Stage Door News

Toronto: The Coal Mine Theatre will continue despite fire damage on Friday

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Toronto’s popular East End theater, the Coal Mine, was severely damaged by fire earlier this week.

The Coal Mine is located on Danforth Ave. 1454 and is an intimate venue known for high caliber and cutting edge work. The space, owned by artistic directors Diana Bentley and Ted Dykstra, has been home to dozens of Toronto theater artists. The fire broke out early Friday morning.

“The timing is terrible,” Bentley said in an interview. The company recently announced its eighth season, set to open September 25 with Jani Lauzon’s Prophecy Fog.

Bentley said the fire was an accident caused by a short fuse. No one was injured, but the building’s lobby and front facade sustained serious damage.

Bentley and Dykstra remain as positive as they can. The company is no stranger to sudden venue troubles: A show in the first season of Coal Mine was delayed due to mold just before its premiere and an alternative pop-up space was found at the time.

“The show has to go on,” Bentley said. “The most important thing for us is that people keep buying tickets. This is our elixir of life. Please keep buying tickets. That is greatly appreciated.”

Bentley pointed out the irony of the situation: “Detroit,” Coal Mine’s most recent play, ended on a breathtaking fire, though the company could never have guessed just how much life would imitate art.

Bentley and Dykstra are reviewing options for Prophecy Fog, pending decisions by the theater’s insurance company in the coming weeks.

“But sometimes magic can come from destruction,” Bentley said. “Extraordinary things can arise from such moments.”

A Canada Helps website for the company has been established and has received significant support from the Toronto theater community. Visit

Ticket holders and subscribers will be contacted as soon as possible if there are any changes to Coal Mine’s scheduled performances.