8 Magnificent Theatres of Toronto
A great way to discover a city, such as Toronto. Going to the theatre!
By that, we mean to explore the culture, the food, and the multidimensional entertainment venues of the City. Any visit to Toronto would seem incomplete without experiencing one of the many theatres in the city. They will leave you spellbound by its performances and events. And to help you narrow down your list, and save you loads of time, we’ve compiled a must-visit list of some of the city’s most iconic theatres, where you get to experience some of the best performances in the world, by influential artists. But before we get on with our comprehensive list, it’ll be a good idea to clear off some doubts you may be having.
You might be wondering: ‘When are venues opening?’, ‘Are venues requiring vaccinations?’ Or ‘What venues require a covid pass?’. To keep audiences safe and healthy, most venues are still operating with utmost caution. But that is not to say, that the City isn’t opening up again. As the country makes a fast comeback from the aftermath of Covid, theatres and venues have started welcoming guests and patrons again. And to make sure you visit all the right places, you can go through SpotEv’s exhaustive list of venues across the city, including the ones we’ll cover in this list.
So, without any more delays, let’s get on with our list of some of the most prestigious theatres in Toronto.
1. TIFF Bell Lightbox
Located within the first five floors of the Bell Lightbox and Festival Tower, TIFF Bell Lightbox is a cultural epicenter for cinema, in Toronto. They house five cinema theatres, two restaurants, multiple galleries, and several learning studios. It also serves as the headquarters for the Toronto International Film Festival, as well as a venue for other film screenings and more intimate film festivals, throughout the year. If cinema is your religion, then the TIFF is bound to astound you.
A modern 2000-seat theatre, The Princess of Wales Theatre opened to the public in 1993. It was the first privately built theatre in North America, in over five decades, and the only one in the country after the historic Royal Alexandra Theatre. This theatre is one of the premier locations to witness classic and contemporary musical productions. It’s one of the most prestigious venues with live music.
3. Roy Thomson Hall
The Roy Thomson Hall was built with the aim of being a not-for-profit charitable organization, to showcase the world’s greatest performers from many disciplines.The Hall is also a prominent venue for a diverse range of activities, in the business and entertainment district of downtown Toronto. Inaugurated in 1982, the theatre can accommodate more than 2,600 attendees.
Founded in 1886 by Edward Fisher, the Royal Conservatory of Music is a non-profit institution and performance venue aimed at the education & appreciation of music. The venue became the first institution of its kind in Canada where singers and musicians were trained. Anyone who has an ear and a heart for music should visit this one-of-a-kind theatre.
Considered to be a national historical landmark, the Royal Alexandra Theatre is the oldest continuously operating theatre in North America. Built in 1907, the theatre is one of the best examples of beaux-arts style architecture.
It also holds the distinction of being Toronto’s first steel-framed structure. The theatre’s stage has witnessed more than 3000 performances since its opening and has had the honor of hosting world-renowned, legendary performers such as Mary Pickford, Paul Robeson, Edith Piaf, and the Marx Brothers… to name just a few. With a seating capacity of 1,244, it’s an architectural masterpiece that hosts the world’s best artists. The Royal Conservatory features a wide range of music genres such as western classical, jazz, and pop music.
A venue built specifically for opera and ballet performances with the highest quality of acoustics, The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts takes the live performance experience to the next level. The meticulous design of the theatre allows the performance of three productions in concurrence. The venue also houses a large orchestra pit that offers presentations of classical music’s most well-renowned compositions. It’s a 2,000-seat theatre in Toronto that is also the home of the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada.
7. The Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Centre
The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres are the last surviving Edwardian stacked theatres in the world. Originally built as the flagship of Marcus Loew’s theatre chain in 1913, both theatres were built to show vaudeville acts and the silent cinema of that time. In 1928, the lower theatre started showing films with sound. A visit to this uniquely structured theatre is truly a one-of-a-kind experience.
Known worldwide for its outstanding acoustics, the Massey Hall is a jewel in the crown of performing arts theatres, in Toronto. Established in 1894, the venue was originally designed to seat 3,500 patrons. Following extensive renovations in the 1940s, the current seating capacity stands at 2,765 people. The hall has an extensive history of concerts by artists of many musical genres. It has hosted everything from boxing matches, symphony orchestras, operas, and speeches to rock concerts.
Not just sky-scrapers, Toronto has so much more to offer through its theatres that host multi-cultural events and performances. These venues are not just places to be entertained at, but also a part of the country’s rich history as well.
So make sure you see the real parts of Toronto, by booking a show at these magnificent buildings.
Until next time… Bonne journée!