How to Buy Discounted Theater Tickets in Toronto
Go during previews.
Many theaters have special preview pricing before a show technically opens. This means you’ll be seeing the show before reviews come out. Added bonus: things may still change before the show opens so you’re getting a peek into the process, which is pretty cool.
Try less popular days of the week.
The chances of finding a great deal to a show on Tuesday night are much better than on a Friday night. Wednesday matinees and evenings are great times to try as well. Also, keep in mind theater is seasonal, so if you’re trying to go to a show around the holidays or in the peak tourist weeks of summer, prices will likely be higher.
See a Pay-What-You-Can Performance.
Many theatres such as the The Factory Theatre, Canadian Stage productions, Theatre Francais, and Buddies In Bad Times have pay-what-you-can policies for select performances.
Rush a show.
Several theatres have rush policies where available tickets are available day-of at a reduced price. For instance, if there are any available, the Tarragon Theatre offers $15 tickets at the box office (excluding on opening night). Soulpepper offers $25 rush tickets at the box office for adults and $5 at the box office for anyone 21 and under. Canadian Stage offers a limited number of half priced tickets at the box office an hour before the show. If you’re looking to attend a specific show, check out the theatre’s website where the show will be to see if they have any rush policies you can take advantage of.
Get on those mailing lists.
Theatres will often send out special discount codes to their mailing list. So don’t be afraid to signup for mailing lists at your favourite theatres.
Check out some free theatre.
Keep your eyes peeled for free theatrical events in the city. Shakespeare in High Park is a yearly example of a tradition that offers free seats to their beloved productions.
Be a student, or under 30, or a senior.
Basically, every theatre offers some form of student or senior pricing. The Second City offers student rates to their late-night performances. Canadian Stage has a policy that if you’re 29 or under, you can see shows for as little as $15 with your ID. The Canadian Opera Company offers either $22 or $35 tickets to certain main stage performances if you are 29 years of age or under. Senior rates are usually equivalent or similar in price to the student tickets.
Use a military discount.
Many institutions that will thank you for your service with a special discount. These policies are either listed on the theatre’s website or are available to purchase online with special codes that you can receive via email alerts or by calling the box office.
Go as a group or a company.
The hassle of wrangling 10 of your closest friends to all go do something together on one night may seem daunting, but if you’re already planning a group outing, make sure to inquire about group rates. Most theatres offer discounts for groups of 10 or more. Every theatre likes groups, especially big group corporate ones. Consider asking your boss to hook you up and have your company organize a group outing as a one-off event, or even negotiate a special season long company membership.
Do your research and buy in advance.
If there’s a particular theatre you always attend or one you find has an exciting upcoming season, consider buying your seats in advance before discounted sections sell our or prices are hiked. You can also purchase a membership to your favorite company to save in bulk. If you’re looking far enough in advance, you can wade through ticket websites for discounts to a variety of live events including concerts, sports, comedy, and theatre.
Head straight to the box office.
Don’t see any discounts online or on the theatre’s website? Go in person to the box office of the show you’d like to attend to see if there are any deals you can enjoy. You may be surprised! Alternatively, did you see a discount somewhere that you want to use? Visit the box office and ask if they’ll match the rate for you. You can even ask them if there are specific performances that have cheaper tickets or better inventory. People who work in theatre want you to see their theatre, so if there’s anything they can do to help you, they will.
Download the TodayTix app for last-minute tickets.
TodayTix is a mobile app for last-minute theatre tickets. It allows users to search available shows and buy tickets for performances occurring the same day or up to seven days in advance from their phones. It’s available for iOS and Android.