|Performing Arts Venue |||Performing Arts Center|
|Getting There |||Union station|
|Cross Street |||Yonge|
Profile Last Updated: May 12, 2009
Many of the greatest performers to ever visit Toronto have graced the stage of the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, under its previous names as the O’Keefe Centre and the Hummingbird Centre. The tradition continues with state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems furnished by the electronics company whose name is on the building. With over 3,000 seats the centre is the largest soft-seat auditorium in Canada.
Sony Centre for the Performing Arts had its red carpet opening in October 1960 with the musical Camelot. The popularity of the original O’Keefe Centre helped transform the area into an entertainment district, with many restaurants and bars serving the before and after show crowds. The stage was most favourable to large musical productions, ballet and opera, and touring group and solo performers. Naming rights changed hands in 1996, purchased by software company Hummingbird, whose identity graced the building for over a decade.
The new era of the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts took effect in 2007, as longtime tenants the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada had moved to their own customized centre. The building has been redesigned with preservation in mind, incorporating the Arts and Heritage Awareness Centre and condo tower designed by architect Daniel Libeskind. The stage continues to host touring music, theatre, comedy, dance and magic acts.
Highway Access: Gardiner Expressway (from Don Valley Parkway or Queen Elizabeth Way) - take the Yonge/Bay/York Street exit and proceed north on Yonge Street.
Theatre Address: 1 Front Street E, Toronto, ON, M5E 1B2