Get Cultured: Arts, Theatre & Events

Toronto is an eclectic and cosmopolitan city with a vibrant culture. If you’re into the arts, theatre or special events, there is always something new to discover! ShareThis


With a film festival happening nearly every week, whatever genre or niche you’re into, there’s a festival for it. The biggest and glitziest one is the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Screening more than 300 films from around the world in venues across the city, it’s also the world’s largest public film festival. TIFF’s headquarters, the TIFF Bell Lightbox, hosts screenings and film-focused exhibitions year-round and has spawned a number of other film festivals in the city. One such is the popular documentary fest, Hot Docs, which is held at another major hub for film, the beautifully-restored Hot Docs Cinema.


It’s no surprise that Toronto’s film and theatre districts are in close proximity. Centered around King Street, historic theatres such as The Royal Alexandra Theatre and the Princess of Wales Theatre have housed popular productions such as The Sound of Music, The Lion King, Les Miserables and many others.

Smaller niche theatres dot the city from the Young People’s Theatre, near the St. Lawrence Market, to the Soulpepper Theatre Company in the Distillery District, which showcases the best of classical theatre.

At the corner of Yonge and Front, The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts showcases spectacles from comedy to dance. Performances have included Robin Williams and So You Think You Can Dance.

Ed Mirvish Theatre
The Canadian Stage offers audiences contemporary performances in theatre and dance. Discounts are offered to those aged under 30 or to groups as small as 10 people.

The Ed Mirvish Theatre (formerly the Canon theatre) is a vaudeville-inspired theatre featuring productions such as Sister Act and La Cage Aux Folles.

Similar decor exists at the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre, which will celebrate 100 years in 2013. This theatre has been home to iconic productions such as Cats, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat and The Wizard of Oz. Tours are available on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Ballet, Opera and Symphony

Those looking for musical performances have many options to choose from. Enjoy a classical music performance at Roy Thomson Hall, home to the renowned Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Take in a the fabulous productions at The Canadian Opera Company and watch the dancers from the National Ballet of Canada perform at the sleek Four Seasons Centre For The Performing Arts.


Toronto offers a variety of museums ranging from the classical to the quirky. Canada’s largest museum of world cultures and natural history is The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). Features range from a dinosaur exhibition to antiquities from Egypt.

In walking distance of the ROM you can discover the Gardiner Museum for ceramics and the Bata Shoe Museum, with a collection of over 10,000 shoes.

Don’t forget to see some of the best in Canadian art or to marvel at the architectural masterpiece in the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).

Cultural Events

There’s the month-long photography festival, Scotiabank CONTACT in May and Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, an all-night contemporary art event in the fall.

Some of the most colourful and creative festivals happen in the summer. Toronto’s largest theatre and performance festival, Fringe, features over 155 performances in some of the city’s most unexpected places.

Harbourfront Centre offers a great mix of cultural events including theatre, music, and arts performances throughout the year.

Luminato Festival is a multidisciplinary arts festival encompassing a broad spectrum of creative expression including music, dance, theatre, film, literature, visual arts and lectures. Every year there is a different surprise.

The Scotiabank Caribbean Festival (formerly known as “Caribana”) is a vibrant celebration of Caribbean culture culminating in a parade and one of the largest events of its kind in North America.

Scotiabank Buskerfest celebrates the best street performers across various outdoor venues in the city.

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