The history of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton's controversial visit to Toronto
Toronto's history may not seem intriguing to some, but the truth is there are lots of tantalizing tales from the city's past that tug at the old heartstrings.
"I've heard from lots and lots of people who say that growing up they learned history as dry lists of dates and names and events," Bunch says, "but that's not what our history is. Those people weren't just dry, boring people. They had many of the same types of feelings that we have today."
They had crushes, and secret love affairs. They sent letters. They were romantic. They took chances. They got jealous. They dealt with heartache, and loss.
One such story in the city's history involved a high-profile celebrity couple. Elizabeth Taylor had just filmed Cleopatra with Richard Burton, and they had fallen in love on set.
However, there was one problem, or perhaps two. At the time, Taylor and Burton were married to other people. Plus, the year was 1963, and the idea of divorce in Canada was still a relatively new, and controversial one.
The couple famously holed up in Toronto together, as Burton was filming Hamlet at the O'Keefe Centre (now Meridian Hall).
They got a five-room suite at the King Edward Hotel. Protestors waited outside with signs condemning them for their extramarital affair, and respective quickie divorces.
Burton then rented out the King Eddy ballroom, proposed to Liz, and they were off to Montreal to tie the knot. "Dickenliz," as they were referred to, enjoyed about ten years of marital bliss before calling it quits.
A decade might not seem like a very long time in the grand scheme of things, but as far as celebrity marriages go, especially Taylor's, her coupling with Burton was her longest relationship.
In this episode, we explore a few different stories of love, jealousy, divorce, scandal, and dedication, like that time Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton got engaged at the King Edward hotel, or when Sandford Fleming broke up with his girlfriend over a sunset.
Join the conversation Load comments