Toronto Entertainment District

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Toronto Entertainment District

Toronto’s Entertainment District consists of eight city blocks that houses every type of entertainment you can think of. The area boasts a host of dining choices from pubs and bars to upscale bistros serving everything from Steak and seafood to international entrees. The area also has nightlife spots from dance clubs and live music venues to theatres like Roy Thompson Hall and the Royal Alexandra Theatre. Some of the city’s biggest attractions like the CN Tower and the Rogers Centre, and a myriad of shops, hotels and services are all part of the District.

History

The area that presently comprises the Entertainment District is rich in history, having experienced nearly two centuries of continual change in its built character and land uses, including periods of growth and decline.

In the early part of the 19th century, the area was primarily a wealthy residential neighbourhood that housed the Parliament Buildings of Upper Canada.

At the turn of the last century and with the advent of the railroad, the area was a burgeoning industrial and manufacturing district that included primarily poor and working class housing where many immigrants to Toronto settled.

By the middle of the last century, the garment industry had risen and begun to fall, and the area entered into an era of economic decline fuelled by suburbanization combined with a diminishing manufacturing sector.

Towards the end of the last century, the area began to experience an emergence with the influx of entertainment, creative and IT industries, and aided by innovative planning policies that encouraged mixed uses and the adaptive reuse of former warehouses.

Benefiting from economic, environmental, and social factors driving downtown growth, the present-day Entertainment District is in the midst of a renaissance, firmly establishing itself as a thriving and vibrant district for living, creating, working, and playing.

Performing Arts

  • Canadian Opera Company – 145 Queen St. W. – 416 363 6671
  • Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts – 145 Queen St. W. – 416 363 8231
  • Glenn Gould Studio – 250 Front St. W. – 416 205 5555
  • Mirvish Productions – 284 King St. W. – 416 351 1229
  • National Ballet of Canada – 470 Queens Quay W. – 416 345 9686
  • Princess of Wales Theatre – 300 King St. W. – 416 872 1212
  • Roy Thomson Hall – 60 Simcoe St. – 416 593 4822
  • Royal Alexandra – 284 King St. W. – 416 593 0351
  • Second City Theatre – 51 Mercer St. – 416 343 0011
  • Toronto International Film Festival – 2 Carlton St. – 416 934 3242
  • Toronto Mendelssohn Choir – 60 Simcoe St. – 416 598 0422
  • Toronto Symphony Orchestra – 212 King St. W. – 416 593 7769
  • Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club – 224 Richmond St. W. – 416 967 6425

Visual Arts

  • 401 Richmond – 401 Richmond St. W. – 416 595 5900
  • A Space Gallery – 401 Richmond St. W. – 416 979 9633
  • Gallery 44 – 401 Richmond St. W. – 416 979 3941
  • ImagineNATIVE – 401 Richmond St. W. – 416 585 2333
  • OCAD’s Richmond St. – 205 Richmond St. W. – 416 977 6000
  • PREFIX Institute of Contemporary Art – 401 Richmond St. W. – 416 591 0357
  • Red Head Gallery – 401 Richmond St. W. – 416 504 5654
  • SAVAC – 401 Richmond St. W. – 416 542 1661
  • Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition – 401 Richmond St. W. – 416 408 2754
  • V Tape – 401 Richmond St. W. – 416 331 1317
  • Wynick/Tuck Gallery – 401 Richmond St. W. – 416 504 8716
  • 416 504 8716 YYZ Artists’ Outlet – 401 Richmond St. W. – 416 598 4546

Film

  • TIFF – Toronto International Film Festival – 350 King St. W. King St. W. – 416 968 3456
  • V Tape – 401 Richmond St. W. – 416 331 1317

