frequently asked questions
The Theatre Centre is a nationally recognized live-arts incubator, café and community hub nestled in Toronto’s West Queen West neighbourhood offering a home for creative, cultural and social interactions to invent the future.
We support artists and the creation of new work with the Residency program at the heart of everything we do.
We are a cafe/bar/performance venue/community space. We host performances, private parties, exhibits, comedy nights, and everything in between. You can find out more about us, the spaces available for rent, your visit, and what’s on all on this cool new site!
The Theatre Centre office and cafe/bar is currently closed to the public. If you have any enquiries the best way to reach us is by email.
Usual hours of operation are:
The cafe is open 7 days a week:
Monday – Friday from 8AM – 6PM
Saturday & Sunday from 9AM – 5PM
The cafe/bar also stays open during performances and special events.
The office is open Monday – Friday from 10AM-6PM.
The TD Green Roof is open seasonally during cafe hours.
The cafe is on the main floor of the building and is the main entrance.
The downstairs performance space is the BMO Incubator. It is a black box theatre space with flexible seating.
The upstairs performance space is the Franco Boni Theatre. It’s our mainspace theatre.
Upstairs we also have the Gallery, which can host parties and exhibits.
All of our spaces are accessible, including the upstairs.
Yes, we rent all of our spaces:
The BMO Incubator
The Franco Boni Theatre
The whole building
We typically rent the theatre spaces for week-long blocks (Monday–Sunday) however we have 1–3 days events often based on calendar availability.
The other spaces, such as the cafe/bar and gallery, can be rented for shorter periods—like a one-night comedy event, book launch, or party (just to name a few).
Everything! (well just about). We’ve hosted dance parties, karaoke, film shoots, comedy nights, book launches, craft fairs, birthdays, board meetings, film screenings, exhibits, dinner parties. From small intimate events to soirees that take over the whole building we’ve done it all. Have an idea? Get in touch.
We mainly rent the theatre spaces to independent not-for-profit companies at subsidized rates.
All the spaces have individual rates. Visit the space pages for subsidized rates and contact us for all others.
Unfortunately, we have very minimal storage space in the building and can only have your set here during your rental period.
Yes! We love making movies almost as much as we love making theatre. Get in touch and based on your needs and the size of the shoot we’ll do our best to get you rolling.
We have an inventory of equipment that is shared between all the spaces, which includes theatrical lighting, sound playback, and a limited number of microphones (not wireless). These are not set up in a default configuration; please ask if you would like to use them in advance, so we can plan to install what you need. There is also a small projector and screen on a tripod suitable for informal presentations (ie. slideshows). See each space’s tech specs for more information!
The Theatre Centre will provide 35 hours of a technician’s time for a standard-rate weekly rental to support your technical setup needs. If need be, additional crew from our roster of freelance techs can be provided to you at cost. Contact the Director of Facilities and Production for more information about crew.
There are circumstances where you may rehearse without tech present—such as If the rehearsal does not involve our technical facilities. Please talk to the Director of Facilities and Production to confirm what’s possible.
There is one dedicated dressing room for performers, which is shared between the spaces. It can be divided in two — either by company or by performer, depending on privacy needs — and we have very limited space backstage in the Franco Boni that can be reconfigured for quick change/performer prep needs. Check with the Director of Facilities and Production if you have questions about this.
- Do you have a production manager?
- Do you have a plan for your time in the space?
- Do you have a plan for the room’s layout, including audience exits?
- Do you have a plan for lighting the space?
- Does anyone in your team or audience need barrier-free access (spoiler: usually, yes they do)?
The schedule for your time in the space is subject to staff approval, ideally with a timetable submitted and approved well in advance. However, there is room for flexibility if we have enough notice to schedule the necessary staffing. Contact the Director of Facilities and Production if you have questions about labour rates, or times when you’d like to work.
Building lockup procedures and safety protocols must be followed. For events in the Cafe/Bar, staff will lock up the building at the appointed end time of the event.
Yes! All of our spaces have a shared inventory of audience chairs (armless, straight-backed, black aluminum-framed) that can be moved to accommodate different seating configurations.
