The three City-owned and operated theatres promote theatrical, artistic and cultural programming in the community through convenient and cost-effective access to state of the art venues that support multi-cultural, not-for-profit, and corporate events.

Budget Notes

Sony Centre For The Performing Arts

Present and produce artistic programming of the highest quality from around the world to serve and educate audiences from Toronto’s diverse cultures. In connection therewith, negotiate complex business programming deals to maximize the financial return to the Centre. Provide a unique performance and meeting venue, complete with state-of-the-art technology and first-class catering services. Operate, maintain and promote (with minimal overhead) the importance of Canada’s largest theatre (3,191 seats), a world-class heritage designated performance venue designed by Toronto’s most famous architect, Peter Dickinson. Strengthen Toronto’s Youth by partnering and collaborating with educational institutions to promote the artistic achievements of our students. Bolster the economy of the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood and attract tourism.

St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts

Serve as home to some of the best not-for-profit theatre and music companies that reside in and produce work in the City of Toronto. Act as the cultural hub for the City and its residents by maintaining a clean, modern and service-oriented theatrical and entertainment facility. As a focus for Toronto-based performing arts and artists, the Centre will continually attract diverse, high quality, cultural, artistic and public events.

Toronto Centre for the Arts

The Toronto Centre for the Arts will become the most versatile performing arts centre in the GTA and a necessary and important part of the cultural lives of the City’s diverse population. The Centre will be anchor to the arts community through its role as incubator and partner in promoting the arts. A full range of performing arts will be represented within the programming the Centre has to offer. The Centre will take a leading role in attracting audiences that reflect the full ethnic and social diversity of Toronto’s citizens. The Centre embraces its role as an important cultural economic generator and will place strategic emphasis on maximizing the financial benefits to the greater community. The Centre will build important strategic links with the local business and arts community and will seek educational and programming partners that will strengthen the operations of the Centre and its reach into the community. Through its existing agreement with the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame the Centre will create the physical Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in its existing lobby space providing a unique destination for Canadians of all ages to explore the incredible achievements of Canadian songwriters

View the Theatres Program Map in greater detail.

The three City-owned and operated Civic Theatres play a vital role in fostering programs to invest in core areas of arts education and engagement, developing local and international artists, international presentations, cross development of creative industries and technology, celebrating and reflecting the multiculturalism of the City of Toronto.

2018 Budget Summary

The total cost to deliver these services to Toronto residents is $32.359 million gross and $5.275 million net.

The 2018 Operating Budget includes the reversal of one-time transition funding of $0.633 million, reflecting a 10.7% decrease from 2017. The combined 2018 Operating Budgets of the three Civic Theatres represent a 0% change from the 2017 base. This is achievable through increased level of programming at all Theatres, undertaking promotional and advertising activities about the new organization as one, and efficiencies arising from the merger of the three Theatres.

Fast Facts

  • Sony Centre for Performing Arts offers a 3,191-seat auditorium and is Canada’s largest soft seat theatre.
  • Lawrence Centre for the Arts houses 2 theatres: the 876-seat Bluma Appel Theatre and the 498-seat Jane Mallet Theatre.
  • Toronto Centre for the Arts has 4 theatres: the new 574-seat Lyric Theatre; the 296-seat Greenwin Stage Tower Theatre; the 1,036-seat George Weston Recital Hall; and the 183-seat Studio Theatre.


  • Civic Theatres Toronto includes 7 stages in the three City-owned Theatres: Sony, Jane Mallet, Bluma Appel, George Weston, Lyric, Greenwin, and Studio Theatres.
  • CTT anticipates additional 130 corporate events and performances across the three Civic Theatres with a steady growth into the year 2020.

Key Service Deliverables for 2018

Civic Theatres Toronto (CTT) endorses culture, arts and theatre by programming a full range of high-quality performances for not-for-profit artists, locally and internationally. CTT also provides creative space for corporate events.

The 2018 Operating Budget will enable the Civic Theatres Toronto to:

  • Position Civic Theatres Toronto as the most versatile performing arts centre in Toronto, building strategic links with the local arts community and seek educational and programming partners that will strengthen the operations of the organization.
  • Introduce a new stream of stage programming “2018 CTT Presents” featuring in-house Theatre productions of shows and performances through strengthening existing and future partnerships.
  • Increase the usage days and the overall mix of shows, performances, and corporate events for all stages and spaces available for rental at the Sony, Bluma Appel, Jane Mallet, George Weston, Lyric, Greenwin, and Studio Theatres.
  • Triple the investment in public education and community engagement and commit to 12 different planned activities at all Civic Theatres including Community Classes, Doors Open, School Visits, and Day Camps.
  • Increase marketing and branding including rolling out a new brand strategy that includes local national and international attention.
  • Strengthen existing relationships and partners across all Civic Theatres Toronto venues and pursue strategic actions to expand fundraising and development activities.

