Nothing beats an evening at the theatre — except maybe an evening at the theatre preceded by or following a lovely dinner, drinks, or calming patio visit. Intermission has compiled a list of the best places to relax and chat about theatre before your next evening at…
But don’t just take our word for it. We’ve created this list with the help of Canadian Stage’s staff and artists, so you know you’ll be wining, dining, and unwinding at a tried and true local favourite to perfectly compliment your night at the theatre.
Dining & Drinks
Near the Bluma Appel Theatre
C’est What is a familiar venue for many residents of Toronto’s East side. The underground, brick-walled venue gives incredibly cozy vibes despite its surprisingly large size. With dozens of beers to choose from, plenty of delicious and hearty food options, and a wide variety of board games, this is a pub you won’t want to miss, no matter the season. Lean back and sip your brew in front of the fireplace or crowd around a table to share a plate of beer cheese dip — you’ll leave with a full stomach and a warm heart.
“Don’t sleep on the awesome comfort food in one of Toronto’s original craft beer bars. C’est What has represented Ontario craft beer since the beginning. You’ll feel right at home with whatever you order, but you can’t go wrong with a beer on tap and a bison burger — or the kafir & coconut stew if you eat veg!” — Madison, Canadian Stage’s resident Comfort-Food Connoisseur
Proudly Canadian and local ingredients is the name of the game at this elevated dining spot. Woods’ focus is on home-grown, seasonal, and locally sourced foods and beverages from across the country to deliver unforgettable Canadian flavours. With an ever-evolving seasonal menu, discover a new experience every time you visit this chicly modern venue mere minutes from Canadian Stage.
“Feeling fancy? We just love the sophisticated atmosphere created by Bitna Park, the up-and-coming female chef at Woods. Enjoy a nice glass of red wine and some artisanal charcuterie before the show. The squash ravioli is really good here too.” — Juliana, Canadian Stage’s resident Fancy-Feaster
Whatever you’re looking for, you can almost certainly find it at HOTHOUSE. Their large, multi-space venue, complete with patio, is a popular destination for events of all sorts, and their menu features everything from Korean Fried Chicken to Angus chuck and brisket based burgers. They’re not open late, so stop by for a pre-show meal or drop in for their incredible Sunday brunch — you won’t be disappointed.
Address: 35 Church St. Walking distance to Bluma Appel Theatre: 3 minutes. Hours: Mon–Thurs, 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
As Toronto’s first-ever crêperie, opened in 1974, Le Papillon has succeeded in evolving with the times. Now a venue for casual French dining, their relaxed approach to fine-dining creates a comfortable atmosphere for anyone who visits. Enjoy French classics like Crêpes Bretonnes or Escargots, or indulge yourself in Smoked Duck Breast or Tuna Steak — just remember to leave room for a homemade dessert!
Near the Berkeley Street Theatre
Two words to describe King West classic Henrietta Lane? Homemade. Pickles. Plus local beers, delicious charcuterie and cheese, lovely cocktails and teetotallers… There’s a lot of wonderful things packed into this tiny venue. Grab a drink on their summertime patio or head to the back of the bar to peruse their delightfully nostalgic general store — Henrietta Lane is the place to beat for pre- and post-show cocktails, mocktails, and dunkaroos. No, seriously. They sell dunkaroos.
“An Instagrammable, yet super friendly little café bar serving cocktails, beer, coffee, tea, and snacks. I love that they have a nice list of non-alcoholic cocktail concoctions too, like their Peach Chai Sour.” — Shannon, Canadian Stage’s resident Café and Cocktail Champion
Address: 394 King St. E. Walking distance to Berkeley Street Theatre: 6-7 minutes. Hours: Weds, 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.; Thurs–Fri, 2:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.; Sat–Sun, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; closed Mondays & Tuesdays
Operating out of Toronto’s Historic Distillery District, Mill Street Brewery was one Toronto’s first commercial micro-breweries. The venue still operates as a brewery, but offers diners the opportunity to immerse themselves in the brewing experience, eating and drinking surrounded by vats of staple local beers. If you have time, sign up for one of their brewery tours to explore their process in even more depth.
Shopping & Entertainment
Near the Bluma Appel Theatre
This classic Toronto destination is not one to miss! With over 100 local vendors, bakers, butchers, and artisans, you can find everything from fresh produce and meats to wines and maple syrup at the historic St. Lawrence Market. there’s plenty to eat, drink, and see, so make an afternoon of it before heading to your weekend show.
