What you might not know about the Summerhill LCBO

TORONTO – The Summerhill LCBO location is one of Toronto’s largest and best stocked liquor stores.

But it also has a handful of hidden mysteries besides Wayne Gretzky’s bathroom autograph.

Here’s just a few of them.

It used to be the North Toronto Railway Station. 

“Between 1915 and 1930 it was basically the Union Station of Toronto and the reason it closed in 1930 was because Union Station opened in 1929,” said Reg Garner, general manager of the Summerhill LCBO location.  “You don’t see this anywhere in the world, whether you’re in Paris, France or Australia…It’s just spectacular to see this beautiful building.  Just a wow factor.”

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In 2002, developer Paul Oberman, purchased the property and restored it.  It re-opened in 2003.

This is the Great Hall, the original waiting room for the train station.  It has 44 foot high ceilings and original light fixtures that were built to replicate train wheels.


Ticket wicket among wine.

Looking for a bottle of wine?  You’ll find more than that.  There’s a piece of history in each room.  Look closely in the Great Hall and you’ll find the original ticket wickets among the wine.

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Ticket wicket drawers.

The original ticket wicket drawers are intact.  When renovation was underway in 2002 they found “cheat notes” for the ticket takers stuck on the frames.

“Adults 25 cents, kids 10 cents, priests 10 cents and politicians – free,” said Garner.


Hidden Staircase.

It’s in the Old World Wine section.  The stairs once went up to the train platform but has been capped at the top.  It is not open to the public.

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Just ask Garner to tell you stories about the door to the stairway locking and unlocking itself.

Staff have also spotted ghosts here, he said.

“I never believed in ghosts before but I do now,” said Garner. “I think they’re looking for spirits and they’ve come to the right place.  We have lots of spirits in the store.”

Premium spirits at that. You can even taste test fine wine and high end scotch in the Clock Tower Tasting Room at the base of the tower.

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