Haunted Places in Toronto – Part II

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Half Way House Inn at Black Creek Pioneer Village – built 1847/48

2022 - Half Way House Inn at Black Creek Pioneer Village at 1000 Murray Ross Pkwy
2022 – Half Way House Inn at Black Creek Pioneer Village at 1000 Murray Ross Pkwy

The original location of the Half Way House Inn was on the northwest corner of Kingston Rd and Midland Ave in Scarborough, about halfway between Pickering and Toronto. The two-storey Georgian-style structure was built and operated by Alexander and Mary Thompson. It was originally a resting place for stagecoach passengers. Travellers could stop in for a drink or spend a night upstairs in one of the bedrooms if they were tired. The building was later a hotel, an apartment and then a store.

In 1966, the Half Way House Inn was moved to Black Creek Pioneer Village, and a resident ghost may have come along with the historic building.

There have been reports of a female apparition wearing a mid-1800s-style blue-grey dress with brown shoulder-length hair. The spirit is thought to be Mary Thompson. It has been seen pacing the second-floor balcony and inside on the staircase heading towards the upper floor. Whenever someone does see her, the sweet floral-scented perfume follows.

One day, a staff member came to open the building first thing in the morning. When he opened the front door, he saw a woman going up the stairs in a blue-grey dress. Thinking it was a co-worker, he said, “Good morning!” but there was no response, nor did she turn around. Not thinking much about it, he went to the kitchen and began working. A little later, he was checking a task list and noticed that the woman he thought he had seen wasn’t even on the schedule to work that day. He quickly ran up the stairs to the second floor and looked in every room. He found no one and was completely alone in the old house.

SOURCE
  • Haunted Walk: Ghosts of the Village at Black Creek Ghost Tour

      Toronto Stock Exchange/now Design Exchange at 234 Bay St – built in 1937

      1977 - Toronto Stock Exchange at 234 Bay St
      1977 – Toronto Stock Exchange at 234 Bay St (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 54, Item 3)

      While the heritage building was home to the Toronto Stock Exchange from 1937 to 1983, today, it’s the site of the Design Exchange. The building is also home to a few spirits.

      There are reports of taps turning on themselves, hearing footsteps and the unsettling feeling of a presence. There’s also a rumour that a security camera recorded the image of an eerie being lurking about the old ticker palace.

      SOURCE

        Lower Bay Subway Station at Bay St & Bloor St W – built in 1959

        2022 - Lower Bay Station at Bay St & Bloor St W, during Doors Open Toronto
        2022 – Lower Bay Station at Bay St & Bloor St W, during Doors Open Toronto

        Itself considered a ghost station, Lower Bay Station was only used for six months in 1966. The Lady in Red, a ghostly apparition without eyes and feet, has reportedly been seen gliding through the station and its tunnels by TTC workers and film crews.

        The abandoned station is sometimes used as a NYC subway movie set. It’s directly beneath Bay Station.

        SOURCE

        Mackenzie House at 82 Bond St – built in 1857

        1930 - The Mackenzie House at 82 Bond St
        1930 – The Mackenzie House at 82 Bond St (Toronto Public Library R-733)

        The stately Mackenzie House is considered one of Toronto’s most haunted houses. The ghosts of its famous former resident, William Lyon Mackenzie and his wife, Isabel, are said to be lingering in the city-operated museum.

        After living in the house for only a few years, Mr Mackenzie, journalist, rebel and Toronto’s first Mayor, died in the bedroom in 1861. The ghost of a short man wearing a wig and frock coat has been seen around the house, particularly near his bedroom. In 1873, Mrs Mackenzie also passed away in the home.

        Over the decades, the historic property went through a few hands, one of which had the house blessed. In 1960, it was given to the City of Toronto and came with an inventory list which included “One ghost, exercised.” That same year, two sets of caretaking couples lived rent-free in an apartment on an upper floor. They both left quickly, and when asked why, they said they were so frightened by the strange occurrences that they could no longer live there.

        The caretakers mentioned the disturbing feeling of being watched or feeling they were not alone. While upstairs, they also heard Mrs Mackenzie’s piano playing from a parlour on the first floor and footsteps on the stairs. One of the wives said she saw the spectre of a woman with long hair wearing 19th-century garb hovering over her momentarily, then vanishing only later to return to slap her on the face. The following morning, the woman’s cheek had two welts on it.

