Inspiring Things to Do in Toronto: Creative Arts & Culture
Cosmopolitan Toronto is fertile ground for the city's off-the-charts creative scene, which is impossible not to experience while you're here. Linger in outstanding museums with endless galleries with world-class collections of art from across the planet. Lose yourself in a fantastic theatrical show or spark new ideas at fringe performances. Celebrate arts and culture at one-of-a-kind festivals that showcase the uniqueness of the city, from its LGBTQ community to its status as a global cinema hotspot. Immerse yourself in the cultural phenomenon of the city and discover enlightening creative attractions and things to do in Toronto.
Be Entertained at Spectacular Theatres & Plays
Toronto lies at the heart of Canada's performing arts culture, boasting a theatre district to rival that of New York or London. Most of the big theaters are located on or around King Street, just steps away from our hotel. But you'll also find a huge variety of non-profit civic theatres and fringe productions far from the mainstream musicals. Whether you want to be entertained by the hottest Broadway hit or the most avant-garde play, Toronto's sparkling theatre scene offers endless performances to enjoy.
- Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre - These unique Edwardian stacked theatres are the last such double-decker venue in the world. Formal and opulent, the 1913 theatres are definitely worth a behind-the-scenes tour.
- Shakespeare in the Park - High Park hosts outdoor summer productions by the beloved Bard through July and August.
- Young Centre for the Performing Arts - Dip your toes into Toronto's nonprofit theatre scene here, at the biggest civic company that's housed in a beautiful industrial setting in the Distillery District.
- Royal Alexandra Theatre - Restored 1907 vintage venue, a grand old theatre and a masterpiece of beaux-arts architecture.
- Princess of Wales Theatre - A newer venue with excellent sightlines that hosts lavish Broadway musicals and state-of-the-art theatrical productions.
- Buddies in Bad Times Theatre - Queer theatre in Toronto's Gay Village with groundbreaking works. Also the host of the Queer Pride Festival.
- CAA Theatre - Cozy, intimate venue with 700 seats for local musicals, tours, and comedy shows.
- Factory Theatre - Canadian-only productions and playwrights with a focus on social justice.
- Ed Mirvish Theatre - Historic cinema and playhouse with two grand balconies that hosts large productions and Broadway musicals.
Celebrate Creativity at Cosmopolitan Arts & Culture Festivals
World-famous festivals are another signature of Toronto's incredible cultural scene, and there's something going on almost every weekend. The city's premier event is also the largest film festival on the planet: the Toronto International Film Festival. Attracting A-list celebrities and screening more than 300 films, this top-tier festival transforms Toronto into the epicenter of the global film community every September. The Toronto Jazz Festival takes over Nathan Phillips Square for 10 days every June, attracting half a million music fans with an impressive roster of talent in almost every genre: jazz, blues, rock, funk, soul, hip hop, R&B, and Latin. For classical music lovers, don't miss the Toronto Summer Music Festival in July, which offers sweeping live performances at The Royal Conservatory of Music at Koerner Hall and at the University of Toronto. Nathan Phillips Square also hosts the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair in July, an open-air showcase of fine arts where you can mix and mingle with artists.
Expand Your Mind at Brilliant Art Galleries & Museums
Be inspired by the creativity of artists in Toronto, from ancient Native American potters to contemporary fashion designers. Discover a bastion of large museums filled with galleries where you can explore your artistic passions, no matter how grand or how niche.
- Art Gallery of Ontario - Redesigned by the legendary (and Toronto-born) Frank Gehry, this museum is a masterpiece even before you dive into the 95,000-piece collection of art. Canadian and First Nations art is the focus at this Chinatown museum, but it also houses a rousing selection of pieces from Africa, Europe, and Oceania. Don't miss the dazzling Galleria Italia, a fabulous 200-meter canopy of curving wood, glass, and steel.
- Textile Museum of Canada - Fashion lovers will adore this award-winning museum of fabric arts in Downtown Toronto, which presents textiles from 200 cultures around the world. Gaze at gorgeous ceremonial robes, colorful hand-woven carpets, pioneer-era quilts, and garments that were worn 2,000 years ago.
- Museum of Contemporary Art - Formerly known as the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, the MoCa has recently reopened in an incredible new location at the Tower Automotive Building (a heritage building that used to be an aluminum factory). See several floors of multicultural artwork with forward-thinking originality and a post-modern ethos.
- Bata Shoe Museum - Discover an engaging exhibition of more than 13,000 pieces of footwear from around the world at this surprisingly delightful museums. Situated in an award-winning structure designed by Raymond Moriyama, the shoe collection spans from the ancient world to modern Blahniks. Permanent exhibits include "Collected in the Field: Shoemaking Stories from Around the World, "Beauty, Identity, Pride: Native North American Footwear," and "Fashion Victims: The Pleasures and Perils of Dress in the 19th Century."
- Gardiner Museum - Indulge your love of ceramics at this Bloor Yorkville museum, which is dedicated to the art of clay. See ancient pottery or try your hand at the museum's classes on wheel throwing and slip casting.
Experience Toronto Arts & Culture in the Heart of the City
Put yourself in the middle of it all at InterContinental Toronto Centre
. Boasting a perfect location in Downtown, our sophisticated luxury hotel is steps away from top things to do in Toronto like the CN Tower and the Rogers Centre. Experience elegant comfort, immaculate amenities, and unparalleled hospitality as you explore the best of the city.