10 Best Toronto Theatre and Music Venues for the Senior Traveler

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Looking for the best Toronto theatre and music offerings this vibrant city has to offer. We’ve listed our ten best options, any of which would provide an enjoyable, culture-packed weekend getaway. There certainly is a rich variety of theatrical and music offerings in this world-class city!

Whether you are a fan of classical music, jazz, rock, opera, ballet, musicals, comedy or drama, you’ll find something to suit your taste here.  Senior travelers will appreciate that most venues offer accessibility features.

These venues are not only renowned for their artistic excellence and historic charm, but also for their accessibility, comfort and convenience. So book your tickets and get ready to enjoy some of the finest performances in Canada!

CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre

The Princess of Wales Theatre is one of the most beautiful and luxurious Toronto theatres. And yes, it was named after Princess Diana with her permission.

Photo by Can Pac Swire via Flickr – Princess of Wales Theatre – Dress Circle View – Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic

This modern theatrical venue boasts a stunning Art Deco style and a lavish interior that feature murals, sculptures and chandeliers.

You can watch some of the most popular musicals and plays in Broadway history, such as The Lion King, Les Miserables, Mamma Mia! and The Phantom of the Opera. Two original Canadian productions they offered include Come From Away and The Drowsy Chaperone.

The Princess of Wales Theatre is located in the heart of Toronto’s vibrant entertainment district at 300 King Street West. It is a short walk from the St Andrew subway station.

Senior travelers will appreciate that the theatre is wheelchair accessible. It also offers hearing assistance devices, large print programs, accessible seating and audio-described performances.

CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre

The CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre is one of the oldest and most historic of Toronto theatre venues. This grand performing arts center has a majestic neoclassical facade.  Its opulent interior features marble columns, gold leaf details and crystal chandeliers.

You can enjoy some of the most acclaimed musicals and plays from around the world, such as Hamilton, Wicked, The Book of Mormon and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. You can also see some classic Canadian productions, such as Anne of Green Gables and Billy Bishop Goes to War.

Here’s an interesting read on the theatre’s tumultuous history with many changes in ownership and multiple redesigns.

Ed Mirvish Theatre is located at 244 Victoria Street, near Yonge Street and Dundas subway station. It is wheelchair accessible and offers hearing assistance devices, large print programs, accessible seating and audio-described performances.

Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Centre

Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Centre is a unique and historic theatre complex that consists of two stacked theatres: the Elgin Theatre and the Winter Garden Theatre. In fact, it is “the last operating vaudeville-era double-decker theatre in the world.”  If you’d like to learn more about its history, the theatre offers 90-minute guided tours.

Photo by: Andrew Lopes, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Elgin Theatre’s elegant and ornate design features a domed ceiling, a proscenium arch and a marble staircase.

The Winter Garden Theatre is a whimsical and enchanting theatre that features a painted sky, a garden of artificial plants and lanterns.

You can see some of the most diverse and innovative musicals and plays in Toronto, such as Come From Away, Jersey Boys, The Sound of Music and The Illusionists.

Other options here are concerts, festivals and special events. One of these, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) attracts major Hollywood stars and producers. The theatre has also been host to the Canadian Screen Awards and the Toronto Fringe Festival.

Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Centre is located at 189 Yonge Street, near Queen Street East and Queen subway station. It is wheelchair accessible and offers hearing assistance devices, large print programs, accessible seating and audio-described performances.

Royal Alexandra Theatre

Royal Alexandra Theatre is one of the oldest and most elegant theatres in Toronto. It has a charming Edwardian style and a cozy interior. Design features include wood paneling, stained glass windows and plush seats.

A couple of interesting facts – it was:

  • one of the first “air-conditioned” buildings in North America; and\
  • the first theatre to be deemed legitimately “fireproof”

You can watch some of the most original and creative musicals and plays in Toronto, such as Dear Evan Hansen, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Matilda and Come From Away.

Other classic Canadian productions have been The Hockey Sweater and Kim’s Convenience.

Royal Alexandra Theatre is located in the heart of the busy Entertainment Distrct at 260 King Street West.

It is wheelchair accessible and offers hearing assistance devices, large print programs, accessible seating and audio-described performances.

Roy Thomson Hall

Photo by Rick Ligthelm – CC BY 2.0 DEED Attribution 2.0 Generic

Roy Thomson Hall is the stunning home of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. It has the reputation of being one of the most prestigious concert halls in North America. It’s unique architectural circular design and magnificent pipe organ create a superb acoustic environment.

