Toronto Entertainment Guide

Toronto Entertainment: What is there to do in Toronto once the lights go down? Plenty!

Whether your idea of the perfect night out includes opera, stand-up comedy or nightclubs (or anything and everything in between), you’ll find something to enjoy in Ontario’s metropolis. You'll probably have a hard time deciding which to do first.

Here is just a quick overview of your entertainment options:

Comedy Clubs

Second City - 56 Blue Jays Way.

YUK YUK’s – Has three locations. The downtown one is 224 Richmond Street West. They also have a dinner/show package.

Bad Dog Comedy Theatre – on the Danforth (maybe combine it with a dinner in Greektown?)

Absolute Comedy - 2335 Yonge Street.

Plus, many pubs and bars offer stand-up comedy nights. Check listings (see above “what’s on now?”).

Dance Clubs, Bars, Pubs, Nightclubs, etc

It's impossible to list even a tiny percentage of Toronto's bars, clubs, etc. so I won't even try. For reviews of different venues, start with Toronto Life or NOW Magazine (listed above). That should help you narrow down your choices!

For those who like to dance "swing", here's a site I ran across that you might not find listed. It looks fun: Toronto Swing Dance Society - http://dancing.org/tsds/

Dance (professional)

Prefer to leave the dancing to the pros? Here are some groups that will deliver the goods:

National Ballet of Canada - http://www.national.ballet.ca/

Toronto Dance Theatre - http://www.tdt.org/

Toronto Theatre

On any given week, you'll find about 50 or 60 plays running in Toronto. It's the 3rd most active English-language theatre city in the world, after London and NYC. Discover more here: Toronto Theatre

Dinner theatre is also very popular in Toronto. I can personally recommend the Famous People Players and Mysteriously Yours. I've heard good things about the Medieval Times Dinner Theatre as well.

If you're looking for a little more detail about current shows, check this site: http://www.torontolivetheatre.com/

Toronto Music: Opera and classical

Toronto opera lovers are spoiled for choice with several different companies including the Canadian Opera Company, Opera Atelier and more. Find out more about the busy Toronto opera scene.

Symphony your thing? Try the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in the iconic Roy Thomson Hall.

Other Live Music

In addition to the bars and concert halls such as Roy Thomson and Massey Hall, you'll find many other chances to hear live music, especially during the summer -- and some of it for free!

Harbourfront Centre hosts outdoor live concerts during July and August, and so do other parks on occasion. Sometimes music concerts are held in museums and galleries too.

Movies

In addition to the megaplex cinemas that offer Hollywood movies, Toronto still retains some old theatres that run independent productions, foreign films, art house films, and second-run Hollywood shows. See Toronto Movie Theatres for more information.

Book Readings & Signings

Some bookstores, like Chapters, University of Toronto, and Pages, host readings and book-signings by authors who currently have a new book out, so you may get a chance to meet your favourite writer.

Save on Toronto Theatre

TOTix http://www.totix.ca for half-price tickets.

DISCOUNTS: Many theatres and concert halls offer rush seats, pay-what-you-can certain nights, and discounts for younger people. Check with the theatre, as different rules apply everywhere.

What’s on now in Toronto entertainment? Find out here!

Toronto Life – Buy a copy of the monthly magazine, or check online at http://www.torontolife.com and check their listings for Toronto events. I like their Toronto entertainment listings because they give short reviews (just a couple of sentences, but it helps) and they provide additional info like maps of the locations, the web sites if available, etc. Also handy for those surgically attached to their cell phones is their “remind me” service: find an event in their listings and you can have the Toronto Life site send you a text-message reminder. You can also “search” for a particular type of event and date, which saves time.

NOW Toronto - Pick up a free copy of the current weekly paper from a box on a streetcorner, or visit their web site: www.nowtoronto.com.

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