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Keg Mansion in Toronto | The Legend and Ghost of Lillian’s Maid

Tragic Legend gives Keg Mansion its Ghost

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Lillian was the only daughter of Hart Massey. Educated at the advanced Wesleyan Woman’s College in Hamilton (where the Royal Connaught is today). 

She died in 1915. While living in today’s Keg Mansion house. Was only 6 years after her husband.

According to legend, this tragic occurrence happened just after Lillian’s death.


History of the Keg Mansion

Jarvis Street, the pinnacle of Victorian Toronto’s high society.  Where families of the city’s rich escaped their busy lives. Getting away from work, but remaining in the city they built.

Jarvis lined with strong monuments.  Unique mansions never copied… and none so impressive as the Keg Mansion.

Built for McMaster

The Keg Restaurant bought one the houses in 1976. 

Are you not from Canada? The Keg is a steakhouse. And is known for re-purposing old buildings. Like this Toronto mansion, and an old factory in St. Catharines.

They built the house in 1867 for Arthur McMaster. This last name is familiar to locals. It’s the same family who founded McMaster University

The University was once in Toronto. They moved to Hamilton for space.  Arthur was nephew of school founder, William McMaster.

Keg Mansion - Current Day
Current Day

The Massey Family

In 1880, Hart Massey bought the house.  Hart was from Toronto. Moved away briefly to Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Hart’s daughter Lillian eventually took over the house and ran all family interests.  At the time, a woman running the family was different. That didn’t matter to the Massey’s, or all familial contacts.

Lillian demanded respect! 

Lillian Massey, matriarch of family
Lillian Massey Portrait

She renamed the house Euclid Hall after their old street in Cleveland.

The Massey’s are (arguably) the most prominent family in Toronto history.  Hart was an industrialist who founded many new buildings. Including for the University of Toronto, and Canada’s first concert hall, Massey Hall.

Toronto Ghost Walks - Massey Hall

The Massey Grandson’s

Grandson’s Vincent and Raymond were famous in opposite ways.

Vincent became the Governor General of Canada in 1952. And Raymond was an actor.

Oscar Nominated Actor

Raymond was known for great roles in Hollywood. Got the Oscar nod in 1940 for playing Abe Lincoln in “Abe Lincoln in Illinois”. 

A Canadian playing Lincoln! This outraged Americans. Who were easily silenced by his performance.

Someone once quoted,

“Raymond wouldn’t feel his Lincoln impersonation is complete until getting assassinated”

Raymond Massey as Abraham Lincoln
Raymond Massey as Abe Lincoln

Euclid Hall (Keg Mansion) was…

  • Given to the Victoria College in 1915 as the first home of radio station CFRB (now Newstalk 1010)
  • Then an art gallery
  • A restaurant
  • Finally the Keg Restaurant.

The Legend of Lillian’s Maid

Lillian Massey was beloved by her staff inside the Keg Mansion. So much so, the legend began.

Did a maid take her Lillian’s death too hard?

The Story

The woman was downstairs, as a sick Lillian lay dying in her bed. Tension hung over the house, until the moment the doctor pronounced her dead.

When a maid learned of Lillian’s passing. She walked to the oval vestibule above the main staircase. You can see this spot today, near the 2nd floor washrooms (including the very haunted woman’s restroom).

Dropping down from above

Fashioned a noose and wrapped the end around the posts made of strong wood. Climbed over and dropped down.

House staff found her. Swinging above the foyer near the grand staircase.

Staircase in Keg Mansion - Kids heard, maid hanging

Most believe her death was due to grief. 

But another version of the legend suggests something different. It says the maid was having a secret affair with a married Massey family member. 

For unknown reasons, this maid believed her secret would be exposed after Lillian’s death.

Note, there’s no historical proof of either version of the legend.

The Maid’s Ghost

Do you trust the legend? Don’t matter, cause many believe Lillian’s Maid is the resident ghost of the Keg Mansion.

Either from history, or built up energy from strong belief. Witnesses to the maid’s spirit include Keg staff locking up at night.

Most Common Ghostly Experience

Walking to secure the front door after a long night of serving customers. Some staff see movement from the corner of their eyes. Spinning towards the the grand staircase.

They call it a “glimpse”. A quick scene enough to terrify the toughest employee. Too quick to frighten in that second, but remembered always.

What they saw… a woman hanging down from the second floor. Swinging slowly from her noose. Then she’s gone.

Staff only see the maid at the grand staircase. No where else in the mansion. And always hanging.

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