Toronto attracts top talent from around the country and the world. Sit back and enjoy a game, show, or concert or two while you are here.
All major live entertainment venues provide wheelchair access, including washrooms and possibly some parking (check each website). Seating is usually limited; frequently there is no choice of the price range. You can check shows online but typically you have to speak to a live operator to buy wheelchair accessible tickets. If you want to use an accessible restroom before a show plan on some extra time due to long lines.
Toronto’s largest venues, the Air Canada Centre and Rogers Centre feature major sports and massive concert tours. The Air Canada Centre is home to the Toronto Maple Leaf’s hockey club, Toronto Raptors basketball club, and the Toronto Rock lacrosse team, and claims to be “Canada’s premier sports and entertainment venue”. The ACC is located at the northwest corner of Lakeshore Blvd. West and Bay St. They report “multiple accessible seating areas” but “type of accessible seating tickets will vary based on our policy and/or the type of event taking place”. Accessible tickets can be ordered not just on the phone, but also online which is not typically the case with other venues. Unsold accessible seats are released for purchase by the general public 48 hours before each game.
Located near the CN Tower, Rogers Centre (formerly known as the Skydome) boasts a wide variety of entertainment events under its retractable dome. Home to the Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Argonauts as well as host to major concerts, it “is proud to stand as one of the most accessible venues for guests with disabilities in all of Canada”. All seating levels and restaurants are accessible. Rogers Centre reports “239 disabled seating locations available on the 100 and 200 Levels” for the Jays games. All events have wheelchair seating.
Canada’s first soccer-specific stadium, BMO Field is located at Exhibition Place. It offers “barrier-free sections” throughout the stadium. Removable seating can accommodate wheelchairs. Unsold accessible seats are released for purchase by the general public two weeks prior to each game.
Located on the grounds of Ontario Place, the Molson Amphitheatre is a semi-enclosed outdoor concert venue on Lake Shore Boulevard West. “Disabled seating is available on the Box row just a short distance back from the stage.” While the Amphitheatre is still open, the Ontario Place grounds, previous attractions and restaurants are currently closed for a major revitalization.
If you like live music and entertainment check out what’s on at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. Built-in 1960 and located at 1 Front St. East, the Sony Centre’s wheelchair seating is limited to the orchestra level.
For comedy and music, you can also attend a show at a mid-sized venue, Massey Hall. Located near the Eaton Centre, Massey Hall has been part of Toronto’s music history since 1894. Accessible seating is located on the main floor only. Future refurbishment of the interior and exterior is expected to enhance access.
Inaugurated in 2006, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts is home to the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada. It has wheelchair accessible seating located on all levels except Ring 5. It is connected directly via elevator to the Osgoode subway but oddly neither is currently connected to the PATH.
A few blocks away on University Avenue and located in the heart of the King St. theatre district is Roy Thomson Hall, home to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. It opened in 1982. While performers tend to the classical, you will find that a variety of singers and musicians as well as authors grace the stage. Wheelchair seating options are provided in several sections on different levels. Parking is available onsite.
Toronto has an impressive theatre scene, and many productions are put on by Mirvish Enterprises. On King St. West, the large Princess of Wales is a modern building, dating from 1993. It has two elevators, accessible washrooms, and parking below the building with a separate elevator. Wheelchair seating is available in the orchestra, the dress circle, and the balcony. Enter the underground parking from John St.
A block over on King St West is the beautiful, Mirvish-owned Royal Alexandra Theatre, built in 1907. Wheelchair accessible seating is located in the boxes which provide an obstructed view as you will be sitting to the side of the stage. Seats will be very close to the stage but you will not be able to see the full stage. There is a single wheelchair accessible washroom on the ground floor but be prepared for a wait as there may be a lineup of people who can’t manage the stairs. You can park at the underground lot at the Princess of Wales but wheelchair spots are limited.
If you are visiting any of these three King St. West venues, you will find the entrance to the nearby St. Andrew subway on the southeast corner of King St West and University Avenue.
There are several theatres (and many restaurants) within walking distance of the Eaton Centre. None of the neighbourhood venues have their own parking. Park at the Eaton Centre by entering from Yonge and Shuter Streets. City Hall has a large underground lot that can be entered from Queen St West between Bay St. and University Ave. The underground garage beneath Dundas Square has an entrance at Dundas and Victoria.
Across from the Eaton Centre, the Ed Mirvish Theatre is only accessible by the Victoria Street entrance. Built-in 1920, it provides wheelchair seating on the orchestra level only. You can use either of two wheelchair accessible subways: Dundas or Queen. There is a small parking lot on Victoria across from the theatre.
For more music and entertainment see what’s on at the beautiful Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre on Yonge St. directly across from the Eaton Centre (closest to the Queen subway). Built-in 1913, it provides wheelchair seating in both theatres on the orchestra level only.
The Panasonic Theatre is a smaller Mirvish venue located on Yonge St. several blocks south of Bloor. Wheelchair seating is in the last row in the orchestra. The closest entrance to the Bloor/Yonge subway is on the north side of Hayden St.
Close to the Sony Centre on Front Street East, you will find the St Lawrence Centre for the Arts, home to the Canadian Stage. The St Lawrence Centre provides accessible seating in both the Bluma Appel Theatre and the Jane Mallett Theatre.
Home to the Royal Conservatory, the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning is located at 273 Bloor St West, near the ROM and the St. George Subway. All “performance spaces” provide wheelchair seating.
Soulpepper’s Young Centre for the Performing Arts is in the Distillery District (east of the downtown core), at the intersection of Mill Street and Cherry Street. It provides wheelchair seating. The streets in this historical district are cobblestone.
Outside of downtown, the Toronto Centre for the Arts features live events, including jazz, opera, classical and various stage productions. The Centre is located at 5040 Yonge St in North York and opened in 1993. There is no theatre parking. Patrons can take the subway to North York Centre Station which is about a 25-minute ride from downtown. There are many stores and restaurants in the area, as well as Mel Lastman Square. When they first opened I found various wheelchair seating options were available, but on later trips they no longer provided guests with seats close to the stage.
Located in the east end of the city, Famous People Players Theatre is wheelchair accessible. It is best to drive as it’s not convenient for public transit. It is located in a small strip mall where you can park.
These are just some of our cultural, music and sports venues. Explore the web for more venues, including some smaller ones that provide access, and comedy clubs. Info on some of the smaller concert and live music venues.