live theatre toronto

The Best Live Theatre Venues in Toronto

The best live theatre venues in Toronto are some of the greatest spaces to see the most innovative performances in the city. Tiny and intimate all the way up to capacious and impressive, these are the places where you’ll see the theatre that moves you using all the advantages the venue provides.

These are the best live theatre venues in Toronto.

Princess of Wales Theatre

A Mirvish theatre opened in 1993, this King Street behemoth boasts 2,000 plush red seats and intricate molding decorating the balconies. American Express cardholders get an express line in the basement lounge, and special facilities are provided for the hearing impaired.

Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres

This stacked theatre combination is the last remaining of its kind in the world, with the Winter Garden sitting some seven storeys above the Elgin. The hundred-year-old theatre got a new marquee with 1,240 light bulbs in 1995.

buddies in bad times

The space at Buddies is one of the most unique performance venues in the city. Photo courtesy of Buddies in Bad Times.

Buddies in Bad Times

Just off one of the busiest stretches of Yonge, this theatre is dedicated to representing queer voices and alternative performance. Taking its name from a Jaques Prevert song, this project founded in 1979 actually started out with an initial performance in a brewery.

The Royal Alexandra Theatre

Built in 1907 and outfitted with nearly 1,500 seats, this historical gem near King and Simcoe is the oldest continuously operating theatre in North America. Performances take place on a classic proscenium stage, and there are two levels of balconies.

Tarragon Theatre

Tucked away on Bridgman St. in the north Annex, this space specializes in contemporary theatre. The Mainspace of the building where the company has made its home since the 70s has 205 seats and the Extra Space comes in at 100. A must for hardcore Canadian theatre junkies.

crowsnest theatre

The Crowsnest Theatre is one of Toronto's new live performance venues. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

Streetcar Crowsnest

This relatively new space near Dundas and Carlaw not only has an innovative modular design that allows for experimental interplay between the audience and performers, but also hosts a bar and the French bistro Gare de l’Est in the building.

Factory Theatre

On Bathurst at Adelaide, this venue has hosted the Factory Theatre Company since the 80s, which has produced hundreds of solely Canadian plays since its inception. Parts of the building have been around since before 1900.

Young Centre for the Performing Arts

In the Distillery District, this muted and modern space contrasts with the historical setting it’s placed in. Soulpepper’s year-round repertory season takes place there, and it’s a great place to catch some excellent amateur theatre by George Brown students.

berkeley street theatre

Housed in a historical building, the Berkeley Street Theatre is one of the finest performance venues in Toronto. Photo courtesy of CanStage.

Berkeley Street Theatre

Located on the street after which it's named near Front St., this brick venue is cozy and hushed. The downstairs theatre has 244 seats, while the upstairs boasts 167. Not only is a great place to catch Canadian Stage theatrical performances, but dance and musical acts as well.

Coal Mine

This unassuming storefront theatre on the Danforth hosts a limited number of independent plays put on for one 80-seat audience a night. It doesn’t get much further off Broadway than this.

Theatre Passe Muraille

The company at this theatre on Ryerson Avenue near Queen and Bathurst has always and continues to foster some of the brightest stars in Canadian culture. Since 1968, TPM has been responsible for the production of over 600 alternative Canadian plays.

The Theatre Centre

An incubator for the research and development of new live theatre, the theatre space that’s hosted the project since 2014 is located in an accessible heritage building on West Queen West. Their two-year residency program provides risk-taking artists with the funding, mentorship and space to create collaboratively.

Lead photo by

Greg David

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