Located on Yonge St. just north of Queen you find the Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre. It was designed by famous New York Architect Thomas W. Lamb in 1913 as the Canadian flagship for Marcus Leow’s vaudeville houses. It is the only double decker theatre still operating in the world. The street entrance actually seems small compared to what lies within.
Once in the entrance hall though you get overwhelmed with the scale and majesty of this building.The building itself was rescued in 1981 by the Ontario Heritage Trust and painstakingly refurbished to it’s original glory. I took the elevator (complete with operator) up to the Winter Garden first. Seven stories above the Elgin.
It was originally designed this way so that Torontonians, in the middle of winter, could come here and get the feeling that they were outside in a beautiful rooftop garden. All of these wonderful branches and leaves were woven into the ceiling and all the posts look like tree trunks. The entire theatre was hand painted as well.
As I left I noticed even the exits are grand, and on my way out I met a friendly reminder of what this place looked like back in the day.