Step out in Toronto’s premiere district for musicals, plays and Broadway-style shows.
Dinner and a show: they go along famously, like bread and butter, or curtains and applause. For locals and visitors alike, Toronto’s Entertainment District is where to go if that’s your idea of a fun outing—whether you’re planning a romantic date, friends’ getaway or family night on the town.
The section of King Street West from University Avenue to Spadina Avenue is a bustling downtown neighbourhood that’s home to world-class theatre. Home-grown smashes like Come From Away to modern classics like Hamilton to long-loved shows like The Phantom of the Opera all grace the stages of the Princess of Wales (300 King St. W.) and Royal Alexandra (260 King St W) theatres. Music fans can also get their fix at Roy Thomson Hall (60 Simcoe St.)—or for a stadium experience, can catch a concert a short walk south at the Rogers Centre (1 Blue Jays Way) or Scotiabank Arena (40 Bay St.), not to mention that sports fans can catch a game at either of these major venues, too!
Traffic on King Street is limited in the Entertainment District to make way for frequent transit, meaning the area is best accessed by streetcar (via the 504 on King or 510 on Spadina), or subway (St. Andrew Station). This neighbourhood invites a stroll to drink in culture and the arts—while stopping along the way for literal sips and eats. For those coming in from out of town, the area is only a short walk from Union Station, too.
You’re spoiled for choice, in short. Here are some of our suggestions for the perfect night out.
Whether you’re planning to dine before or after your entertainment, options abound for every palate. If modern Italian is your speed, check out Figo (295 Adelaide St. W.). If you’re visiting during the summer, take advantage of its large patio, and order a plate of the fried zucchini any time of year (thank us later).
If Mexican food is your style, La Carnita (106 John St.) serves up an array of mouth-watering tacos, burritos and bowls (including vegan options). As an added bonus, La Carnita is connected to Sweet Jesus (106 John St.), where you can satisfy your sweet tooth with a totally Insta-worthy dessert.
If your party has multiple dietary considerations, District Eatery (303 King St. W.) has menu options to suit many needs. If you’re just looking for after-show drinks, try a gingerbread sour.
The beauty of this neighbourhood is that its roster of shows is constantly changing, so there’s always something fresh to check out. Take a look at the Mirvish Productions website to see what’s playing in the current season at the big Princess of Wales (300 King St. W.) and Royal Alexandra (260 King St. W.) theatres.
If you’re more of a film buff, you might want to plan your visit around a trip to the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) building (350 King St. W.). Visiting during the festival (held every September) is a worthwhile, whirlwind experience, but you can visit any time of year to catch a film in the multi-story complex. Just up John Street, Scotiabank Theatre (259 Richmond St. W.) is another impressive complex that acts as a festival venue during TIFF and screens Hollywood fare the rest of the year.
Want to take home a memento or two? The theatres offer merch from their current shows, so you’ll have more than just showtunes to carry home (Lion King tote bag? Phantom teddy bear? They’ve got you covered). If you’re looking for something to remember your time in Toronto more generally, the TIFF shop (350 King St. W.) features plenty of items like books, clothing and homewares that will have your next guests asking, “Where did you get that adorable mini lightbox?”
Getting to King Street West:
Easy access to the area via the 510 Spadina or 504 King streetcars or Line 1 Yonge-University subway to St. Andrew or Union subway stations.
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