The grand Christie Mansion stands at 100 Wellesley St W (at Queens Park Crescent E on the northeast corner) in the Bay-Cloverhill area of Toronto.
The Elegant Mansion
With his fortunes from Christie, Brown & Company, Mr William M Christie hired architects Gordon & Helliwell to design the late Victorian style home. It was built in 1881 in the posh Queen’s Park neighbourhood, amongst other elegant mansions. The famous Canadian businessman was a philanthropist, helped found the Toronto Industrial Exhibition (today’s Canadian National Exhibition or CNE), was a part of Toronto’s Board of Trade and was a trustee at the University of Toronto. When Mr Christie passed away at home in 1900, his only son Robert inherited the business and mansion.
The Second Generation
In 1910, Robert reconstructed the home with designs by Darling & Pearson. The three-storey mansion has a red brick exterior with beautiful stonework details, a porte-cochere (a covered entrance for a vehicle to pass through), arched dormer windows, a stepped gable and a tower.
Inside is a spectacular spiral staircase that extends from the cellar to the third floor. It’s topped with a stunning oculus that lights the centre of the mansion. There’s a large ballroom on the main floor with ornate ceiling plasterwork, floor-to-ceiling wainscotting, an impressive fireplace and French doors that lead to a solarium and dining room. The incredible solarium features skylights and arched windows, filling the marble-floored room with light. The grand hall features a barrel-vaulted ceiling with oak panelling, while the library highlights include a coffered ceiling, oak cabinets and panelling, along with an impressive fireplace.
The Ghost of Christie Mansion
There’s a rumour that Robert Christie had a mistress. She lived in a separate area of the mansion. The same mansion where he lived with his wife and children. The mistress had everything she would need, including a butler to wait on her so she would never have to leave the mansion. When Robert grew tired of her, she was lonely and heartbroken and took her own life. Some claim that his mistress’s body is buried in the area around Queen’s Park and that her ghost is haunting the mansion.
Robert died at the house in 1926, and the property was sold to the Sisters of St Joseph. Click for more haunted tales.
The Mansion Today
The mansion received heritage status in 1976. In 2008, the University of Toronto purchased the mansion from the Sisters of St Joseph. The University leased it to Regis College for the Jesuit School of Theology.
Christie Mansion Photos
- City of Toronto Heritage Register: 100 Wellesley St W
- Dictionary of Canadian Biography: William Mellis Christie
- Regis College: Christie Mansion brochure
- Haunted Toronto by John Robert Colombo (1996), Tales of the Christie Mansion
- Toronto Ghosts
- Photos: Denise Marie for TorontoJourney416
- Vintage Photos: City of Toronto Archives & Toronto Public Library