Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Toronto Winter Garden Theatre

The historic Edwardian theatre sits atop the Elgin Theatre on Yonge Street, just across from the Eaton Centre, decorated to seem like you are sitting in a forest. The upper portion of the double-decker theatre was constructed in 1913 and shut down in 1928, closed down due to the passing of the vaudeville era until it was purchased by the Ontario Heritage Trust in 1981. In 1984 they began the restoration of the theatres which reopened in 1989.
The journey up to the theatre starts with the impressive grand staircase
Leaves and lanterns hang from the Winter Garden ceiling

From the Heritage Trust website; "The two theatres were of distinctly different personality: the Elgin was all gold leaf and rich fabrics, a formal theatre of plaster cherubs and ornate opera boxes. The Winter Garden was a botanical fantasy, its walls hand-painted to resemble a garden, its ceiling a mass of real beech boughs and twinkling lanterns. The theatres played host to such greats as George Burns and Gracie Allen, Sophie Tucker, Milton Berle and Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy."
Looking back along the entrance hallway towards the doors

Even the mezzanine (balcony) has a forest

I had a chance to attend a corporate event and took the opportunity to snap some photos of the unique building. You can also tour the building on Monday and Saturdays (check their website for more info). See more photos of the theatre after the jump.

Winter Garden orchestra seating
Private balcony area

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