MScPl Students Celebrate Halloween

October 31, 2023 by Department of Geography & Planning
Our MScPl students celebrated Halloween with a haunted walking tour of Toronto! 🎃👻
MScPl student Tait Gamble reflects on the Haunted Walk: 
On an unseasonably warm October Thursday - which certainly contributed to a spooky ambience - MScPl students met for a haunted walking tour. Gathering out front of the Hockey Hall of Fame, we first heard a chilling story about a ghost that haunts Brookfield Place to this day...
Throughout the tour, we saw Toronto through a new light, encountering spirits, historical facts and urban planning considerations along the way! Who knew that Terroni Adelaide is a former jail? Or that Toronto’s original waterfront was once at the aptly named “Front” St.? Or that the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres - a double decker/ stacked theatre of the Edwardian period - are not only haunted, but now one of a kind in the world? When a cemetery at St. James's church was repaved and turned into a parking lot, a slew of unimpressed ghosts were unleashed. Being wary of upsetting the paranormal is something we will have to keep in mind as urban planners going forward...
Haunted Walk showed us the potential of the walking tour for community and economic development. As MScPl chattered about their own supernatural experiences, and discussed important considerations such as “if you are a ghost, where would you haunt?” the potential of walking tours to make space for community was clear. The Haunted Walk told us over email that they run over 10,000 tours a year, while the tour guide shared that they do up to 3 tours a day during the busy season, to groups of all sizes and all over the world. Walking tours are clearly also a great means for tourism and economic development!
Our tour came to an end at the very spooky Mackenzie House, where apparently knocking can be heard on a door that doesn’t even open... At our tour debrief afterwards, one MScPl student remarked that we walk by buildings every day without knowing about their histories, or ghosts. The tour showed us that histories, planning considerations, and ghosts, are always lurking in the shadows, and might jump out at you when you least expect it!
Thank you to the Department for supporting the event, and to all who joined in!