There's no lack of things to do in Toronto after the sun goes down. The city is a genuine mecca for top-notch theater, with some acclaimed productions actually premiering in Toronto before heading to Broadway or London's West End. Notable local performing arts organizations include the Canadian Stage Company, the Canadian Opera Company, the National Ballet of Canada, Soulpepper (which has earned a reputation as one of North America's most creative theater companies), the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Toronto's many dance and music venues also host the crème de la crème of Canadian and international performers. Some of the best entertainment is in Toronto's comedy clubs, which have served as training grounds for stars such as Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Dan Aykroyd, and John Candy.
There's plenty going on at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts -- formerly known as the Hummingbird Centre, Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Roy Thomson Hall, Massey Hall, the new and impressive Koerner Hall, and at other theaters around town.
The hottest news on the nightlife front is Ossington Avenue. This used to be a quiet stretch, but it's now the place to go for the coolest watering holes. The action has spilled onto the adjacent Dundas Street West strip, too. Some spots to look for: the Communist's Daughter, Dakota Tavern, Watusi, Reposado, and Sweaty Betty's.
Making Plans -- For listings of local performances and events, check out Where Toronto (www.where.ca/toronto) and Toronto Life (www.torontolife.com), as well as the Toronto Star (www.thestar.com). For up-to-the-minute lists of hot-ticket events, check out the free weeklies (and their informative websites) Now (www.nowtoronto.com) and The Grid (www.thegridto.com), available around town in newspaper boxes and at bars, cafes, and bookstores. The city website www.toronto.com also boasts lengthy lists of performances. Events of particular interest to the gay and lesbian community are listed in Xtra! (www.xtra.ca), another free weekly available in newspaper boxes and many bookstores. The Torontoist blog (www.torontoist.com) is also a great source for upcoming performances, while www.tobars.com/ covers the bar and club scene thoroughly.
Getting Tickets -- For almost any theater, music, or dance event, you can buy tickets from Ticketmaster (tel. 416/870-8000; www.ticketmaster.ca). To avoid the service charge on each ticket (not just each order) sold over the phone, head to a ticket center. They're scattered throughout the city; call the information line for the lengthy list of locations.