Architectural and restoration highlights | The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre

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Accessibility update: Event producers, in consultation with the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre, have cancelled all theatre events until further notice. For information about ticket refunds, follow the links in the event calendar. Public and group tours are also currently suspended. Continue to check this website and follow the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre on Facebook for the most up-to-date information.

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 Davies Takacs Lobby, 25 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
  • Hundreds of pounds of raw bread dough was used to clean 20,000 square feet of hand-painted walls in the Winter Garden