Inside the Winter Garden Theatre (w/ Video)

Toronto's historic Winter Garden Theatre is an enchanting, beautiful place

The stars, the glamour, the red carpet… ladies and gents, it's time for TIFF!

While TIFF’s spanking new home, the Bell Lightbox Theatre, is rolling out miles of plushy red carpet, be sure to see more of Hollywood’s glitz and glam at some of Toronto’s historic theatres.

One theatre that's high on my list is the Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Centre, where 50 or 60 films will roll during the 11-day festival.

I recently toured this spectacular theatre, which is North America’s only double-decker theatre. And I was enchanted by what I saw in the Winter Garden: the 5,000 leaves that flutter from the ceiling, the Chinese lanterns, and the columns disguised as tree trunks. Add to that the fact that this 1,000-seat wonder was boarded up for 61 years and then reopened in 1989, after a three-year, $30-million dollar restoration (that included its gilded cakebox cousin, the Elgin Theatre)!

See For Yourself

See these beautiful theatres with your very own eyes. Ninety-minute tours of the Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Centre run Thursdays at 5 p.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m.

Admission for adults is $12, while students and seniors pay $10 for the tour.

Watch the Video

Sometimes you go to the theatre to watch a must-see play, or to star gaze. Rare is the moment when you go to a theatre to marvel over the actual theatre—the Winter Garden is worth the swoon and the new Bell Lightbox is quite another. Follow me through the heavy doors of the Winter Garden...


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Deb Cummings

Deb Cummings is the editor of up! magazine. She's a well-known travel writer and editor whose award-winning background includes working with the Calgary Herald, Sears Travel, and Travel Alberta, among other outlets. Deb previously spent a year "voluntouring" around the planet with her husband and two children.

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