Elgin Winter Garden Theatre | Elevator Profile

The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres are a pair of stacked theatres; the seven storey Winter Garden sites above the Elgin Theatre below. The building was designed by architect Thomas W. Lamb who also designed the Ed Mirvish theatre (Canon Theatre) nearby.  The building was completed in 1913 and featured three electric motor elevators (two upon opening with a third added a few years later). 

"Last surviving Edwardian stacked theatres in the world". 


  • One of the elevators is believed to be haunted, and has been often seen to travel by itself to the Winter Garden level.

  • National Historic Site 1992

  • 7 Storey

  • Otis - Fensom

  • 3 Elevators



1913 – December 15: Loew's Yonge Street Theatre opens as the flagship for Loew's chain of Canadian vaudeville theatres. Built by Marcus Loew and designed by architect Thomas Lamb

1914 – February 16: the Loew's roof garden theatre, the Winter Garden, opens

1928 – May: Due to the decline of vaudeville's popularity and the advent of talking pictures, the Winter Garden is closed to the public; the lower auditorium remains open and is wired for sound

1930 – October 3: Loew drops vaudeville in favour of an all-movie program in the Yonge Street Theatre

1978 – March 17: The Yonge Street Theatre is re-named the Elgin

1981 – December 1: The Ontario Heritage Trust purchases the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres to restore them for use as a performing arts complex. What is believed to be the world's largest collection of vaudeville scenery is purchased along with the building – pieces from the collection are displayed in the cascading lobbies

1982 – June: The Winter Garden Theatre is declared a National Historic Site; designation of the Elgin follows shortly thereafter

1984 – October: Retrofit of the Elgin Theatre and restoration of the colonnaded lobby takes place

1985 – March 14: The celebrated production of "Cats" opens in the Elgin Theatre for a two-year run

1987 – May: Full restoration begins

1989 – December 15: After almost three years of restoration, the grand reopening of the historic Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres takes place – exactly 76 years after the original opening of the Loew's Yonge Street Theatre

1990 – Movies return to the Elgin Theatre with the arrival of the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF)

1995 – A new marquee – reminiscent of the 1913 original – is installed with 1,240 light bulbs

2011 – Work is undertaken to restore the terracotta façade and three arched windows overlooking Yonge Street

2013-14 – The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre celebrates its 100th anniversary

SOURCE: http://www.heritagetrust.on.ca/en/index.php/ewg/ewg-home/history/timeline