What to Expect at…TO Live

Looking for information about your favourite theatres? We’ve got you covered! Intermission’s Insider Intel articles showcase one theatre at a time to give you all the information you need before your visit.

This week: TO Live

What kind of theatre do they produce?

Connecting three of Toronto’s most iconic theatresMeridian Hall, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, and Meridian Arts Centreand a diverse spectrum of talent, TO Live presents a full range of performing arts, theatrical and concert events, family programs, free community events, and online content.

TO Live has built an unshakeable reputation as a creative hub for artists, audiences, and everyone who works with them. Pushing the boundaries of creativity, they create exciting, multidisciplinary work across a wide range of platforms, championing diverse voices and stories through mentorship, collaboration, and residencies.

In 2020, TO Live launched their Provision of Space Initiative shortly after the pandemic struck, offering artists the chance to keep working and developing their ideas and projects. TO Live has been covering not only the cost of space, but also the crew and other staff costs, recognising that physical space is not the only financial barrier to artists. To date, TO Live has provided approximately one million dollars of support to local artists and creators.

The interior of the George Weston Recital Hall at the Meridian Arts Centre. Looking from the stage into the empty audience, the image shows three levels of seating in the spacious theatre.
The George Weston Recital Hall at the Meridian Arts Centre. Photo by Jonathan Castellino.

Location

Both Meridian Hall and St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts are in Toronto’s historic St. Lawrence neighbourhood, across from Berczy Park and just east of Yonge St. A former industrial area as old as the city itself, St. Lawrence’s unique architecture, restaurants, and famous farmers’ market have made it a beloved city destination. Both venues are easily accessible via public transit or car, and are less than a 10-minute walk from Union Station.

Meridian Arts Centre is in the heart of North York, ideally positioned for all theatre lovers in the GTA. Easily accessible by car and transit, there is plenty of street-level and underground parking available, as well as accessible parking near the theatre’s entrance.

Venues

Between Meridian Hall, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, and Meridian Arts Centre, TO Live has over 18 unique spaces. Their stages have been used for everything from operas and multidisciplinary theatrical productions to weddings and TEDx Talks. To discover more about TO Live’s venues, visit their rental site.

COVID-19 Safety Information

All events at Meridian Hall, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, and Meridian Arts Centre adhere to the safety guidelines set forth by the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario. The health and safety of patrons, staff and the community is TO Live’s top priority.

  • All patrons, artists, and staff who visit any TO Live must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination (second dose at least two weeks prior to your visit)
  • Visitors under the age of 12 are currently exempt—for full details on TO Live’s medical exemptions, click here
  • Masks must always been worn throughout the duration of a show

For more information on TO Live’s COVID-19 policies, visit the province’s proof of vaccination FAQ site, or contact the TO Live Box Office at 416-366-7723 | 1-800-708-6754 | boxoffice@tolive.com

Looking down from the second floor, we can see Meridian Hall's main lobby in the middle of a networking event. Patrons are lit by pink overhead lights, which emphasise the mural by Canadian artist York Wilson.
The main lobby in Meridian Hall features a 30-foot mural by renowned Toronto-born artist York Wilson. Image courtesy of TO Live.

Accessibility

TO Live’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Committee is creating long-term strategies “to unite us—employees, theatre patrons, and performers—in pursuit of common goals.” They have developed a comprehensive action plan to ensure that moving forward, TO Live can continue to create an equitable, diverse, and intersectional space for all. Read the full PDF here.

  • Any patrons requiring assistance in ordering tickets may call the box office at 416-366-7723 | 1-800-708-6754 during regular business hours to purchase tickets directly over the phone
  • Meridian Hall and the Meridian Arts Centre both offer enhanced performance audio receivers at the Patron Services Desk
  • Service animals are welcome in all venues—please contact the box office for appropriate seating arrangements

Meridian Hall and Meridian Arts Centre are both accessible, flexible facilities, TO Live is working hard to ensure that patrons can expect the same level of support and access wherever they are. That’s why they’ve developed a vision for a new and vastly improved St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, focusing on creating a completely inclusive and accessible community hub. To find out more about STLC Next and how TO Live and Create TO plan to serve under-represented voices in the community, click here.

From the stage, we gaze out over the empty seats of the Lyric Theatre in Meridian Arts Centre. Above and beside the seats are geometric, backlit panels in every colour of the rainbow, displaying the programmable lighting feature.
Meridian Arts Centre’s Lyric Theatre features completely programmable backlit panels, which can change the tone of any event. Image courtesy of TO Live.

Workshops & Classes

TO Live’s Education & Engagement department implement and facilitate a broad array of educational and community engagement programs designed to engage both young people and adults with TO Live. Visit their website to stay up-to-date on the latest educational and development opportunities.

Where to Eat and Drink

St. Lawrence area is filled with a wide array of incredible dining options and local fare. Whether you’re looking to sit down for a slice of pizza at Bellissimo Pizzeria and Ristorante before the show, or want to take in some late-night karaoke at On the Rocks after curtain, there’s something to suit every budget.

When visiting Meridian Arts Centre in North York, you’ll find dozens of restaurants and bars close by along Yonge St. Find the perfect pre- or post-show meal or snack within minutes of the theatre!

Iconic Past Productions:


Leave a Reply

We’d love to hear from you! Feel free to leave a comment below, but please read our conditions first: 1) Be respectful, 2) Please don’t spam us, 3) We will remove any comments that contain hate speech, pornography, harassment, personal attacks, defamatory statements, or threats. Thanks for your understanding.

Your email address will not be published.

Written By

Jessica is an Associate Editor at Intermission, as well as a writer, classically-trained actor, and plant enthusiast. Since graduating from LAMDA in the UK with her MA in acting, you can often find her writing screenplays and short plays in the park, writing extensive lists of plant care tips, or working on stage and screen (though she uses a stage name). Jessica freelances with various companies across Canada, but her passion lies in working with theatre artists and enthusiasts.