a building with a sign on the side. The sign reads Loews Leads in Toronto. There are sky scrapers beaming above the building in the backgound.

South Elevation Conservation Project

South Elevation Conservation and Restoration of the Loew’s Theatre Sign

a building with a sign on the side. The sign reads Loews Leads in Toronto. There are sky scrapers beaming above the building in the backgound.

South Elevation Conservation Restoration of the Loew’s Theatre Sign, 2023 Built Heritage Award nominee. Photo by Ontario Heritage Trust Archives Image courtesy of Ontario Heritage Trust.

a building with a sign on the side. The sign reads Loews Leads in Toronto. There are sky scrapers beaming above the building in the backgound.

South Elevation Conservation Project & Restoration of the Loew’s Theatre Sign, 2023 Built Heritage Award nominee. Photo by Ontario Heritage Trust Archives Image courtesy of Ontario Heritage Trust.

Restoring the Legacy of the Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre

Property Owner: Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Centre (Ontario Heritage Trust)

Project Date of Completion: December 30, 2022

The Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Centre, built in 1913 by Marcus Loew, is designated as a national historic site. The history of the Theatre Centre spans a period of 110 years. Designed in 1913 by Thomas Lamb as a “double-decker” theatre complex, the Winter Garden Theatre was constructed seven storeys above the Elgin Theatre. In 1981, Ontario Heritage Trust purchased the building and completed a significant interior restoration and addition project, adding functional space to support theatre operations. The Theatre Centre reopened in 1989 and has once again become one of Canada’s finest theatrical stage complexes.

The South Elevation, visible from Victoria Street, had layers of painted advertisements applied over the original brick masonry, which over time created significant spalling and interior water permeation. In 2021, the Trust endeavoured to develop a conservation project to carefully clean and restore the masonry.

The Trust’s objectives for this project included eliminating the risk of falling debris as well as protecting and enhancing the heritage attributes of the building, including the restoration of the Loew’s Theatre Sign, as well as improved aesthetics of the appearance of the south wall.

Project Partners

  • Heritage Engineer: Jonathan Dee
  • Heritage Craftsperson: Atwill-Morin
  • Capital Project Manager: Ashleigh Bell
  • Ontario Heritage Trust, Operations Capital Team: Chris Mahood, Operations Manager and Leroy Shum, Trust Architect
  • Sign Restoration Sub-Contractor: Lori LeMare Studio Inc.