The Factory is the quintessential Canadian theatre. Established in 1970 by Ken Gass, who returned in 1997 as artistic director, it was the first in Canada to focus exclusively on works by indigenous playwrights, who have a soft spot for the venue since many got their first break here. A Victorian building on the edge of the Garment District, it defines shabby genteel. Historical significance aside, approach the Factory with care: each season plays host to a clunker or two in the name of national pride. Its studio theatre brings to life edgier material like SARSical, a musical comedy based on the SARS scare that traumatised the city in 2003.