It seems that many of us have a curiosity for the spiritual world. With Halloween on our minds and the fresh crisp cool air of October, we think it’s the perfect month to explore some of the most haunted places in our city. True or not, we can’t say, but there are plenty of hotspots in and around the city for paranormal activity and we’ve noted places that are accessible to the public. Some of the haunted sites in Toronto you can enter and others you can just walk past (which is good enough for us!) …
Gooderham and Worts Distillery has a rich history and is considered one of the most active haunted sites in the city today. Witnesses have reported noises of doors opening and closing, as well as banging noises. The story swirls about the Distillery’s original co-owner, James Worts, drowned himself in a well on the grounds after his wife died during childbirth in 1834.
The Grange was built in 1817, is tucked just behind the Art Gallery of Ontario and is currently the Norma Ridley Members’ Lounge. There have been reported sightings of spirits in the house including a woman dressed in black noticed in the bedrooms.
Old Hsin Kuang Restaurant located at 346 Spadina Avenue in Chinatown/Kensington Market and has had several incarnations (now several merchants occupy the building). For years, the Chinese community believe the building was cursed and restaurant owners have tried several different methods of removing bad spirits given it’s prime real estate. In the old restaurant, there were stories of ghost sightings in the second floor washroom as well as the basement. Sightings of a woman with long black hair and a child playing have been reported. Apparently the building was a former morgue and funeral home.
Colborne Lodge is located at High Park and where witnesses have reported seeing a woman’s silhouette in the second floor bedroom window late at night. Perhaps the ghost of the Jemima Howard? Across the house is the grave of John and Jemima. The story is she passed away from a long term illness in 1877 but was medicated. According to The Toronto & Ontario Ghosts and Hauntings research society, Jemima spend her last days “gazing through through a morphine and laudanum haze at the site of her own burial.”
Casa Loma has a fair share of ghostly sightings. Visitors and staff have reported seeing a lady dressed in white seen throughout the castle, a man tending to the garden inside the conservatory, the muttering of an old man near the stables. The tunnel to the castle’s stables have several reports of hair tugged or the feeling of being grabbed.
Royal Alexandra Theatre on King Street West is currently in the final stages of a much needed restoration and will reopen this November. Originally opened in 1907, this theatre is the oldest in the city and has two known paranormal activities. One appears to be a former stage technician and the other on the second balcony level with an unusual smell.
Todmorden Mills is a great detour off the Don Valley Parkway. Formerly a mill and riding stables, event space and the theatre (which is formerly the mill) has reported sightings of an older woman at night. Also reports of loud noises coming from the loft that occur late at night. The Halliwell House located on the site has several witness reports of a woman voice and a figure of a woman in one of the windows.
Mackenzie House was the home to Toronto’s first mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie. He lived there between 1859 and 1861 when he passed away on the second floor in his bedroom. Not only has there been several reported sightings of a man fitting his description, but also sightings of a woman with long hair.
#6 Scadding House Trinity Square next to the Eaton Centre was home to the first rector of the Holy Trinity Church (located beside the home). He was also a scholar who wrote early histories of Toronto. Reports of his peaceful spirit continues to roam the house.
Royal Conservatory of Music apparently is haunted by more than one spirit! Reports of two different experiences of either a spirit female presence wearing red lingering in the hallways while musicians practice and a presence of a female (not seen but felt).
The Royal Ontario Museum is definitely eerie if you’ve ever been there late at night long after it’s closed to the public (yes, we’ve spent a night at the museum). Two ghosts apparently have been reported in different parts of the museum. One may be the original director of the museum, Charles Trick Currelly, who has been spotted roaming the East Asia collections in his nightshirt.
Hockey Hall of Fame was formerly the Bank of Montreal. Built in 1888 there have been stories of a woman near the office and the vault as well as lights flickering and doors opening, closing and locking.
Elgin Theatre/ Winter Garden Theatre is full of great ghost stories. Opened in 1913, originally Loew’s Yonge Street Theatre, is a grand double-decker theatre (one upper and lower) and is a designated heritage site. It’s grand and beautiful when it was reopened to the public 1989. Haunting reports include seats folding up and down and hand-operated elevators moving by themselves for no reason. There’s also been reports of a woman dressed Edwardian style lingering in the lobby.
University of Toronto has several haunted sites including Trinity College, Soldiers’ Tower, McDonald Mowat House and University College that has the most famous haunted story in the city. Many reports of poltergeist activity in the locations. The most famous story is of two men Ivan Reznikoff and Paul Diablos who’s fight ended up in the burial of Reznikoff in the foundations of University College that was discovered years later.
Design Exchange was originally the city’s first Stock Exchange tower built in 1912. Visitors have heard footsteps, taps turning on and ghost sightings continue.
King Edward Hotel‘s Crystal Ballroom opened in 1922 on the 17th floor of the luxury hotel. However, it was closed off in the 1970s for fire and safety regulations and restricted to use as a set for movies, television, and magazine photo shoots. There have been stories of chandeliers shaking for no reason. Elsewhere in the hotel there have been some stories of playful paranormal activities in the ladies’ washroom on the main floor with taps turning off and on.
Fairmont Royal York Hotel has many strange occurrences reported by staff and guests of the luxury hotel. Footsteps have been heard in stairwells, sightings of a older man in a smoking jacket, and screams have been heard.
Gibraltar Point Lighthouse (Toronto Islands) was built in 1803 and now closed to the public but people have reported hearing moans from the tower when passing by. According to history, the lighthouse keeper was murdered there.
Have fun on your ghost walks! Someone’s tapping my shoulder. I gotta run.