While attending in-person concerts might feel years away, a new joint partnership between a Toronto developer and Massey Hall that will create a sprawling music venue complex is definitely something that music aficionados can look forward to.
On Tuesday, the historic 125-year-old Toronto concert venue announced Allied Properties — a Canadian provider of creative urban workspace — will be generously contributing to the Massey Hall Revitalization by further expanding the project’s original scope while introducing a premiere multi-purpose performance facility: Allied Music Centre, home of historic Massey Hall.
Massey Hall has been closed since 2018 as part of the massive revitalization but construction has continued amid COVID-19.
When completed, the revitalization will restore and renew both the interior and exterior of this National Historic Site, unveil over 100 restored original stained glass windows, introduce new music venues, feature archives and exhibits located throughout and, offer a new retractable seating option on the orchestra level of the Allan Slaight Auditorium for more energy-charged performances — something the beloved venue is known for.
While Massey Hall will always be known as Massey Hall, Allied’s significant investment in the revitalization will serve as the catalyst for the creation of Allied Music Centre, which will feature new state-of-the-art performance venues and dedicated spaces for Artist Development and Education & Outreach initiatives, all located in the 7-storey tower adjacent to the music hall.
“We’re truly grateful for the opportunity to partner with historic Massey Hall,” said Michael Emory, President & CEO of Allied.
“This partnership will enable us to contribute meaningfully to our communities. It will also enable us to propel our vision over an extended period of time and to enrich the experience of the many creative organizations and people who use our urban workspace across the country.”
When complete, the music centre will feature the theatre, which is described as “an entirely new and intimate venue that will be a welcome addition to Toronto’s music ecosystem, serving as a launchpad for emerging artists and a home for community programming and engagement.”
The theatre will feature retractable seating akin to Massey Hall’s revitalized orchestra level, which will transform the space from a traditional theatre for more intimate performances and presentations with seating for 100 and into a standing room club or education workshop setting.
The project will also welcome a new music studio that will have the acoustic treatment and technical capability you would expect of a professional recording facility. The Studio has multi-function flexibility for educational programming and artistic development at the core of its design.
The Artists’ Lab will feature a suite of dedicated resources for creators providing all the modern tools needed to develop their craft. Featuring professionally appointed digital audio workstations, a unique instrument library, acoustically treated practise rooms and more.
The project will also welcome a new lounge that will serve as a gathering place for artists, industry, and fans alike and offer a casual gathering place for the music community by day and will be abuzz at night as concert-goers and creatives mingle and take in the view of the city.
As previously announced, the new seven-story tower will feature a new 500-capacity club, additional patron amenities that will include accessible seating options throughout and, and state-of-the-art production facilities with turnkey content capture, wired to every stage and studio in Allied Music Centre.
“In Allied, we have found a partner who shares our values, believes in our mission, and from day one wanted to know what they could do to make the Massey Hall Revitalization even more impactful to the community,” said Jesse Kumagai, President & CEO, The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall.
“As a result, their insightful and meaningful investment is not only bringing Massey Hall a significant step closer to reopening but also serving as the catalyst for expanded scope, adding a new performance venue and dedicated spaces for artist development and music education,” added Kumagai.