The Theatre Lover’s Guide To Toronto

Mention the word “theatre,” and the first cities that come to mind are London and New York. However, there is another city with a vibrant theatre scene tucked away to the north.

Thriving metropolis Toronto, home to the CN Tower and Drake, boasts and arts and culture scene that is sure to add some dramatic flair to any vacation.

Here are some suggested stops for theatre enthusiasts visiting Toronto:

The Second City

Comedy fans can enjoy a hilarious (and reasonably priced) evening of sketches at famed locale The Second City. This stage has seen greats such as John Candy, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara and Dan Aykroyd. Who knows, you might just catch a soon-to-be star on the verge of their big break.

Historic Theatres

Toronto’s entertainment district is home to several historic theatres, including the Ed Mirvish Theatre, the Princess of Wales Theatre and the Royal Alexandra Theatre. These theatres host shows direct from Broadway, and some even offer guided tours upon request.

Canada’s Walk of Fame

See some of Canada’s most prominent stars on Toronto’s version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, including Ryan Reynolds, Margaret Atwood, Michael J. Fox, Rachel McAdams and Donald Sutherland.

Massey Hall

The historic Massey Hall is a heritage site that has played host to a few legends in its time, including George Gershwin, Igor Stravinsky and Oscar Peterson. Book a tour of the venue or check out box office listings for upcoming live shows.

Toronto International Film Festival

Heading to Toronto in September? Check out the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Take in a film, enjoy a host of events taking place or join in on star-gazing as celebrities descend upon the city.

Escape Room at Casa Loma

A grand castle in the heart of the city, Casa Loma is a sight to behold in its own right. But in addition to gorgeous grounds, it also offers tourists the option for mystery and intrigue with its series of theatrical escape rooms, complete with actors, props and a puzzle to solve.

Canadian Arts Companies

Fans of the various branches of the arts have a buffet of choices, including the famed National Ballet of Canada, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Company. Audiences can enjoy an evening of creative expression from world-class performers in the heart of the city.

Fringe Festival

A summertime favorite, the Toronto Fringe Festival showcases up-and-coming talent at venues across the city. Claiming to be the largest theatre festival in Ontario, the event keeps things affordable with low-priced tickets and free performances.

Young People’s Theatre

The family-friendly Young People’s Theatre has been a part of Toronto’s theatre scene for over 50 years. The theatre offers a selection of shows every season for a range of age groups, from young children to high school students. It also runs drama school programs for young actors year-round.

Shakespeare in High Park

From June to September, tourists and locals flock to beautiful High Park for an enchanting evening of theatre under the stars in Shakespeare in High Park. Audiences can enjoy one of Shakespeare’s famous works presented by contemporary theatre company Canadian Stage, which is marking its 30th season this year.

Bonus: Shaw Festival and Stratford Festival

So, these aren’t exactly in Toronto, but they’re definitely worth the trip outside of the city. Take a drive to historic and oh-so-adorable Niagara-on-the-Lake and catch a show at the Shaw Festival. Or, hop on a direct bus to the Stratford Festival to enjoy a musical or play. Adventure awaits in this trip within a trip!

See the sights and soak up the culture, all while checking off another city on your theatre-themed bucket list.

Know of a theatre-themed activity in Toronto that we missed? Let us know in the comments below…

Written by Katelynn Johnston

Katelynn is a writer and elementary arts teacher from Toronto. From acting to choreographing to directing, she has been fortunate enough to take part in a variety of shows.

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