It has long been rumoured that the Gooderham building has an underground tunnel that was built to connect to the Bank of Toronto to allow George Gooderham to safely transport his cash to the bank across the street. When the building was renovated in the late 1990’s no evidence of a tunnel was found.
There is also a rumour of a tunnel under
the King Edward Hotel, but this myth is true...sort of! The tunnel heads south
along Victoria Street into Scott Street towards Wellington Street.
The tunnel was supposed to allow
underground transport carriage service for hotel guests arriving from trains
and ships at Union station – long before the current Union and TTC subway
stations were opened in 1954.
But planning began for Toronto’s subway system and the development of this underground guest passage began but was never finished.
Another myth attributes this tunnel to the idea that Gooderham and Worts built it to run liquor to hotel guests during prohibition. The hotel was built in 1903 so any plans to build a tunnel would have been made long before prohibition or else it was dug after the fact. But a tunnel wasn't necessary during prohibition. Ontario’s prohibition, which began during World War I, did not prohibit the export of G&W’s products. In any case the distillery was producing acetone for the war effort until 1918. Then the US prohibition in 1920 prevented manufacturing and drinking alcohol but not selling it.
G& W was sold shortly
thereafter in 1923 which is the year prohibition in Ontario ended. I think we
can say with some authority that tunnels built for the purpose of running money or liquor from or to
Gooderham establishments are fun myths.
1903 Tunnels Under the King Edward Hotel and Gooderham Building?
Tunnels are rumoured to exist under the King Edward Hotel and Gooderham Building. True or false?
|King Edward Hotel (King Eddie), Toronto, ON, Canada; Flatiron Building