Toronto Centre for the Arts
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|Former names||North York Performing Arts Centre (1993–94)|
Ford Centre for the Performing Arts (1994–98)
|Location||5040 Yonge Street|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Owner||City of Toronto government|
|Opened||October 16, 1993|
The Toronto Centre for the Arts, previously known as the Ford Centre for the Performing Arts, is a performing arts venue in the North York area of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It opened in 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.
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 will see the theatre rebranded as the Meridian Arts Centre in September 2019.
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.
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.
However, 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.
- "Meridian Credit Union buys naming rights for Sony Centre and Toronto Centre for the Arts". Toronto Star, January 21, 2019.
- Haskell, Richard (December 15, 2013). Toronto Centre for the Arts. The Canadian Encyclopedia.
- Knelman, Martin (December 13, 2013). "North York's theatrical delusion sinks for good". Toronto Star. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
- Williams, Patricia (October 24, 2016). "Staging the newly renovated Toronto Centre for the Arts". Daily Commercial News.
- "Splitting the Stage: The Mainstage Theatre Becomes Two" (PDF). ArtsBuild Ontario. July 2013.