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Du Maurier Theater

A view from the stage. Please note that we at Para-Researchers Of Ontario do not endorse the idea that 'orb' photos provide proof of 'spirit energies' - any included on this website are for your interest only. The vast majority of 'orb' photos are in fact lens flares, reflections, dust, insects, etc.

The Du Maurier Theatre - Harbourfront Centre


This historic Toronto, Ontario structure along with it's 'sister' building 'The Power Plant' were originally constructed in 1926 as part of Queen's Quay Terminal, which at that time was known as the Toronto Terminal Warehouse. They were both used to house heating and refrigeration equipment, with the now Du Maurier Theatre quite literally used as a giant ice house.

Since 1992, and upon extensive reconstruction this former industrial building has been home to the theatre arts centre and apparently at least three different 'ghosts' as well.

Our friend Ian and PRO investigator, a long time employee of Harbourfront Centre initially reported his rather eerie experiences at the theatre to The Toronto Ghosts And Hauntings Research Society.

"I have worked for the Harbourfront centre for about ten years now, as a technician. There are many theatre venues there, the Premier dance theatre, the duMauier theatre centre, and the York Quay centre.

Originally these three buildings which are all side-by-side were terminal buildings. Ships would bring cargo in and store it in these buildings which had railway lines running to them. The duMauier theatre was originally an ice house where in the winter, ice was cut from the Harbour and placed in the ice house where perishables were stored before transport.

Every two years, at the Harbourfront centre, we host "World Stage". This is when we bring in shows and theatre companies from all over the world. It usually runs for three weeks. Three "World Stages" ago, I was working in the duMauier theatre centre. We were in the middle of setting up one of the shows. There was about two dozen people in the room, actors and technicians. The room was dark except for the lights hitting the stage.

I was running up the stairs in the theatre to the lighting and sound control room booth when I suddenly looked up I noticed I was about to collide with someone standing on the stairs instead I ran right through him.

Later that week I had my second experience. For this show the sound console had to be placed at the back of the theatre as opposed to it's normal location in the booth, right beside an exit door. At one point in the show an actor would come through the door and give me a large sweater and sweat pants that would be used by an actress later in the show.

Early in the show, out of a corner of my eye, I noticed a man standing beside me. Thinking it was the actor I turned to him to ask why he was there so early. The man did not acknowledge my presence. He just completely dissipated before my eyes. This happened during a sold out show.

My next experience happened very recently. We were setting up for a corporate rental. I was walking from the storage area to this stage when I noticed a small child crouched behind the stage door. I turned to ask the child what he was doing there and he too dissipated before my eyes.

I have not seen the third entity, a woman, yet. There are certain security guards who won't go in the building at night and will only check the outside doors.

ADDITION:
I've found out more about the du Maurier theatre. It turns out that a security guard went in the theatre at about 4:00am and found a woman sitting in the middle of the theatre. he went over to her to ask what she was doing there. She then said to him, "What time does the show start?". The woman then disappeared before his eyes. The security guard quit the next day. "

Whilst at the theatre on Nov. 4th 2001 members of P.R.O, H.R.G, and a small group of investigators from Keswick Ontario were fortunate to interview two additional employees whom shared similar and corroborating stories.

The three reported ghosts (seen as full & solid apparitions) are a male who appears to be in his mid-30's of ordinary dress, a woman who has spoken aloud at least once, and a child who seemingly is playing an eternal game of "hide & seek." In all cases 'their' manner of dress does not seem to give an approx. era


Stage Area

 

Indicated by red arrow - location where several people independently reported difficulty in breathing. Top right corner.

Our investigation:

We arrived at the theatre at 7 pm. and met as group in the lobby area. We were greeted by Ian and a fellow co worker who in turn gave us a history of the building, discussed it's present usage, and some of the first and second hand accounts of haunting-type phenomena experienced by both staff (including security) and visitors.

We were then taken on a tour of the building and pointed out areas where these 'apparitions' had been sighted. After setting up our equipment (video - the decision was made not to attempt EVP recordings at this time) we formed into smaller teams of three and proceeded to explore and observe.

Two sensitives from H.R.G (Dee & Anita) were separated and used note pads to write down there impressions as opposed to verbalizing them. Later in the evening when we gathered as a group Anita's notes on the exact description of one apparition with detailed specifics (previously unknown to her or our group) closely matched that of a staff member. Similar impressions of a male 'entity' with a marked "sense of humour" were noted by both.

One area of the theatre particularly stood out as several members of the team experienced identical sensations of difficulty in breathing while we were separated into small groups. This was contained to one small area of a few sq. ft. on the third floor.

One member of P.R.O and staff simultaneously witnessed an "amber ball of light" pass by them at close range while in the stage area.

Backstage

Backstage area where reports of an apparition seen running down the hall have been made. Note, no accompanying footsteps are ever heard.

We would like to take this opportunity to extend our thanks to Ian Harper and colleagues. Any future updates will be posted to this page.

Update: December 10th 2001

On Dec. 2nd, 2001 members of P.R.O accompanied by other investigators/researchers affiliated with the now defunct O.P.R.C (Ontario Paranormal Research Coalition) returned to the Du Maurier Theatre.

We returned again in May 2005 with nothing out of the norm occurring at that time.

July 2008: Please see our page entitled
The Enwave Theatre which is the new name for this historic building, and now location of our training seminars. The new report page also contains photos, and EVP.