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After nearly 125 years, the iconic Massey Hall is undergoing a revitalization.

Be a part of history. masseyhall.com/revitalization

This place, I first sang on its stage when I was 13 years old. It’s very important to me. Whenever we play at Massey Hall, we feel like we’re the home team.

Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot celebrated his 169th Massey Hall performance on July 1, 2018.

The walls of this National Historic Site are filled with countless memories of legends from the past and present. With your support, they will hold many more for future generations to come. President & CEO The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall

Deane Cameron


gift from Hart Massey to the citizens of Toronto in 1894, Massey Hall has seen it all, from wrestling to royalty and political leaders to the greatest musicians of our time. U2, Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Dylan, Adele, Miles Davis, Prince, Harry Styles, Johnny Cash, BB King and George Gershwin have all performed here, and Massey Hall’s legendary acoustics can be heard in recordings by Neil Young, Rush and Ronnie Hawkins, as well as The Greatest Jazz Concert Ever (1953), featuring legends Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell and Max Roach.

Harry Styles

Neil Young


The magical moments shared on the Massey Hall stage are revered by fans and artists alike, and make it a space that both yearn to experience again and again. It looms large with the echoes of every voice that has sung here before, while remaining incredibly warm, intimate and sacred. But even Massey Hall cannot survive on history and passion alone; it must adapt. More than 70 years has passed since the venue’s last significant upgrade, and the music industry continues to experience dramatic transformations with new technologies and business strategies. As one of Canada’s most iconic concert halls, Massey Hall has an unparalleled opportunity to change with it, to revitalize the Hall’s architectural splendour, cultivate the next generation of diverse artists, and restore this National Historic Site to what it’s always been — a catalyst for Toronto’s vibrant downtown arts, culture and tourism industries, and a hub for community discourse and engagement.

With your support, Massey Hall will play on for another 125 years.

More than a music hall A truly public venue, Massey Hall has also bore witness to important world events, including the memorial services for the victims of the Titanic and historic speeches by Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt and early 1900s feminist Nellie McClung, along with performances and presentations by noted pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock, anthropologist Jane Goodall, The Jungle Book author Rudyard Kipling, filmmaker Oliver Stone and comedians Bob Newhart, the Smothers Brothers, Jerry Seinfeld and Ellen DeGeneres.

World renowned, iconically Canadian in the country and one of only a handful in North America.

very great music city needs a premier music venue that local, national and international artists dream of filling one day, one that serves as both a springboard for the next generation of artists and a catalyst for a vibrant, engaged community. In New York City, this place is Carnegie Hall; in London, it’s the Royal Albert Hall; in Toronto, it’s Massey Hall.


The hallowed hall has attracted such iconic Canadian music legends as The Tragically Hip, Gordon Lightfoot, Glenn Gould, Blue Rodeo, Joni Mitchell, Jann Arden, Barenaked Ladies, Oscar Peterson, Bruce Cockburn, Diana Krall, Stompin’ Tom Connors and Anne Murray. Environmentalist David Suzuki, astronaut Chris Hadfield, author Robertson Davies, comedians Ron James and Brent Butt, and CBC storyteller Stuart McLean have also performed here, and Massey Hall has also been the site of multiple ceremonies honouring Canada’s Walk of Fame inductees.

Massey Hall is a unique Canadian institution, synonymous with world class musicianship and an important part of Canada’s cultural, social and political history. Built in 1894, it is the only continuously operating concert hall

REVITALIZING A NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE 1892 Hart Massey bought the parcel of land at Shuter and Victoria Streets and enlisted Canadian architect Sidney R. Badgley to design the Hall for $150,000. It opened in 1894.




The Victoria Street fire escapes were installed.

New plumbing and electrical wiring were added.

The Hall was joined to the adjacent Albert Building to allow for dressing rooms and offices.




In celebration of Massey’s Hall’s 100th anniversary, Centuries bar opened in the basement, together with new washrooms.

The original wood floor in the seating and stage area was entirely replaced with concrete and the current seats on the main floor and balcony were introduced. Around this time, the Hall’s four floors of stained glass windows were covered to block out light and noise.

More than 700 of the original 3,500 seats were removed to accommodate a new balconylevel lounge, the red and black Art Deco lobby and entrance, and separate balcony and gallery stairwells.



As a member of Blue Rodeo, I have had the honour of performing at Toronto's Massey Hall many times, and it never loses its thrill. For any Canadian artist, playing on the Massey Hall stage is a career achievement. This stunning venue is a Canadian cultural institution.



Jim Cuddy

Diana Krall

Gord Downie

Gordon Lightfoot

THE CASE FOR HERITAGE RESTORATION fter more than a century and thousands of performances, Massey Hall is still the place many artists aspire to perform at, largely because of its unique character designed to preserve the acoustics and intimate relationship between artist and audience. From the terrazzo lobby flooring and Moorish arches, to the original plaster ceiling and seats arranged to make patrons feel like they can touch the stage, there are many reasons why the Hall is a designated National Historic Site.


