In Ancient Greece, The Odeum was at the heart of all city centres, a gathering place for everyone to witness the manifestation of Art, Music and Theatre. A Social Venue intended for the celebration of any occasion. What began with festivals devoted to the Gods, quickly transformed to the very origin of theatre, drama and music. Surrounded by the carefully designed walls of The Odeum, the first know actor Thespis would become an influential groundbreaking force in Greek Theatre. While there were many of it’s kind, The Odeum was legendary and helped form the very fabric of today’s society.
The Odeum at Long Branch pays homage to it’s roots. Aptly converted from a 1900’s movie theatre, the exposed brick and stone walls tower 16 feet high to support an almost artistic assembly of century old wooden joists. Combined these materials form a fitting tribute to the foundations and textures of the ancient Greek theatres. A healthy infusion of Art Deco finishings and decor preserves this building’s historical significance as South Etobicoke’s first movie theatre.
Hosting your event at The Odeum will be a unique and unforgettable experience. This versatile event space will offer you a distinguished canvas of timeless character that can still be customized with modern LED lighting, state of the art audio visual infrastructure, elegant decor and a plethora of logistic-friendly amenities.
LONG BRANCH HISTORY
Before Long Branch became a village it was home to Loyalist Col. Sam Smith, who was one of the earliest settlers in Etobicoke. His son sold the property, and after changing hands several times it wasn’t until 1886 the site was acquired by Thomas Wilkie. Thomas and his brother renamed the site Long Branch Park, after a seaside summer resort area of Long Branch, New Jersey where Thomas had vacationed. The Village of Long Branch was incorporated in 1930, after the other lake shore municipalities of Mimico and New Toronto were incorporated as towns.
In 1933, a cenotaph was raised on Long Branch Ave. to commemorate the village’s contributions during the First World War. During the Second World War, the Villages efforts continued by way of The Small Arms Limited Long Branch Arsenal munitions factory and the Long Branch Aerodrome.
Devastated by Hurricane Hazel in 1954, recovery for Long Branch Village began immediately with the influx of immigrants from Europe. Soon after, one of the largest Orthodox churches in Canada, St. Demetrius Ukrainian Orthodox Church was built on Lake Shore Boulevard West.
In 1967, the Village of Long Branch was amalgamated with the Township of Etobicoke. That same year, Go Transit established their commuter train service connecting Long Branch to Oakville in the West, and downtown Toronto in the east.
Finally in 1998, Etobicoke and Long Branch merged with five other municipalities to form the new City of Toronto.
LONG BRANCH TODAY
Today, anyone who visits Long Branch Village for the first time will often leave with a very different opinion. Leslieville, Queen West, Liberty Village are all special communities in this city in their own way, but Long Branch Village is different. Perhaps it is the proximity to the lake, its rich history, or even just the fact that, while only twenty minutes west of downtown, Long Branch Village has that same feeling of visiting a vacation resort town. While we agree with all of these things, there is one thing above all others that make Long Branch Village different and special. The people. The people are different here. Everyone in Long Branch just seems a little bit friendlier, a little bit more welcoming, and a lot more fun! The residents in Long Branch have been here from the beginning, and every day they are transforming Toronto’s newest up and coming neighbourhood to a place with great food and great shops, all in the perfect location. It’s no wonder why our local business owners, residents and BIA volunteers always say: “We’re cooler by the lake”