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Toronto's Theatre Centre reaches goal with gift from Margaret Norrie McCain

Exterior of The Theatre Centre building on Queen Street in Toronto.

Kyle Purcell

The Theatre Centre has closed the door on its $6.2-million capital campaign – thanks to a gift of $500,000 from philanthropist Margaret Norrie McCain. That half-a-million dollars gives McCain, the former lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick, the rights to name the mainspace theatre in the Toronto performance hub that opened in 2014 at the former Carnegie Library on Queen Street West.

In what is a pleasant change of pace in a city that now has two theatres named after condo developers, McCain chose to name the space not after herself or a company, but the Theatre Centre's artistic director for the past 13 years – Franco Boni.

"I am totally humbled by this unexpected honour," said Boni, who spearheaded the effort to find the Theatre Centre, peripatetic for 30 years, a permanent home.

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The Theatre Centre, a home base for many of the country's most innovative live artists, announced a number of other major gifts on Monday – an additional $225,000 from board members Jenny Ginder, John Todd, Rick Matthews, Ann Marie Stasiuk, Lindy Cowan and Chris Hatley, as well as $25,000 from the Delaney Family Foundation.

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Theatre critic

J. Kelly Nestruck is The Globe's theatre critic. More


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