Through the ages, Massey Hall has always – and still continues to be – one of the most prolific music venues in Toronto. But, it’s time to make the great theatre a little bit greater.
Designed by architect Sidney R. Badgley in 1892, Massey Hall was built as a memorial of Hart Massey’s son Charles Massey, and as a gift to the citizens of Toronto. And what a gift it has been. Great artists from Neil Young to Hozier have graced its stage.
Owner Charlie Cutts announced yesterday at a press event held at the hall along with Mayor John Tory, Rush frontman Geddy Lee, and Ontario Ministry of Tourism’s Michael Coteau, that the venue will be undergoing a series of renovations. The plan is to revitalize the venue, while keeping the integrity of its original antique charm. The motto of the renovations is “change nothing but improve everything”.
(Rendering of Updated Massey Hall, Courtesy of KPMG)
Renovations will take place over the next seven years, but is divided into two phases. The first phase, which costs a cool $32 million, will add the Hall’s first loading dock, as well a two-storey basement for extended backstage area. All of which will take place while the Hall remains open. It is expected to be completed in 2019. The second phase of the project to reconstruct the interior will keep the hall closed for 18-24 months.
The renovations are a part of the plan to turn Toronto into what the Mayor hopes will be the next “music city.”