03 January 2007

A new opera ballet house for Toronto

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

Inside, acoustics of the theatre are excellent, as are sight lines for the most part. Ballet looked wonderful on stage in the fall season. That is not to say it is a truly successful building. Scant attention has been paid to the movement of crowds in the corridors and lobbies — exits are slow and congested. The lunchtime open space with a tiny, precarious stairway is more suited to children than brown-bagging adults, though no doubt free entertainment is always welcome.

Christopher Hume summarized the building better than anyone, calling it an architectural dud — architects were Diamond & Schmitt. "Clad in blue-black masonry, and blank on two of its four fa├žades, it feels more industrial than cultural, more inwardly focused than outward looking."
[Toronto Star, 30 December 2006]

Ironically, it stands across from splendid Osgoode Hall, yet hardly distinguishable from nearby hotels and banal commercial structures on the street.