Alumnae Theatre Company has occupied a venerable building at 70 Berkeley Street in Toronto for more than 40 years. On June 18, Phase II of City-ordered accessibility renovations begin. Last summer in Phase I, our existing accessible side entrance was revised; an accessible washroom added; and access was created from the Main Stage through to lower lobby. Phase II will lower the upper lobby (with Box Office) to ground level, and make the front entrance accessible to persons with mobility issues.
Here’s a peek back at how the building used to look – from an original drawing by Dorothy Clark McClure (copyright: The Red House Studio, Aurora) received by the Arts & Letters Club of Toronto in 1973. Thank you, Roz Sherrard and Naomi Priddle Hunter for sharing!
The text at left of the drawing reads:
In 1859 a small firehall was built at Berkeley and Duke Streets. After the introduction of steam engines, the hall was remodelled in 1871 with a hose tower and stables for horses. Following the great Toronto fire of 1904, another hall was erected on the site but the original tower was retained. The station operated until August 1970 and after extensive renovations, it was reopened in 1972 as the 154-seat Firehall Theatre and later renamed The Alumnae Theatre. It is situated at 70 Berkeley St. at Adelaide, home of the University Alumnae Dramatic Club and with a bright new future ahead of it.
The building will be closed June 18 – September 12 for these Phase II renovations, and our new season launches Sept 26 with George F. Walker’s Escape From Happiness, directed by Andrea Wasserman. Come check us out!