Yes! The theatre spaces share an inventory of folding tables.
If we have advance notice and your desired seating plan meets all safety protocols, then yes! Rearranging seating may incur additional crew costs; please confirm all seating plans with the Director of Facilities and Production.
Yes, for a fee
Yes, if you pay for it – you big spender you
No, but we can connect you with our preferred caterer
Yes, there is a 150% landmark fee
Your show will be included on The Theatre Centre website. With enough notice we would be happy to include your show in our monthly newsletter and can coordinate social posts. We will also include an image for your show on the tv in the cafe/bar. Finally, you can purchase a lightbox panel (subject to availability) which is a great way to advertise.
While we love having your show or event take place at The Theatre Centre, and are happy to support your marketing efforts, your production would not be part of our programming year. We plan our programming year well in advance and are committed to producing shows that come out of Residency. Also, it’s your show and we wouldn’t want to take credit for something we didn’t create or produce.
If you are not familiar with the space, the lightbox is in front of the building on Lisgar St. and faces Queen St. The panel is approx. 35” tall x 60” wide and is printed on a clear plexiglass sheet which lights up at night.
This is a great space to market your show to The Theatre Centre community including theatre goers, cafe/bar patrons, the nearby condo residents and 2000+ passerby per day
The cost of one panel is $300+hst. This covers design set-up, print and installation. We reuse the panel at the end of each show so it is not possible to keep your panel. If you wanted to, it would be an additional cost to replace the plexiglass.
The install date will vary depending on what is in the space before your show. The install date will be confirmed closer to your rental date
No. We’re happy to share a post or two but you are responsible for creating your own events
Yes, with enough notice we would be happy to include your show in our monthly newsletter
Once your booking is confirmed you will receive a rental package with more info about the lightbox and a marketing questionnaire. Please fill that out with all the pertinent information and attach high res show imagery. With that, we’ll be able to make your webpage and start the design on the lightbox (if you’re getting one).
box office & front of house
Yes, each event will have 1-2 Experience Representatives to ensure you (and patrons!) have everything needed to experience a good time.
All tickets sold at The Theatre Centre include a $3 Facility Fee. Any ticket that is paid for with a credit card has an added $2 service fee which is waived for cash payments. Besides these fees, ticket pricing is up to the
sole discretion of the renter.
The Theatre Centre has many generous members of the community that donate their time to volunteer in our spaces. If volunteers are needed, they are available, but we do try to cover all your needs with members of our staff before we reach out to the community.
Typically, once your event is on sale you will receive a weekly sales report every Friday. After you have begun loading into the space, the report is sent daily. Attendance lists are available following each performance;
however, they contain confidential information and will only be shared on a
need-to-know basis. These reports are sent manually so changes can be requested.
All ticketed renters must make 3 tickets available to every show for The Theatre in the event a staff member would like a ticket. These tickets are held until the morning of each performance so if they are not claimed, can
be released to the public.
Both of our spaces are General Admission seating and operate on a first come, first served model. In the event you would like to have specific seats reserved for some of your guests, this is available through labelled
After your event has closed, it usually takes 2-3 weeks for our
bookkeepers to reconcile your sales with our accounts before we process an online payment to your bank. If your event has tickets sold through hipTIX, citySPECIAL or TodayTix, their reconciling typically takes 3-4 weeks after closing and we include this in our final payout.
This varies on the size of the show and timing of information submitted; however, we do accommodate specific requests that are within reason!
Both of our spaces have different maximum capacities that cannot legally be exceeded. We recommend selling below this capacity so there is room for additional seats, however this decision must be approved with The Theatre Centre before actioned upon.
If you are inclined to operate your own box office, this is acceptable, and you will still be provided with access to our box office space to operate out of and onsite support during all your performances. Operating your own box office sales does not lower your rental fees.
The Experience Team is happy to store, distribute and display any programmes that you provide us with. However, if you are using physical ones, it is recommended that you order them already folded. Alternatively, a QR code can be given to us to display and advertise to your audiences. In the event a patron, for accessibility, requests a printed-out copy, we can supply them with one in grayscale.
Header: Community Meal. Photo by Kyle Purcell