Historically the area surrounding the Old Mill was a hunting and fishing ground for First Nations before European exploration of the area, and subsequent settlement. The Old Mill was Toronto's first sawmill and was built circa 1793. It later opened as the Old Mill Tea Garden in 1914, and was a place for dancing to big band music through the 1920s. Today The Old Mill Inn and Spa is one of the city's finest establishments, and reportedly has a ghost of it's own, but we are still researching the origin.
Thanks to one of our e-mails I was reminded of the story of the woman with long black hair and flowing white dress that haunts the mill and the surrounding area.
Update June 2009
One of our readers sent in the following:
"I was looking up information about haunted areas in Toronto and stumbled across your website. After browsing some of your pages I decided to click on the Old Mill (since this is where I experience my most astonishing ghost encounter).
I noticed that you had very little information about the site other than reports of a female ghost in a white dress. My heart leapt when reading this! Both my boyfriend and I have seen, not only her, but an unknown male companion.
After confirming with my boyfriend that he had never told the story to anyone over the internet, I felt compelled to email you our account of that night.
Our encounter took place almost exactly a year ago, sometime in late June or early July of 2008. It was approximately 10:30PM when we had reached Old Mill station after returning from a night out with friends. Since we had just missed the bus, my boyfriend and I decided to go for a walk in the surrounding Old Mill area. It was a very dark but warm and clear night.
We made our way past the Inn and then East towards the river where we crossed the Old Mill bridge. At the very end of the bridge is a set of stairs that lead down to a path that goes North along the East bank of the river. I remember commenting about the street lamp above the stairs because it kept turning on and off at strange intervals.
We followed the path for about half an hour before turning back and heading for the station. It was on our return walk that we briefly encountered what we can only assume were two ghosts.
As we headed back towards the bridge (probably about 100m away from it), I was busy trying to explain something to my boyfriend. I don't remember what we were talking about but somewhere in the middle of our conversation my boyfriend had stopped dead in his tracks. He had said something like, "Why are they all in white? They look like they're going to jump!" At this point, I quickly followed his gaze to the bridge. The street lamp above the stairs had turned on again and two pale white figures could be seen on the bridge.
Then, as suddenly as we had seen them, the lamp turned off again and the figures disappeared. Amazed by what we had seen, we stood there trying to confirm it with each other. The obligatory, "Did you see that?! They just disappeared," followed soon after. My boyfriend had more time to look at them than I did but we had both definitely seen two white figures on the parapet of the bridge: a man and a woman in a dress. To me it had seemed that the woman was much shorter than the male. My boyfriend, however, assures me that this was because she was actually sitting on the parapet.
(I have confirmed from pictures of people on the bridge that the two figures must have been sitting/standing on the parapet for us to have seen that much of their bodies.)
The details of what they were wearing are lost to me. I am only sure that woman must have been wearing a white dress because I remember thinking, "Why is that woman in a night gown?". My boyfriend has said that the male figure was wearing a suit or what must have been a dress coat.
Since we needed to walk across the bridge to get back to the station, we decided that we'd inspect the area where the ghosts had been. (The light had already turned itself on again and it never flickered the way you'd expect a dying lamp would.)
I had somehow thought that there might have been trees behind the bridge but there was nothing there that would have given the illusion of two figures, and certainly nothing that would have disappeared that quickly.
Feeling very uneasy and not wanting to hang around, I told my boyfriend that we should leave. Walking up the stairs I half-jokingly added that the lamp might turn itself off again as we walk under it.
Of course, the light did turn off as predicted and we ended up running most of the way back."
Photo Credit of Old Mill Inn and Spa
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