Massey Mansion/Keg Mansion at 515 Jarvis St – built in 1868
The stately home has quite a history when it comes to ghosts. Once home to the Massey family, after Lillian Treble Massey died, a maid was so distraught that she hanged herself in the foyer. Her apparition has been seen suspended in the main entranceway.
There have also been sightings at the Keg Mansion of a young boy playing on the staircase and the sound of children playing upstairs. There’s a female presence in the women’s washroom too. Customers have said stall doors unlock and toilets flush all by themselves plus, they’ve had the eerie feeling that someone was watching them.
Queen’s Park & the Legislative Building at 111 Wellesley St W – built in 1893
While Queen’s Park and the Legislative Building has resided on the land for over 125 years, in 1842, it was home to Kings College. By 1850, the Kings College building became the University/Provincial Lunatic Asylum. It’s said that three female residents of the asylum haunt the building and grounds:
- The Lady in White – with her long flowing robe, the sad spirit roams the halls.
- The Maiden – in a gingham dress who hides her face with her apron.
- The Hanging Woman – her apparition appears suspended from a hook in the basement tunnel.
Source: Toronto Ghosts
Old Don Jail at 550 Gerrard St E – built in 1864
The notorious building with Father Time over its tall front doors is said to be haunted by many ghosts. They include those who have been executed, murdered or committed suicide. One ghost is said to be that of an angry female inmate who hanged herself in her cell. It’s rumoured that her apparition has been seen in the central rotunda.
In 2007, the skeletal remains of 15 people were unearthed behind the Old Don Jail. They were those of prisoners sent to the jail’s gallows.
Runnymede Theatre at 2223 Bloor St W – built in 1927
The former vaudeville and movie theatre is rumoured to be haunted by a young female spirit. She died on the Runnymede Theatre stage many years ago when a sandbag fell on her. Along with the theatre, the building has also been home to Chapters, today is Shoppers Drug Mart. There had been reports from former theatre and bookstore employees as well as customers about hearing a child crying, books randomly dropping off the shelves and feelings of uneasiness.
Source: Toronto Ghosts
Old City Hall at 60 Queen St W – built in 1899
Old City Hall is another Toronto building thought to be filled with ghosts. Courtroom 33 is rumoured to be haunted by the spirits of the last two men sentenced to capital punishment in Canada in 1962 – Ronald Turpin and Arthur Lucas. In a rear stairwell, there are reports of footsteps being heard plus judges have felt tugging on their robes and hands-on their backs as if someone was trying to give them a push down the steps.
Moans have been heard in the cellars of the majestic old building, which at one time was the holding area for prisoners.
Source: Toronto Ghosts
Fairmont Royal York Hotel at 100 Front St W – built in 1929
The majestic Fairmont Royal York Hotel, which was once part of Toronto’s skyline, is rumoured to have a ghost on the 8th floor. Guests have mentioned seeing the apparition of a grey-haired man wearing a maroon smoking jacket walking the hallway. Others have heard children laughing and playing in its historic halls only to look out to find no one there.
Source: Toronto Ghosts
Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Centre at 189 Yonge St – built in 1913
Built in 1913 and originally called Loew’s Yonge Street Theatre, the historic venue is not only home to two theatres but also a few spirits. Now the Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Centre, its most famous ghost is The Lavender Lady. While no one knows who she is, there’s speculation that she could be a rival actress of a jealous castmate or perhaps a jilted wife whose husband fell in love with a Vaudeville showgirl. When she makes her appearance, it is in the grand staircase and elevator area. Those that have felt her presence notice a drop in temperature and the scent of lavender.
She has also been known to call one of the 1913 manually operated cage elevators when she doesn’t feel like taking the stairs from the Elgin to the Winter Garden theatre. However, when the elevator door opens, the operator finds no one there except for a cool breeze and the fragrance of lavender flowers. This happens on nights when there are no productions in the theatres. The Lavender Lady is so famous that she was commemorated in 2016 on a Canada Post stamp.
Another ghost at the architectural treasure is Sam. In 1989, after the building restoration was complete, theatre volunteers and staff heard a trombone or trumpet playing. The strange thing was there were no rehearsals going on. Another odd occurrence was the seats in the theatre flipping down and then back up. The volunteers used a Ouija board to conduct a seance at midnight on the stage of the Winter Garden Theatre. The group communicated with a musician named “Sam.” He said he was a trombone player in a 1918 Vaudeville production at the Winter Garden.
In another ghostly incident, a staff member was doing a final walk-through the Elgin before closing. She heard someone calling her name twice. She looked around and found no one. The only other person in the building was a security guard at the entrance, who she was too embarrassed to tell. She told no one at the theatre about the occurrence. A few months later, another staff member said to her that he heard his name being called twice while walking through the empty Elgin theatre.
In 1984 during a rehearsal for Cats, some of the dancers noticed a man wearing a brown suit and brown bowler hat sitting in the second row. While they thought his attire was old-fashioned, the dancers thought it was allowed and could be a friend of the director or producer. After rehearsal, they asked who the man was sitting in the second row. The assistant manager proceeded to tell them that no one was there. You see, it was a closed rehearsal, and only the assistant and stage managers were allowed to watch.
Gibraltar Point Lighthouse on Toronto Islands – built in 1808
According to the heritage plaque on the lighthouse, the grounds are said to be haunted by the lighthouse’s first keeper – J.P. Rademuller. He was known to keep a keg of beer on hand at his cottage to share with friends who were visiting.
Just north of the lighthouse was a blockhouse guarded by soldiers from Fort York. Soldiers would often row or walk down from Blockhouse Bay to visit him. Legend has it that back in 1815, when three soldiers were visiting, Mr Rademuller cut them off since he thought they already had enough to drink. A deadly brawl broke out, and Mr Rademuller mysteriously vanished. No one knew what happened to him, and the story of his disappearance was passed down. Several decades later, the fourth lighthouse keeper, George Durnan, found human remains buried beneath the ground nearby the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse.
