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1903 Tunnels Under the King Edward Hotel and Gooderham Building?

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.


Map of the Tunnel

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.


The King Eddy “bus”

But planning began for Toronto’s subway system and the development of this underground guest passage began but was never finished.


The Access Door and Tunnel

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 1903 Tunnels Under the King Edward Hotel and Gooderham Building. True or false?


Linked toKing Edward Hotel (King Eddie), Toronto, ON, Canada; Flatiron Building

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