Address: 93 Front St. E. Walking distance to Bluma Appel Theatre: 4 minutes. South Market Hours: Tues-Fri, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; closed Mondays. Farmer’s Market Hours: Saturday, 5:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
A public park since 1980, Berczy Park is instantly recognisable thanks to its iconic dog-themed fountain. The two-tiered fountain was unveiled in 2017, and features 27 dog sculptures (and one cat), with a golden bone perched at the very top. Besides the eye-catching art piece, Berczy has been the subject of heavy revitalization, resulting in a great place to sit and drink a coffee while admiring the gardens and meeting the local community.
“Home of the dog fountain (you know the one I mean) and Toronto’s mini Flatiron building – this has got to be one of the city’s most photogenic downtown parks.” — Tanya, Canadian Stage’s resident Dog-Art Enthusiast
Near the Berkeley Street Theatre
Another instantly recognisable destination, Toronto’s historic Distillery District has plenty to see and do before your show. Whether you’ve secured a ticket to the always-busy Christmas market, or you’re simply looking for a lovely place to grab a bite, the beautiful area is filled with dozens of chops, cafés, restaurants, and, of course, distilleries.
“We’re just a couple blocks from the shops of the lovely Distillery District. Grab a coffee at Balzacs and visit the Fluevog shoe store (and their off-kilter shoes), Peace Collective clothing, and then Bergo Designs for holiday gifts.” — Beth, Canadian Stage’s resident Shopping Sage
Transit & Parking
Although there is no street parking onsite at either the Bluma Appel Theatre or the Berkeley Street Theatre, there are multiple lots within walking distance of both theatres. The High Park Amphitheatre, home of Canadian Stage’s Annual Dream in High Park has plenty of options for parking and transit as well. Overall, Canadian Stage is most easily accessible by TTC, so check out the many options below!
Bluma Appel Theatre
Canadian Stage’s Bluma Appel Theatre is a mere six minute walk from King St. subway station. Exit the station on Yonge St, then walk south along Yonge until you reach Front St. Turn left on Front and walk one block east — you’ll find the entrance to the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts lobby on the South side of the building.
From Union Station, exit onto Front street and turn right. Walk east along Front until your reach the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, approximately a 10 minute walk.
Berkeley Street Theatre
From King St. Station, board the 504 King St. streetcar at street level, heading east towards Broadview Station or Distillery. Exit the streetcar at Ontario St., then walk east along King to Berkeley St. Turn right and walk south along Berkeley, passing Front St., until you see the sign for the theatre on your right.
From Broadview Station, board the 504 King St. streetcar heading west to Spadina, Bathurst, Exhibition, or Dufferin. Exit the streetcar at Ontario St., walk east along King to Berkeley St, then follow Berkeley south until you find the sign for Canadian Stage on your right.
From Pape Station, board the 72 Pape bus to Eastern Ave. When you reach the Commissioner’s and Cherry St. stop, transfer to the 172 Cherry St. bus heading north/east. Exit at Front St. and Berkeley St., and walk half a block south to find the venue on your right.
From Castle Frank Station, board the 65 Parliament bus and ride until you hit the Front St. and Berkeley St. stop. exit the bus and walk half a block south the find the theatre on your right.
High Park Amphitheatre
It’s about a 20-minute walk from High Park Station to the High Park Amphitheatre. From High Park Station, exit at the main entrance, then walk east to High Park Avenue. Turn south and walk until the traffic lights at the corner of Bloor St. and High Park Ave. Continue through the lights, staying on the sidewalk on the left on Colborne Lodge Dr. The pathway to the amphitheatre is across from the parking lot of the Grenadier Café, on the northeast corner of the intersection of Colborne Lodge Dr. and Centre Rd.
Alternatively, take the 501 Queen St. streetcar to the south side of High Park on the Queensway at Colborne Lodge Drive. Follow the road north to Centre Rd., and find the path to the ampitheatre as above.
- 31A Parliament St. (0.2 km from Berkeley Street Theatre)
- 323 Richmond St. (0.5 km from Berkeley Street Theatre)
- 70 Distillery Lane (0.5 km from Berkeley Street Theatre)
- 100 Cooperage St. (0.6 km from Berkeley Street Theatre)
- ProPark, 1 Scott St. (120m from Bluma Appel Theatre)
- Grenadier Café parking lot (across from the High Park Amphitheatre)