We’ve compiled the best of the best in Toronto - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre

    Dundas Square Area

    This jewel in the crown of the Toronto arts scene consists of two former vaudeville halls, built in 1913, one on top of the other. It's the last operating double-decker theater complex in the world (the Elgin is downstairs and the Winter Garden upstairs) and a Canadian National Historic Site. Until 1928, the theaters hosted silent-film and vaudeville legends like George Burns, Gracie Allen, and Edgar Bergen with Charlie McCarthy. Today's performances are still surrounded by magnificent settings: Elgin's dramatic gold-leaf-and-cherub-adorned interior and the Winter Garden's A Midsummer Night's Dream--inspired decor, complete with tree branches overhead. These stages host Broadway-caliber musicals, comedians, jazz concerts, operas, and Toronto International Film Festival screenings. Guided tours are offered for C$12.

    189 Yonge St., Toronto, Ontario, M5B 1M4, Canada
  • 2. Koerner Hall


    This handsome 1,135-seat concert hall pleases performers and audiences with rich acoustics and undulating wood "strings" floating overhead. Acts have included such greats as Yo-Yo Ma, Chick Corea, Ravi Shankar, Midori, Taj Mahal, and Savion Glover. It's part of the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning.

    273 Bloor St. W, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1V6, Canada
  • 3. Massey Hall

    Dundas Square Area

    This historical and internationally renowned concert venue is known for near-perfect acoustics and for hosting acclaimed artists since 1894—from Dizzy Gillespie to Justin Bieber, as well as comedians, indie bands, dance performances, and theater plays. After a three-year closure, Massey Hall reopened in 2021 revealing a beautifully repaired facade; detailed hand restoration of its signature ceiling arches; and the construction of the Allied Music Centre, a seven-story glass tower, which provides additional space for events.

    178 Victoria St., Toronto, Ontario, M5B 1T7, Canada
    416-872–4255-box office
  • 4. Roy Thomson Hall

    Entertainment District

    Toronto's premier concert hall, home of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, also hosts visiting orchestras, popular entertainers, and Toronto International Film Festival red-carpet screenings. The 2,630-seat auditorium opened in 1982 and is named after Roy Thomson, who was born in Toronto and founded the publishing empire Thomson Corporation (now Thomson Reuters).

    60 Simcoe St., Toronto, Ontario, M5J 2H5, Canada
  • 5. Soulpepper Theatre Company

    Distillery District

    Established in 1998 by some of Canada's leading theater artists, Soulpepper is Toronto's largest not-for-profit theater company. It produces classic and newly commissioned plays, musicals, and concerts year-round.

    50 Tank House La., Toronto, Ontario, M5A 3C4, Canada
    416-866–8666-box office

    Arts/Entertainment Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.
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  • 6. The Music Gallery

    Queen West | Music

    Toronto's go-to spot for experimental music, the self-titled "center for creative music" presents an eclectic selection of avant-garde and experimental music from world and classical to jazz and avant-pop in a relaxed environment.

    St. George the Martyr Church, 197 John St., 2 blocks north of Queen St. at Stephanie St., Toronto, Ontario, M5T 1X6, Canada
  • 7. Toronto Dance Theatre


    The oldest contemporary dance company in the city, TDT has created more than 100 original works since its beginnings in the 1960s, often using original scores by Canadian composers. Two or three pieces are performed each year in its home theater in Cabbagetown.

    80 Winchester St., Toronto, Ontario, M4X 1B2, Canada
  • 8. Toronto International Film Festival


    Perhaps the most important film festival in the world after Cannes and Sundance, TIFF is open to the public and even the star-studded galas are accessible to the average Joe. More than 300 works by both acclaimed and lesser-known directors from around the world are shown. Movies that premiere at TIFF have won Academy Awards and launched the careers of emerging actors and directors—TIFF audiences have been among the first in the world to see movies like La La Land, Slumdog Millionaire, and Juno. The red carpet is rolled out for star-studded premieres, and actors and directors may be on hand afterward for Q&As. Along with the serious documentaries, foreign films, and Oscar contenders, TIFF has fun with its Midnight Madness program, screening campy horror films, comedies, and action movies.

    350 King St. W, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 3X5, Canada
  • 9. Toronto Symphony Orchestra

    Entertainment District

    Since 1922 this orchestra has achieved world acclaim with music directors such as Sir Ernest MacMillan, Seiji Ozawa, and Sir Andrew Davis. Canadian-born Peter Oundjian reinvigorated the ensemble and significantly strengthened its presence in the world when he was musical director from 2004 until 2018. Guest performers have included pianist Lang Lang, violinist Itzhak Perlman, and singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright. Each season the orchestra screens a classic film, such as Star Wars or Singin' in the Rain, and plays the score as it runs. The TSO also presents about three concerts weekly at Roy Thomson Hall from October through June.

    60 Simcoe St., Toronto, Ontario, M5J 2H5, Canada
    416-593–4828-Roy Thomson Hall ticket line
  • 10. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre


    Canada's largest queer theater company presents edgy plays and festivals, as well as specialty events like parties, burlesque, and stand-up. 

