On Sunday, my mom, sister and I decided to visit some of the buildings being featured in this year's Doors Open Toronto. Given the popularity of the Old Don Jail last year, I suggested that we hit the Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre first as it was the place we all wanted to see most.
Just some really quick facts about the Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre. It was built in 1913 and is one of the only surviving Edwardian double decker (or stacked) theatres in the world. The purpose of the theatres was to host vaudeville acts and short silent films. The upper theatre (Winter Garden Theatre) was closed down in 1928 and remained closed for about sixty years. The building was closed in 1987, fully restored, and then re-opened in 1989.
Two charming Edwardian ladies outside the Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre
Interior of the Elgin Theatre lobby/main doors
Another shot of the lobby area
One of the gorgeous mirrors in the lobby (with my sister and the photographer in the reflection)
Close up detail on mirror
I'm always a sucker for stained glass and fell in love with this door
Love the elegant sconce
Wonderful period elevator, complete with birdcage and operator
The Elgin Theatre
(While the theatre looks like it's dripping with gold, it's actually gold paint over aluminum and plaster)
Better shot of the theatre (facing away from stage)
Everything about this theatre is beautiful, even the EXIT signs!
Balconies and box seats on the one side of the theatre
Close up on one of the balconies
Close up on balcony decoration.
Mom sitting very comfortably in one of the box seats with my sister posing outside
Closer look at interior of the box seats
Incredible domed ceiling
Ceiling of the Winter Garden Theatre
(Yes, those are leaves you're seeing -- real leaves, believe it or not.
They were treated with chemicals I can't remember to preserve them.)
Another look at the ceiling
I instantly fell in love with this dreamy, romantic stage backdrop
And took several pictures of it...
The ceiling just over the stage is just as beautiful
Check out the balconies!
I want to live in the Winter Garden Theatre
Old City Hall as seen from Nathan Phillips Square
After the Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre, we decided to head west on Queen to take in Campbell House and Osgoode Hall -- with a stop at a pub for lunch first. I lead my mom and sister on a slightly scenic route, cutting across Nathan Phillips Square and then the grounds of Osgoode Hall on the journey to the pub. Lunch was good but Campbell House was a disappointment. However, here's some quick history. Campbell House was built in 1822 by Upper Canada Chief Justice Sir William Campbell and his wife Hannah and is one of the few remaining Georgian buildings left in the city. It is an example of Palladian architecture. Campbell House was nearly demolished and only saved when the Advocates Society started a campaign to save it. In 1972, it was moved from its original location (at the intersection of Adelaide and Frederick Street) to its current location at Queen and University.
After waiting in line for at least 45 minutes, we were only allowed access to four rooms and provided with no history of the building (other than some quick factoids from volunteers as we stood in line) because there was a photography exhibit on. As we stepped into each room, we were invited to gaze at stereoscopic images using stereoscopes, etc. I didn't even feel like taking photos because stereoscopes, viewmasters and other photography paraphernalia were strewn across every available surface. In the end, I only took one picture inside the building:
The Kalloscop was sitting in their porn room (e.g. a room with Victorian pornography) and I just had to snap a picture. By depositing a penny in the Kalloscope, you could get quite the eyeful (e.g. topless Victorian ladies, Victorian ladies with bare bums, etc.).
As some of you may know, Osgoode Hall is an old stomping ground of mine as I go to the law library in order to do research for work -- or did. Tomorrow will probably be the last day I make that particular excursion as the new job finally starts on Monday. Anywaaaaaaay, I thought my mom and sister might like the building. I think my mom was curious for the simple reason that I'd been going there for so many years and she'd never seen inside. Of course, the only part of the building I'm really familiar with is the library, which might be why I neglected to take any pictures of it. However, I took shots of some other parts of the building -- some of which I'd never seen before. Before I start the photographic tour, I'll just throw some quick info at you. Osgoode Hall was constructed between 1829 and 1832 and, like Campbell House, it is Georgian, built in the Palladian and Neoclassical styles. It is named after Ontario's first chief justice, William Osgoode, and housed the Osgoode Hall Law School until 1969. Now, it houses the Ontario Divisional Court, the Ontario Court of Appeal, and the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Painting of Queen Victoria (in case you hadn't worked that out on your own)
Courtroom No. 2
Did I mention how much I love stained glass? I went a bit crazy in Convocation Hall.
My mom loved the wall sconces, so I made sure to get a close up
Here ends the tour. Brain hurts and I'm tired. Going to read some fic and then head to bed. *g*