TORONTO – With Halloween coming up next week, many GTA residents are already looking forward to parties, trick-or-treating, and – for courageous thrill-seeking types – spending some quality time with the city’s most famous ghostly presences.
If you fall into the latter category, you’re in luck. With its rich past dating back to the late 1700s, the City of Toronto is home to an assortment of authentic haunted properties. Many of them are open to the public, and some of them you might have even visited already.
Here at GTA Real Estate News, we love houses of all kinds, so this October we thought we’d spread the Halloween cheer and share some of our favourite spooky properties throughout the city. Bonus points for dressing up as a long-deceased Toronto historical figure!
1 Austin Terrace (near Bathurst and Davenport)
Casa Loma, Toronto’s only authentic castle, was constructed in the early 1900s at an expense of $3.5 million and featured all the bells and whistles – including a spooky tunnel system. According to Post City (and many other reputable sources), Casa Loma has also developed a reputation as the home of various ghostly happenings including a “British redcoat in the stables” haunting the spot from beyond the grave, and a spooky knocking that can be heard coming from the tunnel.
Brave souls and their families can sign up to take part in paranormal-themed tours at the mansion – while October’s two tour dates are sold out, you can still get in on ghostly Casa Loma tours on November 1st (Halloween weekend), November 11th, or November 24th.
The Keg Mansion
515 Jarvis Street (Jarvis and Wellesly)
To most Torontonians, the iconic Keg Mansion on Jarvis is highly regarded as an intimate dinner spot. You might be surprised to learn, though, that the converted home is also a hotbed for spooks and hauntings – so much so that the Globe and Mail gave it the top spot on their 2011 list of haunted Toronto buildings.
If you’re on the lookout for ghostly activity at the mansion, the Globe recommends checking out the front foyer, where (according to legend) you might witness the ghost of one of the servants from the days when the mansion was owned by the Massey Family.
This location won’t be offering paranormal tours, but they can offer a fantastic New York strip loin. Reservations recommended.
11 Colborne Lodge Drive (High Park)
Built in 1837, Colborne Lodge is a “Regency-style cottage” that once housed surveyor John Howard and his wife, Jemima. According to Torontoist, the historic home is sometimes the scene of “unexplained sightings” resembling the figures of its original owners. Intrepid ghost-hunters may also want to venture east past Grenadier Pond, where “phantom soldiers” have been rumoured to appear on occasion.
With its easily-accessible west-end location, this spooky spot will definitely appeal to thrill seekers in Etobicoke or even Mississauga. Admission will cost you just a few dollars a person – making it one of the city’s best deals on a spooky Halloween experience.
Planning your Trip
Colder weather has already started to settle in, so if you’re planning to check out one of these spots (or one of the many others in the area), you’ll definitely want to make sure you’ve got some extra layers of warm clothing for your family.
If the kids want to really get into the spirit of things with some Halloween costumes, we recommend checking out Health Canada’s guide to making sure they are both spooky and safe.
On behalf of the team at GTA Real Estate News, we wish you a very happy Halloween!