The Winter Garden


Now the really special thing about the Elgin is that it's two theaters in one! Back then (and even today), real estate was expensive on Yonge Street so the original owner built upwards - there is actually a second theatre right above the Elgin and it's called the Winter Garden. We were told during the presentation that there are only a few of these "double-decker" Edwardian type theatres left in the world and Toronto is lucky to have one of them! In the vaudeville days, the lower theatre would be an open-seating type show with tickets costing around 10 cents while the upper theatre was slightly more refined with assigned seating and tickets costing  25 cents or more.

I only wish my photos did this space justice because the atmosphere was really something. Those wonderful leaves hanging from the ceiling are real (although they have been treated with some kind of preservative) and you get a wonderful feeling as soon as you walk into the space. I hope to come back here one day to see a show.

Details of the Elgin Theatre

Here's another look at the inside of the Elgin theatre. Wouldn't you love to sit in one of those opera boxes? I think they're amazing!

They even look good in black and white. I'm so glad this place has been saved and preserved. It started as a vaudeville house, became a movie theater and now broadway-style shows are housed here. Check back tomorrow when I'll show you something really special about the Elgin.

Theatrical details

Here's a look at the beautifully restored ceiling of the Elgin theater. The Elgin was originally a vaudeville house which was later converted to show "talkies". Unfortunately many of the wonderful details were lost during the transition, but now that the theater has been designated as a historical landmark, it has been restored and renovated back to its former glory. I'm only sad my photos don't really do the place justice. I'll show you more of this wonderful location tomorrow!

Theatrical mural

It's on to the second stop of Doors Open Toronto - the Elgin theater! This place was just fantastically beautiful and the volunteer who gave a talk about the theater's history was so interesting and really knew his stuff. What you're looking at is the fire curtain of one of the two theaters housed in the building. I'll show and tell you more about it this week. Until then, you can find more murals at Monday Murals.

Big reflections

Here's a look at the outside of the pumping station. You'll remember those big windows from yesterday's shot. They make great mirrors for the main building and the bit of sunny blue sky we had that day! For more reflections, head to Weekend Reflections.

PS: Happy Friday!!!

Pumping station

Just behind the main building I showed you yesterday is a secondary building where they actually pump the water right out of Lake Ontario. Once it's brought in, it goes up to the main building where it goes through several treatment steps before being sent out to Torontonians to drink!

The pumping station was quite impressive - all those motors running were really quite loud! But I love to see how things work and it was also fantastic that such a wonderfully decorative building still has a practical use today. 

Grand entrance

The main entrance into the water treatment plant was grand! Just look at that beautiful arch and windows - and all those fantastic art deco details. It's a shame they don't build them like this anymore.

Doors open Toronto!

Toronto once again opened its doors to let visitors see spaces that typically aren't open to the public. My first stop was the RC Harris water treatment plant. Everyone had told me how wonderful it is, an old Art Deco style building with loads of great details. The building definitely didn't disappoint and I'll be showing you more of it this week. Until then, enjoy this view of the main hallway that overlooks the holding tanks.

Collective mural

I found this colorful cyclist on a wall just off Queen West street. The bright colors were what attracted me initially. But when I went to the Collective Spaces website, I liked it even better. Apparently the works on this wall will be changed periodically to showcase different talents. I definitely think it's cool to keep things fresh! If you enjoy murals, head to Monday Murals.

Natural lines

A shot of the leaves shooting out on the mulberry tree in my yard. We had an exceptionally short spring this year, but my mulberries are finally fully leafed out. I wonder if the hard winter will mean more berries? 

Do you like it better in color or black and white? I can't decide!

Cocky sign

I love anything with a rooster on it, maybe it's because I equate this symbol with France.  So when I saw this coffee shop window on Queen Street West, I knew I had to catch it! The bikes are an added bonus. For more signs, head to Signs, Signs.

Pop of red

I spotted a splash of red on Queen Street West. It's always a fun place to wander around on a nice sunny day! I'm just glad we're finally starting to get some heat. For more red, visit Ruby Tuesday.

Saintly mural

There were some lovely murals on the side of the Saint Catherine's Museum. I especially liked this look at Saint Paul Street from the days when people traveled in horse-drawn buggies. A real blast from the past! For more murals, visit Monday Murals.

The Discovery

Here's a look at the Algoma Discovery leaving the locks and heading towards what I like to call the "lifty bridge". Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to stick around and see the bridge come up as it takes about half an hour just for the boat to get down there, but it was still quite interesting to see the locks at work. I also learned that the Algoma is a grain boat that makes regular runs from Quebec all the way to Thunder Bay! The canals of the St. Lawrence Waterways are still in use today and are often the most efficient way to transport things like grain.

Lifty bridge

As promised, here's a look at the famed Welland canal bridge. Unfortunately, it wasn't up when I stopped for this photo, but it's still quite interesting to see up close and personal.

Here are some other views on the structure. Maybe the next time I'm in the area I can catch it in the "up" position!

Saintly sign

I was in the Welland area last weekend and one of the main draws of the area is the Welland canal bridge and the locks. The best place to view the action from is just behind the St. Catherine's Museum, but I had to get a shot of this sign and the colorful flowers as it was so welcoming! For more signs, take a look at Signs, Signs. And I'll show you more of the locks tomorrow.
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