Renovation Plans & FAQ

The Bus Stop Theatre Co-op Renovations

Renovation of the existing Bus Stop Theatre Co-op building will accomplish the following:

  • Incorporation of Universal Design accessibility standards on the lower and main floor levels.
  • The front entrance, lobby bar area, dressing rooms and backstage storage area will be rebuilt.
  • Conversion of the basement storage room into a new community studio, including new washrooms.
  • New means of egress and exists for both the main floor and lower floor levels.
  • The major occupancy classification remains unchanged. The occupant load remains unchanged at 149 on the main level.
  • The new occupant load for the community studio will be limited to 49 persons.



Download our renovation plans in PDF format here.


Thank you to our members and collaborators who have offered feedback during the preparation of our plans. Your comments and questions have been invaluable in providing insight into the needs and preferences of our users. Below are responses to the feedback received, much of which has been incorporated in the latest version of our drawings available here.


Can the front entrance be a double door, or can the large facade window open in order to provide wide access from the front? Does having double doors in the lobby or theatre increase the space’s occupant load capacity?

While we are considering better access from the front, the window will not open to ensure as much sound proofing from the noisiness of the nearby busy street. And, while the front door will not be double, it will be a wide automatic door providing both better functionality for loading in and accessibility for users with a disability. This new door will be much wider than the current one. The footprint of the space is a factor in the occupant load capacity and requires a minimum door width. However, increasing the width beyond the minimum does not increase the occupant load capacity.

Can the box office counter be made to be detachable and movable throughout the lobby? Can the box office counter be accessed from outside through a window?

We have implemented the suggestion of making the box office counter moveable. However, in order to increase flexibility and space, and also to reduce cost, we will not provide window access to the box office.

Where will bar inventory and cleaning supplies be stored? Is a dumb waiter to the basement needed?

There will be very little need for transportation of inventory or supplies between the lobby and basement. Only the kegs will be stored in the basement and connected by tubing to the taps upstairs. Bottles and other supplies will be stored behind the bar on ground level. While it’s a good idea, a dumb waiter would not be cost efficient considering our current needs.

Will there be monitors in the lobby?

Yes. Drawings have been updated to include computer monitors in the lobby for event advertising and for streaming from within the theatre as is currently possible. Sound patching will also continue to be possible through speakers in the lobby.

Will the two front lobby booths/banquettes be lost?

Yes. In order to improve accessibility and functionality of the space, we must reconfigure the front of the lobby which will now include a single, but wider, window-facing seating area.

Are theatre lamps being used to light the bar?

The Bus Stop presently has a number of “heritage” fixtures, which will be refurbished to accept modern PAR 38 LED bulbs. These will be used “architecturally” not “theatrically”.


Will there be decorative design elements inside the theatre?

The Bus Stop is not a perfect Black Box and many of the technical instruments remain visible during performances. However, we will endeavour to keep the space as neutral as possible by abstaining from any decorative elements in the atrium and keeping the walls and doors black.

Will the proposed door between the theatre and lobby provide sufficient soundproofing and how will it function?

We are examining various door options that will strike a balance between flexibility of the whole space while ensuring soundproofing for the main performance area. We are now favouring swinging doors as a preferred option. These two doors would swing in opposite directions and be of different widths to provide versatility in the size of opening and improve both functionality and soundproofing.

Can the seating arrangement be changed? How many wheelchair accessible seats are available?

The centre aisle is never a favourite, but in narrow houses it does provide the most seats for a given audience chamber width. Continental Houses (aisles on both sides) provide 2 seats fewer per tier because of fire code regulations. That said, renters can choose their own seating arrangements so long as they respect fire code regulations and do not prevent access from people with disabilities. Seating is reconfigurable and could allow for any number of wheelchair users in consideration of spatial capacity and stage needs. In a typical seating arrangement with raised seating facing the stage, seats in the front row can be replaced with a wheelchair station. Typically, one wheelchair replaces 1.5 seats. A front row of 14 seats could be made to accommodate four wheelchairs on either side of the central aisle for a total of eight.

Can the theatre chairs have cup holders?

While we certainly see the advantages, the added width of the chairs would have too great a cumulative impact on the number of seats we could fit in the theatre. For maximum flexibility of positioning, and for budgetary reasons, we will continue to use our current easily stackable chairs with minimum footprint.

How will the tech booth be accessed when the risers are not in place and will it be universally accessible?

A short ship’s ladder will be fixed along the tech booth to climb to the entrance when the risers are not present. Unfortunately, it will not be universally accessible. In instances where the risers are not present, a ship’s ladder will need to be escalated in order to access the booth. In the more common case of having the risers present, the booth will be more easily accessible but will still require assistance for someone who cannot climb steps with a low incline. The new tech booth will be much larger and accommodate two operators and two observers.

Will the tech booth window be soundproof?

Yes, we will ensure that sound separation is optimal when the window is closed.

Where will the risers be stored when not in place? Can the space below the tech booth be used for storage?

The space below the tech booth will only be easily accessible when the risers are not in place. However, we anticipate that the best use of this space will be for storage of chairs and/or risers when the risers are removed. There will be some storage space beneath the tech booth and additional storage in either the tech room or basement according to spatial needs.

Will power distribution be improved outside of the tech booth?

There will be an enhanced set of power outlets in the audience chamber and new circuits available in the grid. The lighting grid will continue to be equipped with permanent cabling to patch points at various locations and there will be a new bale trough across the back of the stage for temporary cross-over circuitry. Additionally, the dimmer room will be remotely located in the basement for improved sound control.

Will there be new lighting positions in the main theatre? Will there be any changes to the ceiling? What will be the light and speaker placements?

There will only be minor adjustments to the lighting grid above the typical audience seating area. There will be permanent cabling for the speakers and a “House Set” location for the speakers. The ceiling will be left largely as it is and the house lighting plot and fixed speaker placements will remain the same. However, all lighting fixtures and speakers will remain  moveable as needed.


Can the dressing room and tech room be connected in order to create a backstage corridor that crosses the width of the stage and provide backstage access to the downstairs studio?

Yes! All these suggestions have been implemented into our drawings. Using the crossover to get into the tech room or downstairs will provide access to warmup or spillover spaces.

Can the door to the tech room from the theatre be made into a double door for wider access?

Yes! This has been implemented into our drawings.

Will clothing/costume racks be available in the dressing room?



Can the dimmer packs be stored into the basement?

Yes! After consideration of various placements, we agree that the basement is the best location for the dimmers.

Can the door to the basement studio be made into a double door for greater load in potential?

A double-door would not provide greater access because halls, doorways and stairwells once inside the building would not provide continued passage to anything requiring that width of space. That said the door from the outside will be an oversized single door providing more width than currently available.

Can the community studio include a room closet?

Yes! This suggestion has been added to our design.

Can the basement floor be lowered to increase height? What will the ceiling look like?

This is a great idea, but a potentially very costly one. We will investigate to determine if this is feasible within our budget. The community room will have a coffered ceiling to provide as much space as possible above heads.


Can the outside facade be decorated with a commissioned piece of mural artwork?

We like this idea. However, we will wait to have further discussions about this and other aspects of our design that are more decorative than functional before making any decisions.

Can there be outside outlets and/or cabling access holes located at the front and back of the building?

Yes! Drawings have been updated to reflect this.

This project is made possible thanks to funding and support from: