Ghost Walks at Exhibition Place

September 16 2020
Exhibition Place is known for its bright lights, shows and events, but lurking below the surface are a few well-kept secrets that were known only to staff who work the late shift.

Exhibition Place is known for its bright lights, shows and events, but lurking below the surface are a few well-kept secrets that were known only to staff who work the late shift.

That the grounds should harbour otherworldly visitors is not much of a surprise: the Horticulture Building was once used as a temporary morgue; the current site of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) midway was a bloody battlefield during the War of 1812; and the grounds were once home to two military forts. Not to mention the grounds own long history, going back to before the founding of the CNE in 1879 – plenty of time and plenty of reasons for an accumulation of “things that go bump in the night.”

How did this all begin?

Our ghost walks evolved out of actual paranormal experiences of staff at Exhibition Place. Almost everyone has a story to tell – including many people who, beforehand, would have claimed to be non-believers. The Archives team at Exhibition Place worked together to gathered all the stories and gave a presentation on their findings during the CNE in 2009 on the haunted buildings at the grounds. Intrigued by the findings in the presentation and exhibit, paranormal researcher Richard Palmisano asked to investigate the buildings here on the grounds. With approval from Exhibition Place, Richard, his team, known collectively as the Searcher Group, and Archives staff spent nearly every Saturday night in 2010 investigating different buildings at Exhibition Place.

According to Richard "There were some buildings that had less activity ... But there is not one building that didn't have (ghosts)."

Find out what these investigations revealed, and hauntings that have happened since then, by joining us for one of our Friday ghost tours.

About the Walk

The walk starts at the General Services building located at 2 Manitoba Drive – Fleet St. and Strachan Ave.

Take the 511 or 509 streetcars and get off at the Strachan Avenue stop. The General Services building is just to the north. Parking is free for tour participants at the General Services building. Our walk leader Steve Collie and volunteers will be outside the General Services Building with a sign.

We'll end at Scadding Cabin (Exhibition grounds). Walk leader and volunteers will walk back to the General Services building, passing the TTC and GO stations after the tour has ended.

The cost to take part in this walk is $10 per person. Part of the proceeds of your ticket will be going to the United Way. Due to the nature of the walk, this tour is not suitable for children under 10 years of age.

Scheduled Walks

  • October 9
  • October 16
  • October 23
  • October 30

Register Today

To register, email Jackie at jedwards@explace.on.ca with your preferred tour date and number in your party. Payment instructions will be provided upon RSVP (credit card only).

Read more about ghostly encounters at the General Services Building from one of our stories last year.

COIVD-19 Precautions

Tickets will be limited to 25 people per walk.

The tour will be conducted exclusively outdoors, and we ask that groups maintain a distance of 2 meters from those outside their social circles. Masks or face coverings are not mandatory but recommended.

Cash will not be accepted – please email jedwards@explace.on.ca to receive credit card payment information.

Washrooms and hand sanitizer will be available at the start of the tour.

Please review the City of Toronto COVID-19 screening questionnaire prior to arrival for your tour.

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