Thousands of visitors from around the world flock to the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre not just for the spectacular line-up of shows, but for the scenery.
The EWG, as it is often called, is the only double-decker theatre complex left in the world. It was originally constructed in 1913 with the Winter Garden Theatre no less than 7 storeys above the Elgin.
The Winter Theatre was designed as a botanical wonderland, complete with green boughs, garden paintings on the walls and sparkling lanterns. The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre quickly became known as the theatre with royal boxes and intricate detail.
The double-decker complex was purchased by Ontario Heritage Trust in the early 80’s and was designated an historic site.
The EWG is located on Yonge Street, right in the heart of the city of Toronto. You can find details on the historical significance of the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre by logging onto www.heritagetrust.on.ca/ewg.
Renovations and Expansion
In 1987 the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre underwent a major renovation phase. Workers were careful not to jeopardize the original look of the building.
It was tedious, but they managed to protect the hand-painted water-colour scenes on the walls. While maintaining the integrity of the structure, over 60 thousand square feet of space was added including a beautiful lounge area and two new rehearsal halls.
Stars of the Past
George Burns, Milton Berle and Charlie McCarthy all performed here at one time. The Elgin and Winter Garden was a big celebrity magnet from the very beginning; even the stars themselves would marvel at its magnificent design.
The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre was home to 70’s pop sensation Donny Osmond when he stared in the long running, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Mikhail Baryshnikov, Conan O’Brien, Michael Douglas, Bea Arthur and Madeline Khan have all graced the stage here as well.
The line-up at this historic Toronto theatre is extensive. No matter what your taste is in entertainment you are bound to find something you like at the Elgin and Winter Garden. Here is a list of the type of shows you can experience:
* Stand-up Comedy
* Musical Concerts
* Dance Performances
* Award Shows
* Film Screenings
While the selection is vast, the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre is best known for its outstanding theatrical line-up of shows. Over the years the theatre has drawn a great deal of attention for bringing high quality entertainment to the stage, including: Cats, Tommy, Rent, King David, Grease, Robin Hood and The Wizard of Oz.
Tickets and Seating
In the Elgin Theatre, the seating includes a large orchestra section, as well as mezzanine and box seating. The Winter Garden is made up of orchestra and balcony seating.
In both theatres the stage is visible from every angle, which means any seat is a good seat. You can purchase your tickets right at the theatre complex or check out www.ticketmaster.ca/toronto or www.ticketking.com.
The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre couldn’t be in a better location for show enthusiasts. Nestled at the corner of Yonge St and Queen St, the centre is close to hotels, restaurants and public transit. The Queen St subway station is just steps away from the EWG.
A lot of the downtown hotels and restaurants are big supporters of theatre in the city. They have developed special relationships with theatre management and offer event packages to their guests.
When you are planning a trip to Toronto that includes taking in a show, make sure you ask hotels that you are considering about theatre deals they have.
Like most Toronto Theatres, the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre offers audiences the opportunity to purchase mementos from the different productions that hit the stage.
They also encourage visitors to check out the other great shopping nearby. The Eaton Centre is a Toronto landmark and is located just across the street from this theatre. It not only has a massive array of shops, it has ample parking for people who are in the city to watch a show.
Queen St also offers a good opportunity to buy something special from downtown Toronto. The street has a large number of unique stores that sell everything from clothing and jewelry to household items and electronics.
If convenience, scenery, quality entertainment, and great shopping are important to you then the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre is an excellent choice.