One of the city’s favourite spots for improv comedy has officially moved out of its physical theatre as a result of financial struggles due to the pandemic, and the space in which the theatre company was once housed has been demolished.
Bad Dog Theatre has been located at 875 Bloor St. W. for the past six years, but its physical space has been closed since March 15 due to the ongoing pandemic.
“We haven’t been able to reopen since we cannot adhere to the municipal and provincial social distancing requirements,” Coko Galore, the company’s artistic and managing director, told blogTO.
“We could not afford to keep paying rent for a theatre we cannot use for the foreseeable future.”
Sadly, this past weekend, the team at Bad Dog was forced to pack up and move their stuff out, and the space has since been completely demolished at the request of their landlord, according to Galore.
Bad Dog Theatre first announced it would be leaving its spot on Bloor back in September on Instagram. Since then, Galore said the response from the community has been bittersweet.
“We’re all generally upset and sad about the closing of our space,” she said. “A lot of us have great memories at 875 Bloor.”
Fortunately, this isn’t the end for Bad Dog as a live theatre and comedy venue. Galore said when it’s safe to gather again, they’ll start planning and fundraising for a new space.
She added that while they’re sad to vacate their current space, it required performers and audience members to walk upstairs, which was not accessible for everyone.
“Vacating this space means being closer to having an accessible space in the future,” she said.
In the meantime, Bad Dog is offering online classes and virtual shows, all of which are being live-streamed on their YouTube channel, Bad Dog Comedy TV.
“Bad Dog is the people, not the place,” Said Galore. “We love our community and we thank them for their continued support of Bad Dog while we all navigate these challenging times together.”