Here at Secret City Adventures, we’re lucky enough to run our escape games at some of Toronto’s most important and beautiful heritage sites. But these buildings have more than just a pretty exterior, so we thought we’d share some of the lesser known facts about their history!
You might have already played Escape from the Tower and found enemy U-boat coordinates… but did you know this storyline was actually inspired by Casa Loma’s real-life history?
It might seem like an unusual location for a secret WWII operation, but it was precisely this fact which provided the perfect cover story. Already a popular tourist attraction, the only security needed to prevent the touring public from finding the Anti-Submarine Detection Investigation Committee was a sign blocking the way saying “Construction in progress. Sorry for the inconvenience” and a $1 padlock!
George Brown House:
This building (pictured above) might seem modest by Casa Loma’s standards, but it has nonetheless played an important role in Canada 150 celebrations, having once been the home of George Brown, one of the Fathers of Confederation.
As well as politics, George Brown also founded The Globe and Mail which went on to become one of the country’s most influential newspapers. The company proved a personal downfall however, after he was confronted with a gun by a former employee and later died from a gunshot wound to the leg.
Despite the 1870’s house being declared a National Historic Site in 1976, it was later threatened with demolition, but thankfully saved and lovingly restored by The Ontario Heritage Trust. So, step inside a world of mystery and explore this architectural gem in downtown Toronto when you play The Secret of Station House No. 4!
Black Creek Pioneer Village:
Although some buildings at this historic village have been moved from their original location, one completely original area has remained in the same location since 1845… the cemetery.
As you might expect of a historic graveyard, ghost sightings have been relatively frequent at this site next to Fisherville Church. Perhaps even stranger, though, are the so called “unexplained orbs of light” or “UOLs” (we call dibs on that coinage!) witnessed on more than one occasion.
So what are these mysterious balls of light seen “floating over the dirt” and “known to dance around in the air and weave above the gravestones”? (Haunted Ontario by Terry Boyle, 2015)
Some interpret them as spirits, others say they could be portals to other dimensions… and then of course some say they’re just dust balls.
We may never know exactly what causes these visions, but luckily you won’t need to worry about disturbing the dead during our game, as Where Dark Things Dwell stays well clear of this ominous graveyard!
Whether you love history, or are just an escape room enthusiast, our historic settings certainly add a special atmosphere to our escape games… just hopefully not ghosts.