Elgin and Wintergarden Theatre Centre

The beautiful Elgin and Wintergarden Theatres are the only double-decker theatre still operating in the world

Interior of Winter Garden Theatre
Interior of Winter Garden Theatre cc licensed photo by Canon in 2D

Elgin Theatre and the Wintergarden Theatre are one of the world's most elegant and ornate theatre complexes. They are a National Historic Site and are the only remaining double-decker theatre complex still operating in the world.

The double theatre was built in 1913 as the flagship of the Marcus Loew chain of theatres. At that time the theatres hosted plays and vaudeville productions. In 1928 the upper theatre was closed for several decades and the lower theatre eventually became a cinema. The theatres were sold to Famous Players in 1969. In 1981 the theatres were acquired by the Ontario Heritage Foundation at which time and plans for a complete restoration began to take shape. The theatres were completely, painstakingly and beautifully restored between 1987 and 1989.

The upper level Wintergarden Theatre boasts a unique design in which the ceiling is blanketed with 5000 hanging beech tree branches interspersed with Chinese lanterns. The effect is really quite unusual.

The theatres are now at the centre of Toronto's theatre scene and they serve premier venue to the Toronto International Film Festival. For a nominal fee the theatres offer a public tour every Thursday at 5 pm and Saturday at 11 am. For additional information about the Elgin and Wintergarden Theatre and upcoming concerts and events see their official website above.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Yes. Puchase Tickets

Address: 189 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5B 1M4, Canada

Phone: (416) 314-2901

Official Website: Elgin and Wintergarden Theatre Centre

Directions

TTC Subway Line Nearest Station Walking Time
Yonge-University-Spadina Queen Station1 Minute

How to get to Elgin and Wintergarden Theatre Centre by TTC Subway

No buses needed. From Queen Station walk ½ block north on Yonge Street.

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Reviews

Rated 4.6 out of 5Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre Star Rating

5 Star Rating Super cool venue! Saw a JFL comedy show here. Great atmosphere, beautiful building, friendly staff. Would love to come back.

Brendan Daw - 6 days ago

5 Star Rating Beautiful theatre with generally good sightlines and audio. I saw two one act operas there on November 3, 2018 and sat for two hours without discomfort. The decor of the theatre is from another time when ornament and splendor meant something. Quite impressive when compared to the newer theaters. Only complaint: Small bathrooms in the basement not adequate for such a place and urinals without dividers.

JC Smith - 12 days ago

5 Star Rating We visited the theater several times for JFL42 and absolutely loved the venue! The staff was extremely friendly and helpful (with a couple of exceptions). The theatre has a lot of character and it really feels like you're not indoors. The seats are fairly comfortable as well.

Diana Nicorescu - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating The Elgin is an iconic institution located in downtown Toronto. It hosts various events from live theatre, music, to film. Visited it to see a TIFF flick and had a great time. Seats are spacious, plenty of leg room. There is a smell of fresh hipster musk and nostalgia upon entering the main theatre. The decor is classic North American urban 20th century grand theatre, similar to the greats in Detroit. Had a great experience and looking forward to going again.

James Borland - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating Beautiful Theatre! Old world charm. Seats have some leg room! Nice bolsters for the kids. Pleasant ushers. Seating numbering system could be a bit better (like on the upper part of the back of the seat - location on arm lends it to being confusing (which side/seat does it pertain to?). Even the usher came back over to ensure he'd put us in the right seats.

Susan Johnston - 3 months ago

Video


Touring the inside of the Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre

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