whitney block toronto

Someone made an epic video about Toronto's ghost tower

For over 50 years, the Whitney Block Tower has sat almost entirely empty. 

And now, just as that long disuse may finally be coming to an end, someone's finally taken a drone to the place to give us an up-close look at Toronto's most ominous tower.

As one of province's oldest government office buildings, the beauty and emptiness of this Gothic Art Deco structure sitting mutedly across from Queen's Park has fascinated many, from architecture enthusiasts to lovers of tall tales.

Aside from the fact that such a beautiful building would sit completely abandoned for more than half a century—save for the first few floors, where you'll find some government workers—the Whitney Block remains an intrigue since it's also purportedly haunted. 

Maybe it's the ghosts of Francis Heakes, the architect who died before the building was completed.

Or perhaps it's haunted by cow spirits, since someone once thought it would be a good idea to house the provincial veterinary services and an animal pen on the sixth floor of the building. 

The interior of the building is completely off-limits these days; the Whitney Block doesn't meet fire code regulations, which is why it was abandoned in the first place.

You likely wouldn't want to go up there anyway. It gets notoriously hot and the only ventilation you can get is through the windows. Also, the Whitney Block is one of the few places that still has an operational hand-cranked elevator, making it incredibly inaccessible. 

whitney block toronto

The Whitney Block as it looked in the 1950s. Photo via the Ontario Archives.

But the exterior of the the building is still open for admiration, and so there's now a video comprised of some sweet drone footage by Abandoned Urbex Canada, a Youtube channel that features empty buildings and houses across the country.

The five minute-long video gives a good description of the Whitney Block, including some aerial shots that provide rare vantage points of the building's numerous sculptures. 

The good news is that the building likely won't sit abandoned for another 50 years. The province has promised a massive rehabilitation project, slated to be completed in 2023.

Upgrades include replacing 405 of the buildings windows with energy-efficient versions, an updated heating system, ventilation, facade repairs and a new air conditioning system. 

The renovations began in 2018, and as of 2019, nearly a quarter of the Whitney Block's windows and fan coil units had been replaced.

If repairs are, by some miracle, going according to schedule, facade maintenance on the south side should be completed by August, with the middle section done by July 2023.

Lead photo by

Abandoned Urbex Canada


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