Attractions

  • Air Canada Centre – 40 Bay St. – 416 815 5500
  • Canada’s Walk of Fame – 1 Yonge St. – 416 367 9255
  • Canadian Opera Company – 145 Queen St. W. – 416 363 6671
  • Clarence Square Park – 51 Spadina Avenue
  • CN Tower – 301 Front St. W. – 416 868 6937
  • Metro Toronto Convention Centre – 255 Front St. W. – 416 585 8120
  • Rogers Centre – 1 Blue Jays Way – 416 341 3000
  • Roundhouse Park – 222 Bremner Boulevard
  • Scotiabank Theatre – 259 Richmond St. W. – 416 368 5600
  • Simcoe Place Park – 200 Front St. W.
  • Steam Whistle Brewery – 255 Bremner Boulevard – 416 362 2337
  • Toronto Argonauts – 355 King St. W. – 416 322 9650
  • Toronto Blue Jays – 1 Blue Jays Way – 416 341 1255
  • Toronto Maple Leafs – 40 Bay St. – 416 815 5500
  • Toronto Railway Heritage Centre – 225 Bremner Boulevard
  • Toronto Raptors – 40 Bay St. – 416 815 5500
  • Toronto Rock Lacrosse – 40 Bay St. – 416 815 5500

Bars & Pubs

  • Barootes Casual Dining – 220 King St. W. – 416 979 7717
  • Crocodile Rock – 240 Adelaide St. W. – 416 599 9751
  • DNA Lounge – 328 Adelaide St. W. – 416 591 8885
  • Elephant & Castle – 212 King St. W. – 416 598 4455
  • Fox & Fiddle – 106 John St. – 416 593 4407
  • Friar & Firkin – 160 John St. – 416 340 9459
  • Grace O’Malley’s – 14 Duncan St. – 416 596 1444
  • Hotel Boutique Lounge – 77 Peter St. – 416 345 8584
  • Jack Astors – 133 John St. – 416 627 4542
  • Joe Mamas Bar & Grill – 317 King St. W. – 416 340 6469
  • Lexy Lounge – 325 King St. W. – 416 599 9909
  • Libra Lounge – 391 King St. W. – 416 599 7000
  • Light Lounge – 134 Peter St. – 416 597 9547
  • Montana – 145 John St. – 416 595 5949
  • N’awlins Jazz Bar & Grill – 299 King St. W. – 416 595 1958
  • Quotes Bar & Grill – 220 King St. W. – 416 979 7717
  • Seven Lounge – 224 Richmond St. W. – 416 599 9797
  • The London Tap House – 250 Adelaide St. W. – 416 205 1234
  • Wayne Gretzky’s Restaurant – 99 Blue Jays Way – 416 348 0099

Live Music

  • Grace O’Malley’s – 14 Duncan St. – 416 596 1444
  • Joe Mamas Bar & Grill – 317 King St. W. – 416 340 6469
  • Le Saint Tropez – 315 King St. W. – 416 591 3600
  • N’awlins Jazz Bar & Grill – 299 King St. W. – 416 595 1958
  • Quotes Bar & Grill – 220 King St. W. – 416 979 7717
  • Zazou Lounge – 315 King St. W. – 416 591 8800

Nightlife

  • Blurr Night Club – 214 Adelaide St. W. – 416 596 8400
  • BLVD Room  – 81 Peter St. – 416 581 1118
  • Cantina Charlies Nightclub – 287 Richmond St. W. – 416 340 2582
  • CiRCA – 126 John St. – 416 979 0044
  • Crocodile Rock – 240 Adelaide St. W. – 416 599 9751
  • Dynamic Hospitality and Entertainment Group – 955 Lakeshore Boulevard W. – 416 260 4930
  • Fluid Lounge – 217 Richmond St. W. – 416 593 6116
  • Frequency Nightclub – 296 Richmond St. W. – 416 977 8900
  • Jack Astors  – 133 John St. – 416 627 4542
  • Menage | Bistro 333 – 333 King St. W. – 416 971 3332
  • Mink – 150 Peal St. – 416 977 4446
  • Rebublik – 261 Richmond St. W. – 416 598 1632
  • Rockwood – 31 Mercer St. – 416 979 7373
  • Shmooze – 15 Mercer St. – 416 341 8777
  • The Fifth Social Club/Fifth Grill and – 225 Richmond St. W. – 416 979 3000
  • The London Tap House – 250 Adelaide St. W. – 416 205 1234
  • Tryst – 82 Peter St. – 416 588 7978
  • XS Nightclub – 261 Richmond St. W. – 416 598 1632

The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts is at the southeast corner of University Avenue and Queen Street West, across from Osgoode Hall. The land on which it is located was a gift from the Government of Ontario. It is a 2,071-seat theatre, which had its grand opening Wednesday, June 14, 2006. However, the first actual performance was commenced in September 2006 with the first Canadian production of Richard Wagner’s “Der Ring Des Nibelungen”. The theatre is designed by Jack Diamond.