        SOURCE
        • The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Mar 8, 1962, pg 7
        • Toronto Star Newspaper Archives: Apr 27, 1980, pg C12
        • Toronto Ghosts: Mackenzie House
        • Haunted Walk: Original Haunted Walk of Toronto Ghost Tour

        Colborne Lodge at 11 Colborne Lodge Dr in High Park – built in 1837

        2020 - Colborne Lodge at 11 Colborne Lodge Dr in High Park
        2020 – Colborne Lodge at 11 Colborne Lodge Dr in High Park

        John Howard, Toronto’s first Surveyor, and his wife Jemima built Colborne Lodge five years after emigrating from England. They named their residence after Sir John Colborne, the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada. In 1873, the couple deeded the 165 acres of property to the City of Toronto under the agreement that it would remain free to use and be called “High Park.” Mr Howard retained the Lodge and 45 acres until he passed away.

        It’s rumoured that the ghost of a woman, perhaps Mrs Howard, has been seen looking out from a second-floor window towards the Howards’ Burial Monument.

        Today, the picturesque heritage site is the city-operated Colborne Lodge museum.

        SOURCE
        • City of Toronto: Colborne Lodge
        • Haunted Toronto by John Robert Colombo (1996), The Ghost of Colborne Lodge

        C.P.R. North Toronto Station/now LCBO at 10 Scrivener Sq – built in 1916

        1916 - North Toronto Railway Station at 10 Scrivener Sq
        1916 – North Toronto Railway Station at 10 Scrivener Sq (Toronto Public Library R-3762)

        The magnificent building was Toronto’s central railway station for a little more than a decade. Competition from Union Station, along with the Great Depression, meant the end of the line for the station, and it closed in 1930. Over the years, much of the station’s grand interior was covered over. However, in the early 2000s, extensive restoration began on the landmark property, and its inner beauty was rediscovered.

        Today, the former C.P.R. North Toronto Station is the Summerhill LCBO. The flagship store is rumoured to be home to two kinds of spirits – liquor and ghostly. There’s a stairway that once led passengers to the Track 2 train platform. The ground floor door to that now hidden and capped stairway locks and unlocks by itself. Staff have also mentioned seeing apparitions in the building.

        SOURCE

        St Michael’s Hospital at 30 Bond St – established in 1892

        2020 - St Michael's Hospital at 30 Bond St
        2020 – St Michael’s Hospital at 30 Bond St

        St Michael’s Hospital began on the site in a former Baptist Church. The church building was purchased in 1876 by the Archbishop and was initially used for Sunday school, a men’s reading room and then a boarding school for young women under the supervision of the Sisters of St Joseph. At an urgent request from medical authorities, the building was converted into a hospital, St Michael’s.

        From its inception in 1892, the steady stream of patients called for many additions to St Mike’s throughout the years. From a small 26-bed hospital, the “Urban Angel” has grown to occupy a City block.

        In Ward 7B, there have been reports of a nun named Sister Vincenza making her rounds and turning lights on and off. However… Sister Vinnie, as the staff knows her, passed away in the 1950s.

        SOURCE
        • A Centenary History of St Michael’s Hospital by Irene McDonald
        • The Globe Newspaper Archives: Jul 10, 1926, pg 14
        • Toronto Ghosts: St Michaels Hospital

        Ernescliffe Apartments at 477 Sherbourne St – built in 1914/15/16

        1972 - Ernescliffe Apartments at 477 Sherbourne St
        1972 – Ernescliffe Apartments at 477 Sherbourne St (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2032, Series 841, File 14, Item 12)

        This historic apartment complex is over 100 years old, and these three architecturally significant buildings are on the City’s registry of heritage properties. For some time, there was a dark presence in the hallways; however, in recent years, the sightings have decreased. While it’s not known who the spirit is, in 1948, two engineers died when the building’s 1500-pound boiler they were working on exploded.

        SOURCE
        • The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Sep 4, 2015, pg G4

        Massey Hall at 178 Victoria St – built in 1894

        1972 - Massey Hall at 178 Victoria St
        1972 – Massey Hall at 178 Victoria St (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2032, Series 841, File 17, Item 17

        Toronto’s great concert hall, also known as The Grand Old Lady of Shuter Street, was donated to the City by industrialist Hart Massey. There have been reports of a male spirit wearing old-fashioned clothing haunting the backstage area of the historic venue. It’s thought to be the former custodian who once lived in an apartment behind the stage.

        There are also rumours of a female opera singer making her presence known from a seat in the audience. “The Diva” makes loud noises when a soprano takes the stage at Massey Hall.

        If the Massey name sounds familiar with hauntings, the family once lived in the stately home we know today as Keg Mansion.

        SOURCE

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