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Architectural and restoration highlights

  • Original architect: Thomas Lamb; restoration architect: Mandel Sprachman; restoration consultant: David Hannivan
  • The architectural style of the building provided the important link between the nickelodeon, vaudeville and movie palace eras; the building exemplified the old and new of these changing times and contained features unprecedented in the traditional vaudeville theatres of Toronto
  • Special features include: the exterior box office, a Corinthian columned lobby, the narrow main lobby façade and the lobby corridor to the auditorium, and the single balconies supported by enormous steel trusses
  • 65,000 square feet of new space was added, including: cascading lobbies, an eight-storey backstage addition containing dressing rooms, loading docks, rehearsal halls and other facilities for contemporary theatre use, a crossover bridge creating access to escalators for the new lounges and washrooms on each level
  • In the Thomas Lamb Lobby, 28 layers of paint were removed from the original surface
  • In the Elgin, opera boxes and plaster details were re-created where they had been damaged or removed over the years; details over the proscenium and balcony facia were sculpted, cast and replaced
  • Over 300,000 sheets of wafer-thin aluminum leaf were used in the seven-step process of re-gilding the plaster details in the Elgin; "scagliola," the process of marble veining, was used in the lobby and grand staircase, with over 10,000 square feet of surface being re-created or conserved
  • Bread dough (1,500 pounds of flour) was used to clean 20,000 square feet of hand-painted walls in the Winter Garden
  • 5,000 branches of beech leaves were harvested, preserved, painted, fire-proofed and suspended from the Winter Garden ceiling