The Canadian Opera Company (COC) is the largest opera company in Canada and the third largest producer of opera in North America. The COC is resident at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. For 40 years until April 2006, the COC had performed at the Hummingbird Centre.

The National Ballet of Canada is Canada’s largest ballet troupe. It was founded by Celia Franca in 1951. Based upon the unity of Canadian trained dancers in the tradition and style of England’s Royal Ballet, The National is regarded as one of the premier classical ballet companies in Canada. The company has recently moved (2006) to new facilities, at the Four Seasons Centre.

The Princess of Wales Theatre is a 2000-seat theatre located at 300 King Street West in the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District. The theatre’s name has a triple meaning: it recalls the Princess Theatre, Toronto’s first “first-class legitimate” playhouse, that once stood three blocks to the east; it honours Diana, Princess of Wales, with whose consent the theatre was so-named; and it links the building to its sister-theatre, the Royal Alexandra, one block to the east, also named – with Royal assent – for a former Princess of Wales.

Roy Thomson Hall is a concert hall located at 60 Simcoe Street. It is the home of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Opened in 1982, its circular architectural design exhibits a sloping and curvilinear glass exterior. It was designed by Canadian architects Arthur Erickson and Mathers and Haldenby. The hall seats 2630 and features a pipe organ built by Canadian organ builders Gabriel Kney of London, Ontario.

The Air Canada Centre (ACC) is a multi-purpose indoor sporting arena located on Bay Street in downtown Toronto. The arena is popularly known as the ACC or the Hangar (the latter nickname coming from its sponsorship by Air Canada). It is the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL), the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the Toronto Rock of the National Lacrosse League (NLL). The ACC is the 11th busiest arena in the world

The CN Tower is a communications and observation tower standing 553.3m (1,815ft) tall. It surpassed the height of the Ostankino Tower while still under construction in 1975, becoming the tallest free-standing structure on land in the world for the next 31 years. On September 12, 2007 the CN Tower was surpassed in height by Burj Khalifa (formerly known as Burj Dubai). It remains the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere, the signature icon of Toronto’s skyline, and a symbol of Canada, attracting more than two million international visitors annually. Though Burj Khalifa is the tallest free-standing structure, the CN Tower remains the world’s tallest tower, according the Guinness Book of World Records 2010, although the Guangzhou TV & Sightseeing Tower surpassed the height of the CN Tower in 2009. CN originally referred to Canadian National, the railway company that built the tower. Following the railway’s decision to divest non-core freight railway assets, prior to the company’s privatization in 1995 it transferred the tower to the Canada Lands Company, a federal Crown corporation responsible for real estate development. Since local residents wished to retain the name CN Tower, the abbreviation is now said to expand to Canada’s National Tower rather than the original Canadian National Tower; however, neither of these names is commonly used.

Metro Toronto Convention Centre, located in Downtown Toronto, at 255 Front Street West, has 600,000 square feet (56,000m2) of space. The convention centre was completed in October 1984 and is home to the 1330-seat John Bassett Theatre, currently used for “Canadian Idol”.

Rogers Centre, formerly known as SkyDome, is a multi-purpose stadium situated next to the CN Tower near the shores of Lake Ontario. Originally opened in 1989, it is home to the American League’s Toronto Blue Jays, the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts, the site of the annual International Bowl American college football bowl game, and as of 2008, the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills’ second playing venue in the Bills Toronto Series. While it is primarily a sports venue, it also hosts other large-scale events such as conventions, trade fairs, concerts, funfairs, and monster truck shows. The stadium was renamed “Rogers Centre” following the purchase of the stadium by Rogers Communications, which also owns the Toronto Blue Jays, in 2005. The venue was noted for being the first stadium to have a fully-retractable motorized roof, as well as for the 348-room hotel attached to it, with 70 rooms overlooking the field. It is also the most recent North American major-league stadium built to accommodate both football and baseball. The stadium will be the centrepiece of the 2015 Pan American Games as the site of the opening and closing ceremonies.

References:
Business Improvement Area (BIA) www.torontoed.com
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Author: AllOntario Team

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