Let’s face it: Toronto’s indie music scenesters live in the west end. So whenever there’s a show happening at the Opera House, they kvetch about making the tedious trek east of Yonge. Once they step inside, however, their grumbling ceases promptly. Yes, this venue is that good.
The Opera House first opened opened its doors at 735 Queen Street East in 1909, and still holds the charm of its original vaudeville theatre architecture. In other words, it is quite literally an opera house, boasting 12,000 square feet with spectacular views from the balcony. Over the stage is an ornate 35-foot proscenium arch, accompanied by all the funky lighting and modern sound technology needed to induce copious amounts of awe.
Over the years, it’s been a landmark venue in Toronto, and the go-to place for bands to play on their second or third tours, when they’ve achieved semi-popular status. Bigs guns such as the Foo Fighters, Rage Against The Machine, Eminem and The Dillinger Escape Plan played here first before they started selling out the Air Canada Centre. Nowadays, if you got to see a band at the Opera House, it means you were a fan of theirs before they had a song in Guitar Hero. And those are mighty bragging rights.