Frequently Asked Questions for Toronto Centre Ghost Walks
- How long is the Ghost Walk?
Tour is about 90 minutes long
- Do we go into any of the buildings?
This tour is outdoors unless otherwise stated. The locations featured are closed at night or unable to accommodate tour groups. The Mackenzie House is open as a museum during the day. Massey Hall, The Ed Mirvish and Elgin & Winter Garden Theatres are open for events. For indoor Ghost Walks near Toronto, see Hamilton's Scottish Rite of Freemasonry
- Why is it free?
It's part of our process with every new Ghost Walk. Toronto is the first new tour since 2008.
Toronto's history is the history of this province
Toronto became the capital of Upper Canada in 1793. John Graves-Simcoe called the town "York". Some called Toronto "Muddy York" because of its lack of sewers and storm drains on unpaved streets. Others "Little York" out of embarrassment for its size compared to functioning cities like New York or England's York. Little did they know what would grow out of that muddy little town.
The rebel of Toronto became its first mayor. William Lyon Mackenzie organized the Rebellion of 1837, trying to overthrow the Upper Canada government. He failed and fled. He eventually returned, to politics and eventually his home on Bond Street. He died there but might have never left (ghost stories on our Ghost Walks of Toronto Centre).
Toronto grew quickly through the 1800's, starting with the success of it's meat packing plants. This earned the nickname "Hogtown".
The first gas street lamps were put up in 1841. Just in time for a visit from author Charles Dickens, who said "Toronto's full of life, motion, business and improvement. The streets are well-paved with lighted with gas."
In 1858 the Grand Trunk Railway built Toronto's first Union Station, giving access to the city for new immigrants and commerce. The current Union Station was built in 1873 also by the GTR.
The Old City Hall built in 1899 at an amazing $2.5 million. The city justified its creation because the building would serve as an impressive City Hall and main Courthouse. Remains a courthouse to this day and its ghosts are featured on our Ghost Walks of Toronto Centre.
Toronto became the capital of Ontario in 1867. The Legislative Building at Queen's Park would be built in 1893 on ground owned by the University of Toronto. They would lease the land to the City of Toronto for $1 per year on a 999-year lease. The haunting stories of Queen's Park are featured on our Ghost Walks of Toronto North
Massey Hall is Canada's oldest concert hall. Opened in 1894, was home to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra until 1982. Was built by wealthy industrialist Hart Massey of the locally famous family. Named in honour of his son Charles A Massey who died of Typhoid Fever. Massey Hall stopped being the city's main concert venue with the opening of Roy Thomson Hall in 1982. The ghost stories of Massey Hall featured on our Ghost Walks of Toronto Centre
The University of Toronto started as King's College in 1827 with a Greek style building that used to stand where Queen's Park is today. University College is oldest (and most impressive) existing building. Construction started in 1856 and was finished 3 years later when Toronto had only 30,000 people and farm land around this centre of higher learning. Famous graduates include...
- PM William Lyon Mackenzie King
- Director David Cronenberg
- SNL Producer Lorne Michaels
- Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient
- ...and David Letterman's bandleader Paul Shaffer!
The Hart House Theatre is Canada's oldest "little theatre". Opened in 1919 by the locally famous Massey's led by Hart. Would launch the passions of many Canadian talents, including Donald Sutherland, William B. Davis, SNL's Lorne Michaels and Oscar nominated actor, and Hart Massey's grandson. The theatre's heroic ghost is featured on our Ghost Walks of Toronto North
Toronto remains the most known representative of Canadian culture and shows the amazing heights a major city can reach with the right history and people.