Source: Landmarks of Toronto: Volume 5 by J Ross Robertson, Ontario Heritage Trust & Toronto Star: Ghost stories sill haunt Gibraltar Point Lighthouse
Bank of Montreal/Hockey Hall of Fame at 30 Yonge St – built in 1886
Considered one of Canada’s finest 19th-century financial buildings, it operated as the Bank of Montreal Ontario head office until 1949 and later a branch until 1982. Now the Hockey Hall of Fame, there are rumours of lights turning on and off as well as doors opening, closing and locking on their own.
There have also been reports of two female ghosts. One spirit, wearing an old-fashioned dress, makes her appearance by the vault and offices. The second, named Dorothy, could be that of a teller who, in 1953, took her own life at the bank after a bad romance.
Source: Toronto Star Archives: Aug 1, 1982, pg H3 & Toronto Ghosts
Trinity College at 6 Hoskin Ave – built in 1925
In 1851, Bishop Johannes Strachan founded the school. Its original location was on what we know today as Trinity-Bellwood Park on Queen St W, between Gore Vale Ave and Crawford St. Bishop Strachan passed away on November 1, 1867. Even though the school moved to its new location, every year around the date of his death, the Bishop makes a visit. His ghost has been seen roaming the halls of this historic building.
In the school’s Chapel, the Grey Lady appears from time to time. With her grey complexion, she has been sighted both in the pews and outside of the Chapel’s doors.
One of the scarier stories is that of the man in the tunnels. Between Trinity and St Hilda’s Colleges are steam tunnels that students once used to get to and from the buildings without going outside. Legend has it that a man who lives behind a section of the tunnel with unmatched bricks gets out just long enough to capture a student. For every soul he can steal, one brick is thought to be loosened, and at some point, the bricks will be loose enough for him to escape.
Osgoode Hall at 130 Queen St W – built in 1832
These beautiful old buildings are home to a few spirits. The first is a group that can be heard talking in one of the chambers. The doors of the chamber are usually open however when the speaking starts, its doors close on their own. The other presence at Osgoode Hall is that of a female seen gliding through the halls.
Source: Toronto Ghosts
Todmorden Mills at 67 Pottery Rd – built in the 1800s
Settled by the Helliwell family, the earliest surviving structures at Todmorden Mills date back to approximately 1838 to 1850. The site has been home to a mill, brewery, riding stables and more. Today it’s a museum, arts centre and nature preserve.
Staff have reported a few ghosts at the historic property. In the Papermill Theatre and Gallery, staff mentioned seeing an older woman walking around the theatre, while others have seen a grey apparition near the sound booth above the stage. Over in the Helliwell house, a woman’s voice has been heard speaking upstairs.
Source: Toronto Ghosts
The Grange at 317 Dundas St W – built in 1817
Now part of the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Grange was a home built for D’Arcy Boulton and his family. There are rumours of three ghosts in the house. The first two spirits are female – an unsettling lady in white in the kitchen and a lady in black who dawdles about in a second-floor bedroom. It’s unknown who these ghosts could be.
The third presence in the heritage home is a man. Wearing a yellow velvet jacket, he walks from east to west through the walls of the Conservatory. It’s thought that this ghost could either be a former butler at The Grange or Goldwin Smith, an author who once lived in the house or perhaps Mr Smith’s one-time assistant, Algernon Blackwood.
Royal Alexandra Theatre at 260 King St W – built in 1907
Toronto’s beautiful jewel box theatre has had over 4,000 shows performed on its stage for more than a century. Along with being Canada’s first air-conditioned playhouse, the Royal Alex was also one of North America’s first “fireproof” theatres. In the early 1960s, visionary Ed Mirvish saved the historic venue from demolition. In doing so, he started the rejuvenation of what we know today as the Entertainment District.
The theatre is rumoured to be home to a few ghosts. In a 1997 production of Jolson: The Musical, the cast mentioned seeing an apparition of Al Jolson seated in the audience. When Mr Jolson was alive, he played the Royal Alexandra Theatre ten times.
In Dressing Room 14, some have heard odd sounds and screaming behind its door, along with messages scribed across its mirror.
Many years ago, a stagehand was working high atop the theatre in the fly room. It’s said that he fell to his death after tripping on a chain. Since then, some have heard the sounds of chains dragging near the area.
One of the Royal Alex’s legendary ghosts is the beautiful lady wearing a long white gown. Several actors have reportedly seen her in the house left upper box while they trod the boards at the theatre.
Royal Ontario Museum at 100 Queen’s Park – built in 1914
Showcasing a collection of over 13 million pieces of artwork, cultural objects and natural history specimens, the ROM is Canada’s largest museum. The Toronto landmark combines historical architecture, including Romanesque Revival, with the contemporary Michael Lee-Chin Crystal.
The Royal Ontario Museum is thought to be haunted by the spirit of its first Director of Archaeology, Dr Charles Trick Currelly. Nightguards have reported seeing an apparition of a man wearing a nightshirt and cap drifting about the Bishop White Gallery of Chinese Temple Art.
Former McLaughlin Planetarium at 90 Queen’s Park – built in 1968
On the south side of the Royal Ontario Museum is the former McLaughlin Planetarium. In operation from 1968 to 1995 and once part of the museum, staff used to report seeing the spectre of a sad little girl there on numerous occasions. Named “Celeste,” she was said to be about eight years old, had blonde hair in ringlets, and wore a long white dress. Today the onetime planetarium is owned by the University of Toronto.