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

1905 - The opening year of the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4 on the southwest corner of Berkeley St and Adelaide St E
1905 – The opening year of the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4 on the southwest corner of Berkeley St and Adelaide St E (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 originally taller, was once used to hang the fire hoses to dry. A few other interesting elements of the landmark building include arched gables, a bay window, 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 to 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 as well as the more intimate, Studio theatre. There’s also rehearsal space, a large wardrobe department, a workshop, lobby and 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. At over a century old, it’s the longest-running theatre company in North America that’s operated by women. Across from the theatre, on the east side of the street are the historic 55-79 Berkeley Street Row Houses.

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
1905 – The opening year of the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4 on the southwest corner of Berkeley St and Adelaide St E (City of Toronto Archives, Series 372, Sub Series 41, Item 800)
2021 - Looking southwest towards the Alumnae Theatre Company at Berkeley St and Adelaide St E
2021 – Looking southwest towards the Alumnae Theatre Company at Berkeley St and Adelaide St E
1972 - Alumnae Theatre Company, once the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4, at Berkeley St and Adelaide St E, southwest corner
1972 – Alumnae Theatre Company, once the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4, at Berkeley St and Adelaide St E, southwest corner (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2032, Series 841, File 21, Item 25)
1905 - Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4 in its opening year
1905 – Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4 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
1952 - Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4, looking northwest on Berkeley St, just south of Adelaide St E
1952 – Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4, looking northwest on Berkeley St, just south of Adelaide St E (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
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)
2021 - The hose tower and brickwork details at Alumnae Theatre Company on the southwest corner of Berkeley St and Adelaide St E - once home to the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4
2021 – The hose tower and brickwork details at Alumnae Theatre Company on the southwest corner of Berkeley St and Adelaide St E – once home to the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4
1970s – Once the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4, the building is home to the Alumnae Theatre Company
1970s – Once the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4, the building is home to the 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
2021 - Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4 heritage plaque
2021 – Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4 heritage plaque
1870's - First Berkeley Street Fire Hall
1870’s – First Berkeley Street Fire Hall (Toronto Public Library r-2864)
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