80 birmingham street

This 100-year-old historic Toronto building was just turned into a new events venue

A historic building that has stood for nearly a century in Toronto is now the home of a new events venue, the owner of which is hoping to bring new life to the stunning Edwardian Classical space and its surrounding gardens.

Originally built for Bell Telephone Company operators in 1926, the structure at 80 Birmingham Street in Etobicoke at one point facilitated some 13,000 calls a day across the region.

Bell eventually vacated the premises in the '80s, and in more recent years, it was restored to serve as private office space.

The building itself aside, the lot has a 9,000-square-foot outdoor area that has been reimaged as a rentable space for all sorts of events, offering both a large cobblestone courtyard and sprawling grasses.

The owner, who bought the property in 2001, secured its heritage designation to be able to preserve its history while many buildings from its era are reduced to facades overtop of glossy new condo towers, at best.

"I poured all my earnings over the last 23 years from my landscape business into restoring this building, recreating features from the original architect's blueprints, such as the solid oak front door made in the Madawaska Valley using vintage tools and methods," the owner, Christina Murie, tells blogTO over email.

"The garden courtyard event space is my final project and was completed this year."

Along with stunning architecture, rare finishings and a rich background, the property is also rumoured to be haunted by Danny, a little boy who allegedly died while playing among telephone cables in 1952.

"Danny's spirit has made an appearance and his presence known whenever I felt discouraged.  He didn't want me to give up, and said 'we need you,'" she adds.

While the structure has 32 small office spaces for lease over three floors as the Birmingham Business Centre, the three-season courtyard has already been outfitted for a Barbie-themed party as part of the feature film's release, and will also be decked out in Harvest-themed, Halloween, and holiday decor in the coming months.

Lead photo by

Birmingham Business Centre

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