Bell in Brief: Lyceum was birthplace of modern Toronto theatre

In 1849, wealthy landowner John Ritchey built the Royal Lyceum Theatre on King St. W. It was Toronto’s first purpose-built theatre.

The Lyceum (which eventually burned down in 1875) was the largest and the first fully-equipped theater in Toronto. It had a balcony, dressing rooms, footlights, an orchestra pit–and the Holman Troupe, Toronto’s first opera company.

It was at the site of the Lyceum–now occupied by the bronzed cow pasture of the TD Centre–that modern theatre in Toronto was born.