    12 Alexander St., Toronto, Ontario, M4Y 1B4, Canada
  • 11. Budweiser Stage


    When summer comes, this outdoor amphitheater at the waterfront becomes one of the most sought-after concert venues in town. With a capacity of 16,000, it's a spot for big touring acts of all genres, from classic rock like Santana to hip-hop artists like Kendrick Lamar. It's also a common venue for hometown hero Drake's headline-grabbing OVO Fest and an annual warm-weather blowout for local folk-rockers Blue Rodeo. It's a seated venue, partially covered, though open-air tickets on a back lawn are also available. Nearby venue Echo Beach also offers slightly smaller shows on sand.

    Toronto, Ontario, M6K 3L3, Canada
  • 12. Canadian Opera Company

    Queen West | Opera

    Founded in 1950, the COC has grown into the largest producer of opera in Canada, and has proven innovative and often daring with presentations that range from popular operas to more modern or rarely performed works. The COC maintains its international reputation for artistic excellence and creative leadership by presenting new productions from a diverse repertoire, collaborating with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracting the world's foremost Canadian and international artists. It often hosts world-renowned performers, and it pioneered the use of scrolling SURTITLES, which allow the audience to follow the libretto in English in a capsulized translation that appears above the stage. Tickets sell out quickly. Tours (C$20 for adults; C$15 for seniors/students) of the COC's opera house, the magnificent Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, are given when the performance schedule allows (usually on Sundays); check the website for times and dates.

    Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W, at University Ave., Toronto, Ontario, M5H 4G1, Canada
  • 13. Canadian Stage

    Old Town

    Canadian Stage is the country’s leading contemporary performing arts organization, focusing on cross-disciplinary works that integrate theater, dance, film, visual arts, and more to reflect the complexity and cultural richness of Canada. It stages productions at the Bluma Appel Theatre ( 27 Front St. E), which seats 867, and the more intimate Berkeley Street Theatre ( 26 Berkeley St.), which has a capacity of 244 seats.

    27 Front St. E, Toronto, Ontario, M5E 1B4, Canada
    416-368–3110-box office
  • 14. Ed Mirvish Theatre

    Dundas Square Area

    This 1920 vaudeville theater has had numerous names over the years, including the Pantages, the Imperial, and the Canon. Now named in honor of local businessman and theater impresario Ed Mirvish, it's one of the most architecturally and acoustically exciting live theaters in Toronto. The theater itself is considered one of the most beautiful in the world and was refurbished in 1989. Designed by world-renowned theater architect Thomas Lamb, it has a grand staircase, gold-leaf detailing, and crystal chandeliers.

    244 Victoria St., Toronto, Ontario, M5B 1V8, Canada
  • 15. El Mocambo


    This historic music venue is famous for legendary '70s concerts by the Rolling Stones and Elvis Costello, but after local celebrity investor Michael Wekerle bought it and gave it an expensive renovation, it's active again in the 2020s. Still an intimate space with two different stages, the Elmo (as it's affectionately known) is now a very shiny, neon-lit tribute to classic rock with some of the crispest sound and lighting in town. Tickets can be costly.

    464 Spadina Ave., Toronto, Ontario, M5T 2G8, Canada
  • 16. Factory Theatre

    Entertainment District

    This is the country's largest producer of exclusively Canadian plays. Many of the company's shows are world premieres that have gone on to tour Canada and win prestigious awards.

    125 Bathurst St., Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2R2, Canada
  • 17. Free Concert Series

    Queen West | Concerts

    Free Concert Series. The Canadian Opera Company's Free Concert Series takes place September through June with music and dance performances most Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon in the Four Seasons Centre's Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre. Check the calendar on the COC website to see what's on. 145 Queen St. W., Queen West, Toronto, ON, M5H 4G1. 416/363–8231. Osgoode Station.

    145 Queen St. W., Toronto, Ontario, M5H 4G1, Canada
  • 18. Harbourfront Centre

    Harbourfront | Dance

    This venue has two theaters for dance and two renowned dance series: Next Steps which runs from September through the spring, and World Stage which also includes theatre and begins in January. The Fleck Dance Theatre was built specifically for modern dance in 1983. The proscenium stage hosts some of the best local and Canadian modern and contemporary companies, in addition to some international acts. The Enwave Theatre welcomes these same types of dance performances as well as plays and concerts. It has excellent acoustics. Both theaters are small (446 and 422 seats, respectively) so you're never far from the stage.

    Harbourfront Centre, 207 Queen's Quay W, at Lower Simcoe St., Toronto, Ontario, M5J 2G8, Canada
    View Tours and Activities
  • 19. Harbourfront Centre

    Harbourfront | Film

    In July and August, free movies are screened outdoors as part of the Free Flicks program. Documentaries, frequently accompanying summer festivals, cultural events, and retrospectives, are presented ad hoc throughout the year.

    235 Queen's Quay W, at Lower Simcoe St., Toronto, Ontario, M5J 2G8, Canada
    View Tours and Activities
  • 20. Hart House Theatre

    Queen's Park

    The main theater space of the University of Toronto since 1919, Hart House mounts emerging-artist and student productions from September to March, with musicals, Shakespeare, contemporary plays, and classics all represented.

    7 Hart House Circle, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3H3, Canada

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