Deeply rooted in its Riverside community, the Opera House lifts the curtain on Toronto’s cultural history while presenting some of the best rock, metal and punk acts from around the world. With its 800-person capacity and antique details, the venue offers concertgoers a unique atmosphere in addition to consistently impressive line-ups.
The house’s history dates back to 1909, when it was built to accommodate vaudeville performances that were popular among working class audiences. As motion pictures rose to prominence, the venue became a cinema in the 1930s before switching back to a performance space again in the 1960s. Since 1989, it has operated in its current incarnation, though remnants of its history can be found throughout the venue.
While dance and hip-hop acts like the Caribou Vibration Ensemble and Ty Dolla $ign have played the venue, it tends to attract guitar bands. Wild Nothing, Dirty Projectors and Charlie Hilton represent just a few of the indie acts that have played over the years, while punk and metal offerings have included Kvelertak, Napalm Death and Gwar. In 2016, David Bowie producer Tony Visconti and his tribute band Holy Holy played some of the starman’s greatest hits two days after his death. The venue has also hosted non-musical performances, including Anthony Atamanuik and James Adomian political comedy show Trump vs. Bernie: The Debate.