Top 5 Haunted Buildings in Toronto

Friday October 31, 2008

It’s Halloween! What better way to celebrate than with some ghost stories? Here are CityNews.ca’s Top 5 Haunted Buildings in Toronto.

Old City Hall Toronto www.toparanormal.org5. Old City Hall

Judges’ robes mysteriously being pulled, footsteps heard walking down deserted hallways, moans from empty holding cells in the basement – these are among the many unexplained occurrences that have been reported from Old City Hall. So what (or who) is disturbing the building? One theory is that it’s the ghosts of Robert Turpin and Arthur Lucas, the last two men sentenced to hang in Canada. Although tried for separate crimes their lawyer, Ross MacKay, believed both men to be innocent. Whether it’s the spirit of disgruntled criminals or just an old creepy building is up to you to decide.

4. The Royal York Hotel

The Royal York Hotel has been a fixture on Toronto’s cityscape since 1929. When it opened it was the tallest building in the British Commonwealth. It has welcomed more than 40 million visitors over the years and is still one of the nicest buildings (inside and out) standing in this city. Could it be haunted? According to John Robert Colombo’s book Mysteries of Ontario, the eighth floor has the spirit of an older man with grey hair walking the halls at night. And a report on The Toronto Ghosts and Hauntings Research Society website mentions the ghost of a former employee who hanged himself in the staircase leading up to the roof.

3. Keg Mansion

Go for the steak, hang with the ghost. Literally. The best-known haunting at the Keg Mansion (located on Jarvis St. just North of Wellesley St.) is that of a maid who hanged herself when the Massey Family owned the house. Supposedly you can still see her hanging from a rope in the front entrance some nights. Other reports include the sound of children running and playing in the kitchen and upper floors and some creepy sightings in the women’s washroom. As long as they don’t affect the food I think the ghosts add a nice ambiance to the restaurant. Bon Appétit!

2. The Guild Inn

A recent article on blogTO reminded me how much history the Guild Inn has and just how terrifying it can be. Located on top of the Scarborough Bluffs it was originally built to be the summer home of Colonel Harold Bickford. Over the years it has been a missionary college, museum, military hospital, a hotel and now an abandoned building. With such a sordid past it’s no wonder there are reports of paranormal activity. Loud noises at night, random temperature drops, door handles rattling and visions of a young soldier with one blue eye and one brown. Spooky.

1. The Old Don Jail

The Old Don Jail housed a lot of evil in its time. Many hangings took place at the indoor gallows (including the last two men to hang: Arthur Lucas and Robert Turpin) and inmates were not always treated well. Last year human remains were found in an unmarked burial site on the grounds. All this leads to a lot of stories – ghost stories. The one I’ve heard over and over is that of an angry female inmate. Supposedly she hanged herself in her cell one night and has haunted the jail ever since (and she’s angry). Other stories I’ve heard have mentioned cold spots or spots where people feel anxious for no reason. All I know is that the building gives me the chills whenever I’m around it and that’s why it’s number one on my list.

Have stories of your own on these or any other buildings in Toronto? Send them to brian.mckechnie@citynews.ca and I’ll post them in the story. Happy Halloween!

Photo Credits: Old City Hall photo by Brian McKechnie, Keg Mansion photo courtesy Wikipedia, Don Jail Photo courtesy Wikipedia

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