Frequently Asked Questions

When should I arrive?

We suggest that you plan to arrive 45 minutes before the scheduled start time. This will allow time to find your seat, relax, and read the program notes. 

Check your tickets carefully for concert times and venue information. When coming to a concert, please remember that traffic, parking, and weather can affect your arrival time, so leave early to make sure you’re not late.

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What if I arrive late?

We don't want you to miss a note!

In the interest of all patrons and performers, and to minimize any distractions, latecomers and those who leave the auditorium during a performance will be admitted only if there is a suitable break in the performance.

The TSO assumes no responsibility for portions of any concert missed due to lateness and cannot make any adjustment in the ticket price. The TSO reserves the right to refund the purchase price and refuse admission.

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How long is a typical TSO performance?

Performance length varies, but a typical TSO performance runs approximately two hours with one intermission. Some performances, like our Casual Concerts, run approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.

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When do I applaud?

Modern audiences tend to wait until the end of an entire piece to clap. Why? Holding applause between movements is considered to be respectful of the performers’ concentration and mindful of musical continuity.

The conductor will signal when a piece is over by putting his or her arms down and turning to the audience.

However, most artists appreciate applause at any time during a performance. Until the late 19th century, and even into the 20th century, it was customary for audiences to applaud at the end of every section of a given piece, and some movements were even given an immediate encore if the applause was great enough. 

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What if I need to cough?

Everyone gets the urge to cough now and then. The less worried you are about coughing, the less likely you are to feel the urge! So chances are you’ll feel less need to cough if you are prepared.

If you have a cold, take some cough medicine in advance and bring unwrapped lozenges with you. Have a few handy when the music begins.

Try to ”bury” your cough in a loud passage of music. If this is impossible and you begin to cough a lot, then it’s perfectly acceptable and appropriate to quietly exit the concert hall. The ushers will tell you when and if you are able to re-enter the concert at a suitable break in the performance.

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Can I take photographs?

You are welcome to take pictures inside the auditorium before or after the concert and at intermission.

As a courtesy to fellow concertgoers, please put your phone away during the performance. Flash photography is forbidden at all times. The use of cameras, smartphones, and/or other recording devices for commercial reproduction or sale is strictly forbidden without the prior written consent of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

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What about cellular phones?

The use of mobile and smartphones and other electronic devices is extremely disruptive. Please be sure to turn off your cell phones, pagers, and all other electronic devices before the concert begins. Take a break from the outside world.

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Can I bring my children?

For Masterworks, Casual and Special Concerts, we recommend that children be at least 10 years of age with ticket purchase.

For Pops and Light Classics Concerts, we recommend that children be at least 5 years of age with ticket purchase.

The TSO’s Young People’s Concerts and Family Christmas concert are created especially for audience members ages 5–12. While children under the age of 5 are welcome to attend these concerts, with ticket purchase, 5 years is considered an appropriate lower age limit. Children under 5 may attend TSO Young People’s Concerts and Family Christmas concert with ticket purchase, at their parents’ discretion. For our Young People’s Concerts and Family Christmas concert, if your child has not yet celebrated their first birthday and you wish to hold them for the duration of the show, please obtain a "babe in arms" ticket from the Box Office prior to entering the hall on the day of the performance.

Roy Thomson Hall staff will ask parents to take disruptive children out of the auditorium.

Please note that young people under the age of 12 will not be admitted into the hall without an adult in attendance.

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What should I wear?

There is no dress code. Anything that makes you feel comfortable is fine. Most people wear business clothes or slightly dressy casual clothes, but you'll see everything from khakis to cocktail dresses.

In addition, the TSO features a series of six 90-minute Casual Concerts throughout the season, where the musicians and guest artists dress casually (and the audience is encouraged to as well).

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Is it permissible to wear perfume or cologne?

We share the air—go scent free.

We urge you to refrain from using any scented personal products whenever you are attending Toronto Symphony Orchestra concerts at Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto Centre for the Arts, or Koerner Hall. Please keep in mind that our patrons’ and employees’ comfort and health can be compromised by the presence of scents in our environment that trigger the various symptoms associated with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.

The condition known as Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) refers to people who experience disabling symptoms as a result of exposure to environmental substances. People with MCS can experience symptoms to fragrances that interfere with their daily life as a result of exposure.

The Corporation of Massey Hall & Roy Thomson Hall and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra have taken the following steps to encourage and support a scent-free environment:

  • Reduced use of scented products in our facilities to the extent possible
  • Created policies and messages to encourage our employees and patrons to make their individual contribution to a scent-free environment
  • Encourage our patrons and employees to identify any accommodation issues attending chemical sensitivities
  • Pursued communications to enhance the awareness of our employees and patrons of the condition of MCS with the objective of increasing their knowledge and commitment to contributing to a scent-free environment

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