Alumnae Theatre Company – Once the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4

1905 - The opening year of the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4 on the southwest corner of Berkeley St and Adelaide St E. Today, the Alumnae Theatre
1905 – The opening year of the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4 on the southwest corner of Berkeley St and Adelaide St E. Today, the Alumnae Theatre Company occupies the building (City of Toronto Archives, Series 372, Sub Series 41, Item 800)

The former Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4, now the Alumnae Theatre Company, is located at 70 Berkeley St (at Adelaide St E on the southwest corner) in the St Lawrence neighbourhood of Toronto.

The Berkeley Street Fire Hall

Built in 1905, the Edwardian Classical style firehouse replaced the previous hall on the site. Designed by architect Alexander Frank Wickson, the brick and stone building has many beautiful details. On the east-facing front, above the two former fire truck entrance doors, is a grand arched window that features stone and brick patterning. The tower, which was initially taller, was used to hang the fire hoses to dry. A few other interesting elements of the landmark building include arched gables, a bay window, and flathead windows with stone sills and lintels plus, in the tower, there are small round windows.

Adventurous Theatre by the Alumnae Theatre Company

2021 - Alumnae Theatre Company at 70 Berkeley St and Adelaide St E
2021 – Alumnae Theatre Company at 70 Berkeley St and Adelaide St E

The Alumnae Theatre Company was founded in 1918 by a group of women graduates from the University of Toronto. While they’ve performed on various stages in the City throughout the years, including the Hart House Theatre, they found their permanent home in 1972 at the old fire hall. That same year, the hall was restored and converted into a theatre. The redesign was created by notable architect Ron Thom, whose wife Molly was a long-time member of The Alum.

The handsome building, which received heritage status in 1973, has two theatres – the fully-equipped Mainstage theatre and the more intimate, Studio theatre. There’s also rehearsal space, a large wardrobe department, a workshop, a lobby and a backstage area. And did we mention there’s a friendly ghost?!

“We seek to be reflective of the diversity of Toronto on our stage and in our organization”

With the exception of some male actors, the Alumnae Theatre Company is operated entirely by women – from the writing, acting and directing to the management, artistic programming and administration. Over a century old, it’s the longest-running theatre company in North America operated by women. Across from the theatre are the historic 55-79 Berkeley Street Row Houses on the east side of the street.

Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4 – Photos

1905 - The opening year of the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4 on the southwest corner of Berkeley St and Adelaide St E. Today, the Alumnae Theatre
1905 – The opening year of the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4 on the southwest corner of Berkeley St and Adelaide St E. Today, the Alumnae Theatre Company occupies the building (City of Toronto Archives, Series 372, Sub Series 41, Item 800)
2021 - Looking southwest towards the Alumnae Theatre Company in the former Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4 at Berkeley St and Adelaide St E
2021 – Looking southwest towards the Alumnae Theatre Company in the former Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4 at Berkeley St and Adelaide St E
1972 - The Alumnae Theatre Company is located in the former Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4 at 70 Berkeley St and Adelaide St E on the southwest corner in the St Lawrence neighbourhood
1972 – The Alumnae Theatre Company is located in the former Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4 at 70 Berkeley St and Adelaide St E on the southwest corner in the St Lawrence neighbourhood (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2032, Series 841, File 21, Item 25)
1905 - Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4, located at 70 Berkeley St, in its opening year
1905 – Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4, located at 70 Berkeley St, in its opening year (City of Toronto Archives, Series 372, Sub Series 41, Item 86)
2021 - Alumnae Theatre Company at 70 Berkeley St and Adelaide St E
2021 – Alumnae Theatre Company at 70 Berkeley St and Adelaide St E
Circa 1970 - Originally the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4, today the Alumnae Theatre Company is located at 70 Berkeley St
Circa 1970 – Originally the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4, today the Alumnae Theatre Company is located at 70 Berkeley St (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2043, Series 2523, File 144, Item 2)
1952 - Looking northwest from Berkeley St, just south of Adelaide St E, towards Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4. Today, the Alumnae Theatre Company occupies the building
1952 – Looking northwest from Berkeley St, just south of Adelaide St E, towards Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4. Today, the Alumnae Theatre Company occupies the building (Toronto Public Library R-2812)
2020 - Looking northwest towards the former hose tower of the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4, home to Alumnae Theatre Company since 1972
2020 – Looking northwest towards the former hose tower of the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4, home to Alumnae Theatre Company since 1972
Circa 1970 - Originally the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4, today home to the Alumnae Theatre Company located at 70 Berkeley St
Circa 1970 – Originally the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4, today home to the Alumnae Theatre Company located at 70 Berkeley St (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2043, Series 2523, File 144, Item 1)
2020 - The grand arched window over the two former fire truck entrance doors at the Alumnae Theatre Company
2020 – The grand arched window over the two former fire truck entrance doors at the Alumnae Theatre Company
1972 - Alumnae Theatre Company at Berkeley St and Adelaide St E, southwest corner
1972 – Alumnae Theatre Company at Berkeley St and Adelaide St E, southwest corner (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 124, File 3, ID 41)
1977 - Alumnae Theatre Company at Berkeley St and Adelaide St E
1977 – Alumnae Theatre Company at Berkeley St and Adelaide St E (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 7, ID 47)
2021 - The hose tower and brickwork details from the former Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4. Today the building is home to the Alumnae Theatre Company
2021 – The hose tower and brickwork details from the former Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4. Today the building is home to the Alumnae Theatre Company
Circa 1970 – Originally the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4, today it's home to Alumnae Theatre Company
Circa 1970 – Originally the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4, today it’s home to Alumnae Theatre Company (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2043, Series 2523, File 144, Item 9)
1952 - Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4, looking northwest on Berkeley St
1952 – Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4, looking northwest on Berkeley St (Toronto Public Library R-2814)
2020 - Looking west from Berkeley St towards the Alumnae Theatre Company
2020 – Looking west from Berkeley St towards the Alumnae Theatre Company
2021 - Alumnae Theatre Company side door
2021 – Alumnae Theatre Company side door
1870's - First Berkeley Street Fire Hall
1870’s – First Berkeley Street Fire Hall (Toronto Public Library R-2864)
2021 - The Berkeley Street Firehall No. 4 1905 heritage plaque reads: 

“This building was designed by architect A. Frank Wickson in the Edwardian Classical style to replace an earlier firehall on this site. Marked by arched gables, it also features rich contrasts in brick and stone, most visible around the grand second-storey window. Fire engines once entered through garage doors (now windows) and fire hoses were dried in the tower, which has since been reduced in size. In 1972, the hall was renovated as a theatre by architect Ron Thom for the Alumnae Theatre Company.
City of Toronto Inventory of Heritage Properties, 1973
Heritage Toronto 2010”
2021 – The Berkeley Street Firehall No. 4 1905 heritage plaque reads:

“This building was designed by architect A. Frank Wickson in the Edwardian Classical style to replace an earlier firehall on this site. Marked by arched gables, it also features rich contrasts in brick and stone, most visible around the grand second-storey window. Fire engines once entered through garage doors (now windows) and fire hoses were dried in the tower, which has since been reduced in size. In 1972, the hall was renovated as a theatre by architect Ron Thom for the Alumnae Theatre Company.

City of Toronto Inventory of Heritage Properties, 1973 Heritage Toronto 2010”
SOURCE