The Staircase has been Hamilton’s main arts incubator since the last millenium. All manner of film, play, stand up, improv, art, music, dance, poetry, craft, food and party has had its inception at the Cultural epicenter of Dundurn Street North. We have had more befores, firsts, premieres and what the hell was thats than you can shake a script at.

The flagship main campus of The Staircase Complex is an architecturally spectacular four story heritage building that  houses an intimate 67 seat live theatre, two rehearsal halls, a cafe and office space. The Staircase is named after the unique cast iron spiral staircase that is the center piece of the main campus building. South Campus (Variety Building) houses a rehearsal hall, and creative spaces. The North Campus (Crack Haus Building) is an artistic residence and working studio space.

The theatre is a truly intimate performance space with plush seats and great acoustics. The rehearsal halls are unique and gorgeous and can are regularly rented out for all  for everything for yoga to business launches. There is ample on site parking. The theatre, cafe and bright room in the Main Campus are air conditioned. There is a barrier free access from the parking lot.

A Bit of History

The building was originally a hydro transformer sub station built by Cataract Power in 1914. Cataract Power eventually became Hamilton Hydro. For more than 80 years the substation delivered electrical power to west Hamilton’s industry and residential buildings. Hamilton Hydro decommissioned the building in 1996, and then auctioned it off that year. The building was purchased in 1997 from developers by Hugh MacLeod and the saga that is The Staircase Cafe Theatre began.


“To offer a grassroots performance facility available to artists at all levels of their experience.”


“To create a financially independent grassroots performance facility supporting artists at all levels of their experience, and offering training in the arts to the community that those artists serve.”


  • We value teaching what we have learned to all.
  • We value all artists regardless of fame and fortune.
  • We value honesty in our representation and our decisions.
  • We will work to always be the customer’s first choice.
  • We will always value the person before the assessment of their artistic choice or level of experience.
  • We will always work towards a public presentation and value the artist’s experience before financial reward.
  • We will build stronger people and a stronger community by developing the mind and creativity of one and all.
  • We will be aware of our sense of responsibility to all people and the world in which we all live.