Meridian Arts Centre

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Meridian Arts Centre
Toronto Centre for the Arts front.jpg
Former namesNorth York Performing Arts Centre (1993–94)
Ford Centre for the Performing Arts (1994–98)
Toronto Centre for the Arts (1998–2019)
Address5040 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario
M2N 6R8
Coordinates43°45′58″N 79°24′52″W / 43.766159°N 79.414549°W / 43.766159; -79.414549Coordinates: 43°45′58″N 79°24′52″W / 43.766159°N 79.414549°W / 43.766159; -79.414549
OwnerCity of Toronto
Construction
OpenedOctober 16, 1993
ArchitectEberhard Zeidler
Website
www.meridianartscentre.com

The Meridian Arts Centre is a performing arts venue in the North York district of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It opened on October 16, 1993, as the North York Performing Arts Centre and was designed by Canadian architect Eberhard Zeidler for musicals, theatre productions and other performing arts. At opening, North York awarded management of the centre to Livent, which sold the naming rights in 1994 to Ford Motor Company of Canada. It became the Ford Centre for the Performing Arts. Later, it debranded as the Toronto Centre for the Arts.

In January 2019, TO Live (formerly Civic Theatres Toronto, a City of Toronto agency which manages and operates the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, Toronto Centre for the Arts, and the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts) announced a new sponsorship deal with Meridian Credit Union, which saw the theatre rebranded in September 2019.[1]

Facility[edit]

The building originally housed three theatres: the Main Stage Theatre with 1,727 seats, the George Weston Recital Hall with 1,036 seats, and the multi-purpose, 200-seat Studio Theatre. When Livent declared bankruptcy in 1998, the City of Toronto government assumed control of the facility.[2]

The Main Stage was home to Dancap Productions' Canadian production of Jersey Boys from August 2008 until August 2010. Prior to Jersey Boys, the facility was the home of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Sunset Boulevard in 1995 and a 1993 production of Show Boat that transferred to Broadway.[3]

After Dancap ceased operation, the centre had difficulty finding enough tenants for the Main Stage, and began a series of renovations from 2014 to 2016 that divided the Main Stage into two smaller theatres. The Greenwin Theatre seats 296 and was built on the original stage and backstage areas, while the remainder of the original auditorium became the Lyric Theatre, seating 576 and featuring LED backlit acoustic panels that can change colour with the lighting design.[4][5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Raju Mudhar (21 January 2019). "Meridian Credit Union buys naming rights for Sony Centre and Toronto Centre for the Arts". Toronto Star.
  2. ^ Haskell, Richard (December 15, 2013). Toronto Centre for the Arts. The Canadian Encyclopedia.
  3. ^ Knelman, Martin (December 13, 2013). "North York's theatrical delusion sinks for good". Toronto Star. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  4. ^ Williams, Patricia (October 24, 2016). "Staging the newly renovated Toronto Centre for the Arts". Daily Commercial News.
  5. ^ "Splitting the Stage: The Mainstage Theatre Becomes Two" (PDF). ArtsBuild Ontario. July 2013.

External links[edit]