Our Key Issues and Priority Actions

  • Civic Theatres Toronto, since its amalgamation, is focusing on implementation of cost-saving initiatives, efficiency measures, and unified internal systems to support customer-facing services such as corporate events, stage shows, and education and engagement.
    • Civic Theatres Toronto will initiate new strategic actions at the three Theatres including expanded in-house programming, community engagement events, with no increase to the City’s net budget.
    • Civic Theatres Toronto will report back in the 2019 Budget process with a new Program Map with the service-based budget allocations.

2018 Operating Budget Highlights

  • The 2018 Operating Budget for Civic Theatres Toronto is $32.359 million gross and $5.275 million net representing 10.7% decrease to the 2017 Approved Operating Budget. The three Theatres have met the budget target on its base operations through increased volume of activities across all Civic Theatres and operational efficiencies resulting in savings and new processes:
    • Base budget changes driven by increased volume of programming activities ($0.337 million net revenue).
    • Marketing and branding ($0.305 million net).
    • Increased investment in Education and Engagement ($0.148 million net).
  • One-time ‘Leadership’ transition funding of $0.633 million is not required in 2018, bringing CTT’s 2018 Operating Budget to 10.7% below 2017 Budget.
  • Staff complement will increase by 44.8 from 2017 to 2018 entirely driven by the increased volume of activities.
  • The 2018 Operating Budget provides funding for:
    • Education and Engagement, offering free classes, talks, and demonstrations performing arts camps and high school workshops.
    • Stage shows featuring arts and entertainment programmes, marketing, production, and ticketing services.

Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts (Sony Centre) is Canada’s largest soft seat theatre.  Designated a historical site by the City of Toronto, the Theatre offers a world class stage, state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, multi-functional space, and event services.

The Sony Centre underwent extensive renovations from 2008 to 2010.  These renovations included the renewal of auditorium interior finishes and did not address the required structural upgrades identified in the 1997 and 2006 Building Condition Audits.

A Building Condition Assessment (BCA) was performed for the Sony Centre in September 2015 and identified $33.229 million in capital funding required for immediate repairs, as well as capital renewal items.  A number of items identified in the BCA were deemed critical and, as a result, the 10-Year Capital Plan includes new debt funding of $8.715 million for capital works over and above those already addressed in 2017, to fund the following projects: Vertical Transportation, Theatre Systems and Equipment, Fire Safety Systems, Electrical Systems, Building Envelope, Mechanical Systems, and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Audit.

Where Does the Money Go?

he 2018 – 2027 Capital Budget and Plan totalling $8.715 million provides funding of:

  • $3.660 million which addresses and ensures that the Sony Centre complies with the AODA and the Ontario Building Code.
  • $2.778 million for health and safety projects such as elevator system modernization, replacement of fire alarm systems, and stage drapery and curtains replacement to ensure safety around the stage perimeter.
  • $2.277 million for SOGR projects which prioritizes replacing capital assets that have exceeded their life cycle

Where Does the Money Come From?

The 10-Year Capital Plan requires:

  • Debt funding of $8.715 million (100.0%), reflecting an increase in debt funding of $5.965 million over the 10-year debt affordability target to provide adequate funding to comply with the AODA and address critical health and safety issues of the site.

State of Good Repair Backlog

The 10-Year Capital Plan allocates $2.277 million for State of Good Repair to help address the Sony Centre’s backlog. However, this is not sufficient to fully reduce the growing SOGR backlog over the 10-year period, given that the asset replacement value as a percentage of backlog will rise from 14.3% in 2018 to 23.6% in 2027.

Key Issues & Priority Actions

  • Debt Affordability Target is exceeded by $5.965 million in 2018 to fund previously unfunded capital projects. The debt of $2.750 million in 2018 is insufficient to address the much needed SOGR backlog over and above what is included in the current 10-Year Capital Plan.
    • Sony Centre identified “unmet needs” totalling $14.361 million, recommended by Sony Centre’s 2015 building condition assessment, which require additional debt funding to reduce the SOGR backlog.
  • Capital Budgets for St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts and Toronto Centre for the Arts are currently included in Economic Development and Culture’s 10-Year Capital Plan.
    • Economic Development and Culture, Financial Planning, and Civic Theatres Toronto will report back on bringing together the 10-year capital requirements of the three Civic Theatres into a single portfolio which will guide the discussion of revising the debt affordability targets for the Theatres.

2018 Capital Budget Highlights

The 2018 Capital Budget for Sony Centre for the Performing Arts of $3.251 million, excluding carry forward funding, will:

  • Begin the replacements of the motor control centres at the north side ($0.326 million), Main Lobby Presentation Systems ($0.100 million), Roofs for the Vestibule, Mezzanine, East Canopy, and Stage Tower ($0.689 million), and Insulated Glass Units ($0.317 million).
  • Begin repairing the Mechanical Systems ($0.642 million), and Stage Roof Soffit ($0.203 million).
  • Install assistive listening system as per the Ontario Building Code, providing assistance to those who are hearing-impaired ($0.060 million).
  • Begin the health and safety projects such as Theatrical Performance Power Infrastructure System ($0.724 million), Lounge Elevator Equipment Modernization ($0.175 million), and Fire Alarm Systems & Annunciator Panel Replacement ($0.015 million).