If you’re trying to get in the spirit of Halloween, how about touring some of this city’s greatest haunts?
In the first of a two-part series, Andrea Piunno plays ghost hunter in a spooky walkabout.
Toronto Sites Rumoured To Be Haunted
Soldiers’ Tower at the University of Toronto (North-West corner of Hart House Circle at the University of Toronto): Between Hart House and U of T’s University College is Soldiers’ Tower, a tower dedicated to fallen soldiers of WWI and WWII from the U of T community. It’s rumoured that in the 1930’s, a caretaker who was cleaning the bells at the top of the tower fell and died. Students have reported seeing a figure falling from the tower but once looking at the ground, realize there is no body to be found.
Keg Mansion (515 Jarvis St.): This historic home was built in the mid 1800’s and was later occupied by the Massey Family. Today, it’s one of Toronto’s most popular steakhouses. Diners and staff say that they hear children running around on the upper levels and in the kitchen. It was also on the second level where Lillian Massey, daughter of Hart Massey, passed away. Today she haunts the second-floor bathroom – dining patrons have experienced their bathroom stall door unlocking and opening without any explanation; rattling of toilet paper dispensers; and a feeling of being watched. To add to Lillian’s story, one of her maids was so upset at her death, that she hung herself in the front foyer.
TTC Old Bay Station (64 Bloor St. W): Older employees of the TTC have reported numerous times of a “Lady in Red” who haunts the old tunnels under Bay Station. The Lower Bay tunnels were only used for six months in 1966 and although the tunnels are no longer in use and closed off, night workers have reported seeing a distraught woman in a long dress walking towards them with no feet or eyes. If you’re at Bay Station at night, it’s also said that you can often hear the sound of a singing woman from afar.
Mackenzie House Museum (82 Bond St.): This historic home at Bond & Dundas St. in the heart of downtown Toronto was home to the first mayor of Toronto and leader of the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion: William Lyon Mackenzie. This is where he died in 1861 and some say, where he still lives. People have reported seeing the ghost of Mackenzie in the master bedroom and notice items moving on their own, like a rocking chair in the basement will often rock on its own accord.
Queen’s Park (North of University & College): The 100+ year-old Ontario Legislature building has lots of skeletons in its closets. Before it was a government building, it’s said that it was a psychiatric asylum. The most popular sighting is that of three women (former asylum patients) who are seen throughout the building – one with long white hair, one who hung herself in the basement, and another with a dress thrown over her head. In tunnels below Queen’s Park leading to other government buildings across the street, some have reported seeing a woman with a noose around her neck.
Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park): Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum is rumoured to be haunted by two ghosts. One is the ghost of Charles Currelly, the original curator or director of the museum in 1912 when the ROM first opened. It’s said that he can been seen in his nightshirt wandering the Bishop White Gallery and East Asian art collections. Before it closed, staff reported often of a ghost of a little girl who they later named Celeste. She would often be seen watching the planetarium shows by herself in the McLaughlin Planetarium.
Old City Hall (60 Queen St W): This building was built in the late 1800’s and later became the municipal courts building. When it acted as City Hall, the basements of the building were used to hold prisoners. Today, it’s said that you can hear the moans of prisoners. The stairwell at the rear of the building is also haunted and judges often feel something tugging at their robes. Courtroom 33 is famous for the ghosts of Robert Turpin and Arthur Lucas: the last two men who were condemned to die by hanging. They were charged here in this courtroom and hung in the Old Don Jail, despite their lawyer firmly believing their innocence.
Old Don Jail (550 Gerrard Street East): The Old Don Jail has housed its share of criminals and madmen. First open in 1864, the jail was recognized as a leader in the humane treatment of criminals. A total of 34 prisoners were executed at the Don Jail, including Robert Turpin and Arthur Lucas, the last two men who were sentenced to capital punishment in Canada on Dec 11, 1962. It’s said that they haunt the Old Don Jail (as well as Old City Hall). Another story tells about a female inmate who hung herself in her cell. Today she haunts the jail as blond, very agitated and angry ghost. Tragically, in 1977, the jail was closed and recognized as a terrible embarrassment to the Criminal Justice System in Canada. In 2007, a handful of bodies were found buried under the Old Don Jail while renovations were taking place.
Bright Pearl Seafood Restaurant (346 Spadina Ave): If you need to go to the bathroom when you’re having dim sum at Bright Pearl – don’t. It’s believed that ghosts haunt the ground floor bathrooms and are known to appear in the mirror. What makes it even creepier is that before it was a restaurant, the building was once a funeral home – the lions outside are a remnant of that era, a symbol to ward off evil spirits.
Old Finch Road, Scarborough Many legends live here on this road. One of the stories is about a young girl who was murdered on her birthday. Legend has it if you sing happy birthday to her on the road near an old bridge at old finch near morningside, you may hear her cry or scream.
Source: TripAtlas.com and other web sites