FAQs and Etiquette

Getting Here

Where is the opera house located?

The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts is at 145 Queen Street West, at the intersection of Queen Street and University Avenue.

We are directly accessible by TTC at Osgoode Station.

For more on the best way to get to us, please see our Maps and Directions section.

Where can I park my car?

There is a cash-only parking lot that can accommodate approximately 200 vehicles underneath the Four Seasons Centre. The parking entrance is on York Street, south of Queen Street.

Additional parking for all events is just steps away at the GREEN P lot under Nathan Phillips Square.

For more, please see our Maps and Directions section.

Where can I park my bicycle?

Post-and-ring bicycle parking is available along Richmond and York Streets in the vicinity of the opera house.

When should I arrive?

Doors to the opera house open one hour prior to the performance start time.

We encourage you to arrive well before the opera starts, as latecomers may not be admitted into the auditorium.

If you do end up being late, however, you’ll be able to watch a live feed of the performance on a large screen in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre.

Before the Performance

What should I wear?

Many of our patrons choose to dress according to the “fine dining” standard – they wear whatever they would when spending an evening out at a nice restaurant.

That being said, opera audiences represent the whole gamut of fashion, from formal attire to jeans. We advise dressing for comfort, but with flair.

How long is the opera?

Performances can run from 90 minutes to six hours depending on the opera, but most last approximately three hours. Generally, if the opera is over 90 minutes there will be an intermission.

You can find out more about your opera’s approximate performance time over here.

Where can I learn more about the opera I’m seeing?

A good place to start is the COC’s production pages, where you’ll find plot synopses, composer and librettist biographies, as well as historical background and production information.

COC Radio is another excellent resource, hosting behind-the-scenes documentaries, guided musical excerpts and popular podcasts.

Our podcasts are now available on iTunes! Search for “The Big COC Podcast” and subscribe now for fresh opera news and perspectives.

At the Opera House

If I get to the opera house an hour before the show, is there anything to do inside?

Sure! You could head up to Ring 3 for the free BMO Financial Group Pre-Performance Opera Chat. These are engaging, informative talks about the opera you’re about to see. They are given 45 minutes before the performance begins.

Plus, getting here early is a good idea because you’ll avoid lineups if you’re checking your coat or ordering drinks from the bar (A tip: you can pre-order for intermission as well, meaning you’ll be doing less waiting and more mingling between the acts).

The Four Seasons Centre is also a compelling architectural landmark that you can take time to explore. We are lucky to have some remarkable artwork on display this season: for starters, check out the Michael Snow sculptures at the top of the Grand Staircase, and the Alexander Calder mobile on the ceiling of the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre.

Can I buy a recording of the opera or other COC merchandise?

You can find an excellent selection of opera recordings on CD and DVD, as well as books, COC souvenirs – our teddy bears are a big hit! – giftware and one-of-a-kind jewellery at the COC’s Opera Shop, which is located on the main level of the Four Seasons Centre.  

The Opera Shop is open before (and sometimes after) performances, and during all intermissions.

You can also check out the Opera Shop online.

Is there a restaurant at the opera house?

There is no full-service restaurant the Four Seasons Centre.

Our bars offer a selection of beverages and snacks, but if you’re looking for a more substantial meal please refer to our list of nearby restaurants.

If you’re a COC subscriber, remember to bring your discount card – you’re eligible for savings at many of the businesses in our neighbourhood!  

Is there an ATM at the opera house?

There is no ATM at the Four Seasons Centre but our bar is equipped for some debit transactions.

The Opera Shop is fully equipped to handle credit card transactions (Visa, MasterCard and American Express).

The nearest ATM is located inside the lobby of the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel at 123 Queen Street West (Queen and York Streets).

Do you provide wheelchair seating?

There are wheelchair accessible designated locations throughout all levels (except Ring 5) in most price levels. Every washroom is wheelchair accessible. For more information please call COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231.

I have an accessibility issue. Can you accommodate me?

We do our absolute best to ensure that all patrons can attend the opera in a way that is comfortable and enjoyable. For more on accessibility at the Four Seasons Centre please consult our Accessibility Policies or call COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231.

During the Performance

Can I bring food and drink inside the auditorium?

Aside from water, food and drink is not allowed inside R. Fraser Elliott Hall.

Can I take pictures during the performance?

If you’d like to get a picture inside the auditorium, do so before the performance begins.

Photography is not permitted once the opera starts. The design and direction of the production is under intellectual property, so photographers must have the permission of the COC to take pictures. Be sure to take a look at our Facebook page for official photos of our productions!

What if I don’t understand the language the opera is sung in?

Not to worry. The COC employs SURTITLES™ on all its mainstage performances.

SURTITLES™ projections are a capsulated English translation of an opera’s libretto (text) that are projected onto a screen above the stage during the performance. The process was developed by the COC, and the first production in the world to be presented with SURTITLES™ was our January 1983 staging of Elektra.

Since they were pioneered by the COC, SURTITLES™ or other similar titling systems have been used by virtually every opera company in the world.

If I leave the hall during the performance, can I get back in?

Unfortunately, re-admittance during the performance cannot be accommodated. We encourage you to stay in your seat until intermission.

Is there anything else I should know?

Like all performing arts venues, we ask that our patrons turn off cell phones and other electronic devices that may make noise during the performance.

Because our house is engineered for optimal acoustics, any sound, including speaking, carries very well and can be distracting for both the audience and performers.

In consideration of patrons with allergies, please avoid wearing strongly perfumed beauty products and fragrances.

Under 30?

Purchase tickets for $22 to all of our operas!