter Garden seats 992. Today the landmark theatre complex on Yonge Street hosts a variety of live performances including concerts, musicals and stand-up comics. It is home to Ross Petty’s annual Holiday Family Musicals and Opera Atelier’s baroque operas performed in April and October. It is also a venue every September for TIFF, with galas and film premiers in both theatres.
Guided tours of this National Historic Site and the last operating double-decker theatre in the world, recount the history and restoration of the complex.
Visit the original and new lobbies, the elegant Elgin Theatre, the unique and whimsical Winter Garden Theatre and samples from the world’s largest collection of vaudeville scenery.
As well, a backstage exhibit housing the Winter Garden’s original Simplex Silent Film Projector and a dressing room containing artifacts from the time period are on view.
Tours happen every Thursday at 5 p.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m. no reservation required, check website for cancelations.