Subscriptions, rush tickets and lotteries, oh my! Here’s how to enjoy the best of Toronto theatre on a budget


Subscriptions, rush tickets and lotteries, oh my! Here’s how to enjoy the best of Toronto theatre on a budget

Hi, I’m Aisling and I see a lot of theatre. As in, more than 65 shows since March — I counted. “& Juliet” at Mirvish surprisingly only counted for two of those theatre visits.

As a member of the media, I do see shows for free, usually in exchange for a review or preview article. But I also pay for a fair share of theatre tickets, often if I want to see a show more than once or catch the action from a different angle. Long story short: I’m well acquainted with Toronto’s many box offices.

Toronto theatre is lousy with deals on tickets and subscription packages, but you often have to know where to look for those bargains. Well, look no further: here’s a cheat sheet for some of the best deals on theatre tickets for the upcoming 2022-23 season, with recommendations to suit most budgets.

For any theatres not on this list, the best course of action is simply to ask: box office staff are often more than willing to help curious theatregoers check out what’s playing. A phone call or email can’t hurt.

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

It’s the hottest ticket in town, but it’s also one of the priciest. What many don’t know is Mirvish offers $49 same-day rush tickets: if you’re not too attached to a certain date, it’s worth giving the box office a call the morning of and trying your luck.

If you’re really keen, you can try the lottery, too. The “Cursed Child” digital lottery allows you to enter to win the chance to purchase two $40 tickets to the amply Dora Award-nominated phenomenon.

Crow’s Theatre

Crow’s is a key player in the Toronto theatre ecology, offering hits such as last season’s “Orphans for the Czar” and Cliff Cardinal’s radical retelling of “As You Like It.” Located near Carlaw and Dundas Street East, and fitted with a swanky bar and live music space, the Streetcar Crowsnest is a lovely date night spot.

Crow’s is currently running a special for its first two shows: $99 gets you premium seating at “Uncle Vanya” and “The Shape of Home: Songs in Search of Al Purdy,” plus a free cocktail.

There are also the theatre’s Under 30 programs, which provide cheaper tickets to patrons 30 or younger. Available until Sept. 6 is the $50 Under 30 preview subscription, which gets you five preview performances (coming out to just $10 per ticket). Or you can see a full performance for $20 a ticket using a code sent via email.

Coal Mine Theatre

Coal Mine Theatre is one of the Danforth’s greatest charms, an intimate storefront theatre known for high-stakes, groundbreaking work. With intimacy, though, comes scarcity — Coal Mine shows tend to sell out, particularly in the latter half of their runs, so tickets are priced a little higher toward closing night.

Until Sept. 21, Coal Mine is offering season passes for $200, which is a steal. That $200 guarantees admission to all four of Coal Mine’s 2022-23 shows at $50 per ticket, and the theatre has packages available in pairs and groups, too.

Theatre Passe Muraille

TPM is one of Canada’s most historically significant theatres, a vital incubator for new work and a leader in building accessibility into live performance. One of those accessibility measures is in ticket pricing. Theatre Passe Muraille sells tickets on a pay what you can afford scale with a starting price of $5, and supports are available for patrons not able to use a credit card to pay online or over the phone.


Home to “Kim’s Convenience” before it became a CBC smash, the Distillery District’s Soulpepper Theatre Company is a legend in Canadian theatre and performance. Patrons aged 25 and younger have access to free tickets when booked on the same day as the show.

For the powerhouse company’s upcoming productions of “King Lear” and “Queen Goneril” (being performed in repertory), patrons who purchase tickets to one show are able to see the other for 50 per cent off using a code sent via email.

Canadian Stage

Another key player in Canadian theatre, Canadian Stage offers a smorgasbord of discounted tickets, including $29 tickets for front-line workers, students and arts workers. It also has Pay What You Wish Tuesdays and rush tickets available for those hoping to catch high-quality work on a budget.


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Credit: Subscriptions, rush tickets and lotteries, oh my! Here’s how to enjoy the best of Toronto theatre on a budget