mirvish caa theatre

Historic 112-year-old theatre in Toronto is slated for demolition

A performing arts venue in Toronto may soon shut its doors after hosting some of the most entertaining productions in the world over the course of its 112-year history. 

Mirvish CAA Theatre, located at 651 Yonge Street, is set to be redeveloped into a 76-storey, mixed-use building according to applications documents filed with the city and obtained by the Toronto Star

The development application for the site was filed on Sept. 15, and the project proposes 50,000 metres of residential space and 678 dwelling units to replace the historic venue. 

The plan also includes a high-quality retail space on the ground floor of the site and a community cultural and residential space above. 

City planner Abraham Plunkett-Latimer told the Star that there's usually a back-and-forth process between developers and the city to address concerns in the application, meaning it still might be a couple more years before we see the theatre officially close its doors. 

Mirvish's director of sales and marketing also told the Star in an emailed statement that the organization is "committed to running the CAA Theatre as a home for a variety of works that fall between small and large spaces for as long as it can." 

The 700-seat mid-size theatre is the smallest of four venues owned and operated by Mirvish Productions in Toronto, which include the Royal Alexandra, the Princess of Wales, and the CAA Ed Mirvish. 

Originally built as a private residence in 1911, the building was eventually converted into a movie theatre called The Victory a few years later. 

In 1993, the building was renovated for live theatre productions and renamed The New Yorker Theatre. It was completely rebuilt in 2005 with only its facade remaining and renamed the Panasonic Theatre. 

The historic venue was purchased by Mirvish Productions in 2008, and renamed in 2018 as part of a new partnership with CAA. 

Upcoming productions scheduled at the theatre in 2023 include God of Carnage, The Land Acknowledgement or As You Like It, and The Simon & Garfunkel Story

If the theatre does happen to shutter for good, it represents a huge loss for the performing arts community and the preservation of mid-sized entertainment venues across the city. 

Lead photo by

Mirvish Productions

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