It is considered a treasure in Toronto; Roy Thompson Hall is one of Canada’s best known concert halls. The outside of the building with its glowing glass siding and curve-like features have made it a major Toronto landmark.
Roy Thompson Hall is the perfect venue for screenings during the Toronto International Film Festival and is home to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
A long list of premier events has taken place here since its opening in 1982. The family of the late Roy Thompson donated a large sum of money to help establish the concert hall.
To honor this generous contribution the name Roy Thompson was adopted. Thompson was a media mogul and one of the wealthiest men in Canada.
Canada’s Walk of Fame lines the sidewalk outside the Roy Thompson Hall. Over one-hundred Canadian born celebrities are honoured here, including Michael J. Fox, William Shatner, Jim Carrey and Celine Dion to name a few.
Roy Thompson also has an outdoor patio for visitors to enjoy.
Management and staff at Roy Thompson Hall believe that good art comes in many different forms. For this reason you can experience everything from films and documentaries, to live musical concerts and national geographic series.
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) offers up an unforgettable line-up of performances; some of which include engaging discussions between the musicians and the audience after the show.
The TSO is known for its quality of music and its creativity. The company has even shown classic films with live musical interludes. Several of the world’s top conductors have graced the building and are always impressed with the outstanding acoustics.
The TSO offers educational programs for young people as well. For more information on the Orchestra visit www.tso.ca.
The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir also operates out of Roy Thompson Hall. The TMC is a very large choral organization whose aim is to expose as many people as possible to choral masterpieces. They also have an education mandate.
They have set up an apprenticeship program for up and coming singers, an annual conductor’s symposium, and have partnered with both the Glen Gould Royal Conservatory of Music and the Toronto District School Board to enhance choral training. You can check them out at www.tmchoir.org.
There is great variety in the events at Roy Thompson Hall. Would it surprise you to know that award winning musician and vocalist, Bryan Adams has performed here? What about funny lady Joan Rivers or decorating diva Martha Stewart?
They have all entertained audiences at the hall. Other celebrities that have graced the building include Anne Murray, Yo-Yo Ma, Tom Jones, Nigel Kennedy, Gordon Lightfoot and Raffi.
In 2002 Roy Thompson Hall underwent a major facelift. The auditorium once oval shaped, was transformed into more of a rectangular shape, improving the acoustics and giving the audience an even better view of the main stage.
Large planks of Canadian hardwood were used to redesign the hall which helps reflect the sound. Two acoustic canopies hang over the stage somewhat like a chandelier.
They can be adjusted depending on the type and size of the performance. Main floor, mezzanine or balcony seating is available. On the main floor there are short rows of seating to allow for easier access and exit.
Just click on the following link for a full view of the seating plan: www.roythomson.com/rth_seatingplans.
One of the main attractions inside the hall is the organ. It has over 5-thousand pipes and two consoles; a fixed gallery keyboard and an electronic keyboard.
The Music Store
The Roy Thompson Hall Music Store is a great place for everything classical. You can walk away with some of the best classical music CDs and music-related gift items.
The convenient location of Roy Thompson Hall means you have a lot to choose from if you plan to include a meal in your entertainment experience.
There are over 30 restaurants near the hall, including about a dozen that are wheelchair accessible. Due to Toronto’s multicultural nature you can select from a wide variety of ethnic restaurants or enjoy Canadian cuisine at its best.
Roy Thompson has an incredible reputation and that means people travel from all over the world to be able to sit in the audience. If you are coming to Toronto for a performance you can easily make arrangements to stay at a hotel close to the Toronto concert hall.
The official hotel partner for the Roy Thompson Hall is the Fairmont Royal York, but there are about 20 other hotels nearby, some within a short walking distance of the auditorium.
Roy Thompson Hall is close to the financial and commercial district of Toronto, but once inside the auditorium you feel like you have escaped to a whole different place.
Roy Thompson has often been summed up in two words, “World Class.” So if you are looking for a venue that includes great entertainment, a special setting and a superb line-up of events, this is the one for you.