Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre - Historic Places Days

Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre

Toronto, Ontario
Theatre/Dance Hall
189 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, Canada
Get directions

Original architect: Thomas Lamb; restoration architect: Mandel Sprachman; restoration consultant: David Hannivan.

The architectural style of the building provided the important link between the nickelodeon, vaudeville and movie palace eras; the building exemplified the old and new of these changing times and contained features unprecedented in the traditional vaudeville theatres of Toronto

Special features include: the exterior box office, a Corinthian columned lobby, the narrow main lobby façade and the lobby corridor to the auditorium, and the single balconies supported by enormous cantilever steel trusses

65,000 square feet of new space was added, including: cascading lobbies, an eight-storey backstage addition containing dressing rooms, loading docks, rehearsal studios and other facilities for contemporary theatre use. A crossover bridge creating access to escalators for the new lounges and washrooms on each level

In the Elgin, opera boxes and plaster details were re-created where they had been damaged or removed over the years; details over the proscenium and balcony facia were sculpted, cast and replaced.

Wafer-thin aluminum leaf were used in the seven-step process of re-gilding the plaster details in the Elgin; “scagliola,” the process of marble veining, was used in the lobby and grand staircase, with over 10,000 square feet of surface being re-created or conserved.

Hundreds of pounds of bread dough was used to clean 20,000 square feet of hand-painted walls in the Winter Garden Theatre.


  • Guided Tour
  • National Historic Site
  • Washrooms
  • Wheelchair Access


189 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, Canada
Get directions

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