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 its consistent 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 movies became popular, 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 or 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, 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 notably played some of the starman’s greatest hits two days after his death, while Anthony Atamanuik and James Adomian skewered presidential candidates with their show Trump vs. Bernie: The Debate.