Affordable Arts Passes for the Under-Thirty Crowd

So you’re done school, and starting out on your first job—too old to get the student deals and weighed down by too much student debt to really afford much, surrounded by world-class performances but feeling like cheap Tuesdays at the movies are your only entertainment option. No matter what your interests are, there are lots of affordable arts passes available to twenty-somethings in Toronto, if you know where to look.


  • The National Ballet of Canada has several promising shows lined up over the next few months, from Romeo and Juliet to a first-ever performance of Le Petit Prince. Luckily, you don’t have to spend up to $200 on these performances—the National Ballet has a free membership program called DanceBreak for anyone from the ages of 16-29. DanceBreak members can purchase tickets for themselves and another guest of any age at a major discount at midnight on the day of the performance, and pick them up at the box office of the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts later that day. Prices range from $35–$55 depending on the seat, which is more than a 50% discount from the original price (plus there are no service charges!). Sign up for DanceBreak here.
  • If $35 is still a little steep for you, and you have no problem standing for three hours, the National Ballet also offers 60 standing tickets for each performance at only $12. These tickets can be purchased at the Four Seasons box office on the day of the performance as soon as the box office opens.


  • Opera Atelier is a baroque opera company that only puts on two stunning shows per year. Through a program called Operatix, anyone between 15 and 30 can purchase two tickets (one for themselves and one for a guest of any age) for $15—more than 75% off regularly-priced tickets. These discounted tickets can be purchased from Ticketmaster with the code OPERATIX.
  • The Canadian Opera Company also has an Opera Under Thirty (OUT). You can either pay $22 for single OUT tickets, or you can get OUT Plus tickets for $35—with OUT Plus, you will be moved to the best available seats on the day of the performance. Click here for an up-to-date listing of performances with OUT tickets available.


  • If your taste in music is a little more varied, you can purchase $15 rush tickets to shows at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. All you have to do is join the Under Thirty Rush Club, which you can sign up for at Subscribers will receive regular emails telling them which shows are available and providing specific instructions on how to get tickets.
  • Internationally-known Tafelmusick Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir offers a program called TafelScene to people under the age of 35. TafelScene members can see a show for either $15, $20, or $25, depending on the show and the venue. Visit here to sign up for Tafelscene, as well as to get special invitations to intermission parties and social get-togethers throughout the year.
  • About a week prior to Toronto Symphony Orchestra performances, anyone between the ages of 15 and 35 can buy $16 tickets. Check out their website to sign up for email updates on TSOundcheck deals, and to see which discounted performances are available right now.


  • If you’re a museum enthusiast, admission to the Art Gallery of Ontario is free for everyone on Wednesdays from 6:00–9:00 pm, and the Bata Shoe Museum offers pay-what-you-can entry on Thursdays from 5:00–8:00 pm.
  • Shoes and art don’t interest you? Most Toronto Public Library branches give away a limited amount of free passes to museums and historical sites each week. Show up at your local library branch at 9:00 on a Saturday morning, and you’ll be able to snag a pass (valid for up to two adults and five children) to one of many Toronto attractions, including the Fort York National Historic Site, Mackenzie House, the Textile Museum of Canada, the Royal Ontario Museum, and the Ontario Science Centre. For a full list of tickets available at your local branch, check out the Toronto Public Library website.
Photo courtesy of Dayne Topkin via

Tania is the managing editor for the spring issue of On the Danforth. She loves London Fogs, short stories, and art museums. Follow her on instagram (@taniarenee) for occasional photos of things that catch her eye while biking around Toronto.

Leave a Reply