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“Bygone gem in the heart of the city”

The Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Centre
Ranked #60 of 505 things to do in Toronto
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Bygone gem in the heart of the city”
Reviewed October 13, 2013

The Elgin & Wintergarden Theatre celebrates 100 years this year. Although the Wintergarden has not been in continuous operation through all these years, thanks to the help of a myriad of volunteers it has been brought back in all its glory. Tours are reasonably priced, sometimes even free. If you go, there are many, sometimes very narrow, stairs but the climbs are worth the effort. The Elgin is a gilded beauty, and many of the original stage backdrops are on display. Wintergarden is a smaller and more intimate space also period restored right down to the leaves individually placed on the ceiling amid the lantern lights. For those interested in the more technical side of theatrics there are lighting rigs and other mechanics used in getting the show to the stage. You can even see one of the first telephones in Toronto! We are lucky to have many beautiful theatres in the city, but these are two of the best.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank ladyjenn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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156 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
138 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Gilded small theater that's the world's only double decker”
Reviewed October 10, 2013

This is the world's only operating double decker theater. At the ground floor, it is Elgin, and going up, there's Winter Garden. 2 complete different style theater - with Elgin in gilded glamour, and Winter Garden nature themed (ceiling has hanging leaves). Both theater has box seats (at sides), I only tried the Elgin ones, highly recommend. (photos showing view from Box H, Box G is the first one on the right)

In all, a unique theatre that you should definitely go!

Visited October 2013
1 Thank Worldtraveller2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
93 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“Theatre is as interesting as what's happening on stage”
Reviewed September 30, 2013

What a delight the Elgin theatre is. So many decorative features and from what I’ve read, it’s a an authentic restoration. The formal period features – all gold and embellished – are beautiful. I would love to have taken a tour but it wasn’t to be, on this trip.

I was lucky enough to see a few movies in this theatre during TIFF. At different times we sat in the orchestra and mezzanine seats and both had great views of the screen (in this case or stage for a live show.) The only comment I would make about choosing seats would be to avoid the far right/left balcony seats for a movie screening.

Be sure to look up!

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Oz4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, NC
Level Contributor
36 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Surprise highlight of trip!”
Reviewed July 25, 2013

On vacation in Toronto last week, took my theatre-nut daughter on a volunteer-led tour of these theatres, at 5pm on a Thursday. Aside from the fact that the two guides were fantastic, the theatres themselves were mind-blowing in different ways. I'm not a huge theatre guy, just a casual fan, but the Winter Garden is the most (pleasantly) unusual and unexpected theatre experience I've had. Let's just say that you have to see it in person to believe it. Highly recommend visiting; the tour is offered only a couple days each week, and covers both theatres in roughly two hours. Hats off to the two women (forgot the names) who made the 5pm tour on July 18 a great experience.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank cantfindmyglasses
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
72 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Thank God for some History”
Reviewed July 16, 2013

In the day and age of Glasstowers,Highrise-Condos ect. it is wonderfull to meet some histotical charm and gem.Love to visit the Elgin.Have sat in different seats and stage is nicely visible.I am hearing-imp.and find the acoustic very acceptable for my situation.I love the smaller scale of the Theatre and of course the beautiful décor.Staff [or are they Volunteers?]are always helpful and friendly.This year I enjoyed "Die Zauberfloete"and "The Ciacomo Variations".Waiting to see what's next.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank bebetanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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