Concert goers can enjoy a wide range of classical music, from symphonies and chamber music to choral and solo recitals.

However, you can also catch some jazz, pop, folk and world music shows featuring local and international artists.

Roy Thomson Hall is located at 60 Simcoe Street, near King Street West and University Avenue.

It is wheelchair accessible and offers hearing assistance devices, large print programs and accessible seating. You can also enjoy pre-concert talks, post-concert receptions and guided tours of the hall.

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts is the home of the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada. It is an elegant, modern building that boasts a state-of-the-art auditorium and a spectacular glass facade.

An interesting fact:  To prevent performances to be disturbed by the rumble from the adjacent subway line and streetcars, the theatre sits on 489 rubber insulating pads. Great care was taken with other architectural details to provide the Centre’s vaunted acoustics.

The result is that the centre attracts patrons to someof the finest opera and ballet productions in the world, featuring world-class singers, dancers, musicians and directors.

Photo by Randy McDonald via Flickr – Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Interior of The Four Seasons Centre for The Performing Arts.

The Centre offers special events, such as free concerts, lectures, masterclasses and workshops.

It is located at 145 Queen Street West, near University Avenue and Osgoode subway station.

It is wheelchair accessible and offers hearing assistance devices, large print programs, accessible seating and audio-described performances.

Massey Hall

The venerable Massey Hall is one of the oldest and most iconic music venues in Toronto. It’s vaunted acoustics have attracted some of the best jazz, blues, rock, folk and pop music acts in the world. The late Gordon Lightfoot was a favorite performer here.  Massey Hall has hosted other music legends such as Ella Fitzgerald, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell.

Occasionally there are also some comedy and spoken word shows.

The building’s classic red-brick exterior is no architectural marvel.  However, a cozy interior with its warm and intimate atmosphere awaits.

Massey Hall is located at 178 Victoria Street, near Yonge Street and Queen subway station. It is wheelchair accessible and offers hearing assistance devices, large print programs and accessible seating.

Koerner Hall

Koerner Hall is one of the most modern and acoustically perfect concert halls in Toronto. Its stunning glass lobby and sleek auditorium that create a visually and sonically stunning environment.  One of its unique features is a wavy canopy of oak panels that contribute to the Hall’s excellent acoustics.

The Hall is located next to the Royal Conservatory, and is one of that institution’s three concert venues.

You can listen to some of the finest classical music concerts in Toronto, featuring renowned orchestras, ensembles, soloists and conductors.

The programming also includes some jazz, world music, pop, rock and folk music shows featuring local and international artists.

Koerner Hall is located at 273 Bloor Street West, near Avenue Road and Museum subway station. It is wheelchair accessible and offers hearing assistance devices, large print programs and accessible seating.

The CAA Theatre (formerly the Panasonic Theatre)

The CAA Theatre is one of the most intimate and contemporary theatres in Toronto. It has a simple and elegant design and a flexible auditorium that can accommodate up to 700 people.

You can see some of the most cutting-edge and provocative musicals and plays in Toronto. For example some shows presented here have been Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Book of Mormon, The Last Five Years and Evil Dead: The Musical.

You can also see some comedy shows, concerts, film screenings and special events featuring local and international talent.

The CAA Theatre is located at 651 Yonge Street, near Bloor Street East and Bloor-Yonge subway station. It is wheelchair accessible and offers hearing assistance devices, large print programs, accessible seating and audio-described performances.

Meridian Hall

Meridian Hall, formerly known as the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, is a major performing arts venue in Toronto.  It is located right in the heart of the city at the southeast corner of Front and Yonge Streets.

The Hall boasts the largest soft-seat theatre in Canada. Theatre-goers enjoy an unobstructed view from any of its 3,191 seats to view culturally inclusive shows. This mandate reflects the vaunted multi-cultural diversity of the city, making it an important destination for its inspired programming.

Performances range from dance to concerts, comedy acts, festivals, galas, and award-shows, to  films with a live orchestra.

All entrances, concessions and entrances are fully accessible.

Summary

Toronto is a great destination for senior travelers who love music and theatre. You can choose from 10 amazing venues that offer a variety of performances for every taste and budget. You can also enjoy the accessibility, comfort and convenience that these venues provide. So don’t miss this opportunity to experience some of the best music and theatre in Canada!🎭

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Susan Cooper

I'm a "woman of a certain age" who loves to travel, preferably in style! There's something exciting about exploring new places, meeting fellow travelers, and experiencing local cuisine. But I also really enjoy relaxing at a cafe. And it's always fun to absorb a little culture and history along the way!


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