Why I Love Toronto Reason #285
The Haunting at the Hockey Hall Of Fame
At the bikers breakfast last Wednesday in which Ariel and I attended, Ariel came with such excitement in her face and it wasn’t just from the coffee, chocolate croissants and juice! She was so excited to tell me about her haunted Toronto Tour. She was most excited to tell me about the haunting at the Hockey Hall of Fame! I’ll start with the haunting before I go into the history of the building. Before it became a building related to hockey and attached the BCE place the Hockey Hall of Fame was a Bank of Montreal. The story is as follows. A bank Teller named Dorothy was having an affair with the bank manager who was married. After confronting her lover and being rejected by him she shot herself in the upstairs bathroom. The event happened in March of 1953. The event started with Dorothy coming in much earlier than any other Teller and going straight to the upstairs bathroom where she stayed for a period of time. Afterwards she came down and went back up to the bathroom shooting herself with the banks revolver. The original Toronto Star report at the time says she was a 19 year old and died at St. Michael’s Hospital - 22 hours after she shot herself which the Doctors called a miracle. She lived in the old Township of Islington which later became Etobicoke, with with her sister on Burnhamthrope Road - which is creepy becasue i have taken the 50 Burnhamthrope bus before. Her ghost is said to haunt the building, and many note lights going on and off as well as locked doors opening by themselves. The cleaning staff began to fear the building at night and the fear from the female bankers got so intense the bank was forced to build another washroom in the basement. Today in the Hockey Hall of Fame if something is misplaced the staff say that it was probably the doing of Dorothy.
The building itself looks creepy. Opened in 1885 by Darling (who also worked with Pearson on Convocation Hall) and Curry the beaux arts styled building remained a bank until 1983 (it was also the head office for the bank until 1949) and became the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993. The building is also considered an example of rococo architecture. The main room in the building is the Esso Great Hall which is where all the hockey fun happens and it so happens to be the most beautiful part. It has the largest stained glass dome of its kind in Toronto which was done by Joseph McCausland and Sons. What is interesting to note about McCauslands work is the allegorical dragons guarding the gold from the eagle as well as fruits, flowers as well as the representation of the seven provinces of Canada at the time. In fact when the restoration of the building began the dome was restored by Joseph McCausland’s great-great grandson.
Other things to note, on the buildings exteriors are the arched windows of plate glass, the stone figure of Hermes, four tall piers on each side which are all detailed as well as carved masks and sculpted shields. Also not the very top at what looks to be a veranda. It is such a detailed building. But remember banks back then represented so much – power, wealth, prestige. If there is one thing you should have learned at this point of my blog is that they put so much detail into banks for that reason .
Now yes the nerd in me seems only to be mentioning the architectural and hauntings which may attract those who love architecture and ghosts. But for you hockey fans…it has hockey artifacts from all over the world, games, multimedia stations, a statues, replica of an NHL dressing room and of course the Stanley Cup.
So whether you are interested in Hockey, Architecture of Ghosts I say check out the Hockey Hall of Fame.
That Is Why I Love Toronto.
Haunted Toronto by John Robert Colombo
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