Originally named the Government Building and later the Arts, Crafts and Hobbies Building, the Medieval Times Building was constructed in 1912 to showcase the exhibits of local and foreign governments.
It was designed by George Gouinlock and looks a lot like the Horticulture Building on the CNE grounds with its domed like centre piece.
Inside these walls is quite literally like stepping into the Medieval Times. After paying quite a handsome fee, you will see jousting, sword fighting, and medieval style games performed by over 70 actors and 20 horses.
It's family friendly, so there aren't any gory details. There is quite the hierarchy of training that a 'knight' must go through before performing on the horse before a crowd of eager onlookers. You first start off as a squire. No instant glory as they start their training by cleaning and brushing the horses, by helping load the weapons and by setting up the props and effects for the show. From that point on, it's up to the Squire if he wants to take it to the next step in training. This training comes from the crew who will show you how to fight and not get trampled on by the horses. Like dancing, there is a real choreography to the stunts they perform. Then only then do you become a Knight.
This location on the Exhibition grounds in Toronto is one of nine locations in North America, which is headquartered in Irving Texas. Because it's such a unique building it sometimes gets picked up and featured as a backdrop in movies (The Cable Guy and Garden State as well as a few episodes of TV Show like Hell's Kitchen and Celebrity Apprentice).
While watching the show you enjoy a dinner as well. The waitstaff refers to the audience as lords and ladies and the salespeople at this venue pose as traveling merchants. They have a very strict no-tech policy for all workers at all times during show hours. So that means you won't catch them looking at their cellphone during showtimes.
The performance is a bit of an illusionary spectacle. After all they are trying to convince you in this round arena thst doesn't miss anything that you have been transported in another place in time over 600 years ago. The shouting between the Knights, the thunder of horse hoofs and the roar of the crowd makes the entire experience worthwhile.
In reality the Knights (or performers rather) are very competitive and that plays a big role in the satisfaction for them. As they are striving to be the best of the lot, so they can attain the glory spot of the weekly highlight show which happens every Saturday night. The Saturday night shows get the largest crowds and most feedback.
I'd say although it is a hefty fee, its worth seeing the show once in a lifetime and although it projects a pure imaginative fantasy, it's still a good feeling to be there to satisfy the historical need at least. I won't give too more away about the highlights of the show so you can experience that magic yourself.
Please understand no pictures are allowed during performances.