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Toronto's other secret, and not-so-secret, tunnels

Tunnels, bunkers, underground lairs have long been the stuff of myth and history.

From the catacombs of Paris to bunkers built to protect Canadian dignitaries during the Cold War, underground has been an ideal spot for clandestine activities.

The revelation that someone or someones dug out a mystery bunker in the woods near York University has the city abuzz with theories, jokes, and hard-hitting questions.

But this isn’t the first time Toronto has gotten the tunnel treatment.

Here are some other secret and not-so-secret underground lairs around town.

Parliament Street entrance to secret UFO lair

Legend has it an entire UFO city lurks beneath Lake Ontario, with secret tunnel entrances scattered across the mainland. The most famous of these tunnels is located between two apartment buildings just off Parliament Street. In 1978 one lucky Torontontian stumbled into the tunnel to find what he described to the Toronto Sun’s Lorrie Goldstein as a “living nightmare,” a creature with red and orange slanted eyes, three feet long with large teeth and grey fur.

King Edward Hotel’s ‘Twilight Zone’

Deep in the annals of the King Edward Hotel on King Street there is a door. And on the other side of that door is, well, not much, frankly. But it COULD have, once upon a time, been the beginning of a secret booze-smuggling tunnel under Victoria Street. Or it could have been a pre-PATH way for guests to travel unencumbered by the outdoors from Union Station. For now the tunnel is just a hollowed out hallway underneath the hotel.

The PATH system

Of course Torontonians are no strangers to underground tunnels. On days when the wind chill plummets below -30, many city dwellers take to the 30-kilometre PATH system that criss-crosses under the office towers of the downtown core. Lined with shops, services, and various outlets of Starbucks, the weatherless series of hallways is a tunnel we can actually get into.

Have you found any secret lairs? Let us know in the comments!