But these same architectural gems that define Massey Hall are also some of the features in urgent need of restoration. A wire mesh has covered the crumbling ceiling since 1968; most of the seats haven’t been replaced in 70 years; there are no elevators, making the upper seating areas and washrooms in the gallery and basement inaccessible for many; and the Hall’s two licensed areas — Centuries bar in the basement and the balcony lounge — can only accommodate a fraction of the total guests with limited access to washrooms. Bringing Massey Hall into the 21st century, while honouring its history and preserving its legendary acoustics is a top priority of the revitalization team. To accomplish these goals, Massey Hall is working closely with Heritage Toronto, architects specializing in the restoration of heritage buildings and a team of specialty consultants, including acousticians, lighting designers, architectural historians and conservationists.


The acoustic innovations will bring the amplified sound to new levels of excellence, while retaining what the Hall is most known for: its warmth.

Overseeing the careful restoration and renovation of Massey Hall is Toronto’s KPMB Architects, the award-winning, internationally-recognized firm behind such projects as Koerner Hall at The Royal Conservatory TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning. KPMB Partner Marianne McKenna brings to Massey Hall a special focus on the architecture of concert halls and how design is used to engage community. She is supported in her efforts by Goldsmith Borgal & Company Ltd. Architects, a Toronto-based firm specializing in the restoration, rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of heritage buildings, and renowned acoustician Bob Essert, the founding director of Sound Space Design with more than 30 years’ experience and 100 projects to his credit, including the Canadian Opera Company’s Four Seasons Centre.

Hidden behind plywood for decades, Massey Hall’s stained-glass windows were carefully removed and labelled before being gently cleaned and repaired by the experts at Vitreous Glassworks company. The unique and beautifully restored works of art will be a showpiece of the new Hall when it reopens in 2020.

KEY ARCHITECTURAL RESTORATIONS Replace the 70-year-old seats on the main floor orchestra and throughout the balcony and add a parterre, a stage-facing seating area around the perimeter of the Hall to accommodate accessible seating.



a deployable seating system that can transform the orchestra level to accommodate a standing room audience.

the original wood and wrought iron gallery seats with new wood and padded cushions.



the Hall’s more than 100 original stained-glass windows, covered since the first half-century.

the Art Deco-style lobby to its original glory.


Clean and restore

surface treatments to reinforce the original plaster ceiling, scallops and rafters.

the exterior brick, stone and metalwork and the Hall’s trademark marquee sign.



The expansion represents the culmination of a 10-year strategy to make Massey Hall both a showcase for big-ticket performers and a community-oriented organization that nurtures a diverse range of artists.





THE CASE FOR EXPANSION s home to the concert and concert film series Live at Massey Hall, Massey Hall has always played an important role in the development of Canadian artists. For many musicians, performing on Massey’s stage symbolizes the moment they graduate from club star to big-stage luminary. This is the place where dreams turn real.


What happens, though, when the lights go out on many of the smaller venues where emerging artists hone their craft? In the first half of 2017 alone, nine Toronto live music venues closed their doors, leaving the local music industry and big concert halls like Massey without a place to groom tomorrow’s Canadian icons. At the same time, record labels are downsizing and curbing their investments in long-term artist development. It’s up to cultural leaders like Massey Hall to fill the gap. Massey Hall’s redevelopment will include a dramatic expansion: the addition of a sevenstorey tower to the south of the existing building. The Hall’s main stage will become the crown jewel of a three-venue network that will include a new stage in Centuries bar and a live-music room capable of accommodating up to 500 on the fourth floor of the addition. The expansion will also include a cutting-edge performance capture studio for recording live performances, demos, interviews, workshops and collaborations — all key to making Massey Hall accessible to a wider range of artists, and more frequent and diverse programming.

Additional expansion features A glassed-in walkway will be built around the upper levels to connect the original space to the new. In addition to helping to preserve the structure of the heritage building, it will increase patron accessibility across the Hall and connect the balcony and gallery levels via the new addition’s elevator bank.


 ew artist dressing rooms with screens, N professional vanities, new furniture and catering capabilities. New washrooms, bars and lobbies on every floor.  pgraded production spaces, including a U backstage loading dock to accommodate large stage productions.

Massey Hall has been the benchmark of venues for all of us artists to perform in for the past 40 years. No other place has defined my career more than this one. The first time I stood on its glorious history laden stage I quietly remarked in my head, ‘I think I’ve made it.’



YOUR IMPACT Changing lives and experiences at Massey Hall Attracting and developing new artists

Expanding the Hall’s business model

Improving accessibility and comfort

The addition of new performance spaces and a high-tech performance capture facility will expand Massey Hall’s capacity to attract new artists and communities and advance the Hall’s unique role as an incubator of emerging talent and hub for artistic innovation and diversity. In a local music scene noticeably void of modest performance spaces, burgeoning Canadian artists will be guided from the ground up, advancing from the smaller Centuries bar, through the mid-size live-music room and on to Massey Hall’s main stage — all within the same venue and with the support of the Hall’s expert artist development team.

Massey Hall’s new state-of-theart deployable seating system and backstage loading dock will be gamechangers in the Hall’s future business model. The ability to transform the main floor level to allow for a standing room audience and to unload large production sets through an accessible backstage loading dock — a first for the more than century-old Hall, which has always directed production crews through the front doors on Shuter Street — will attract a whole new category of acts. Theresult is an expanded business model, which will inject substantively more revenue a year from performances and ancillary sales.

The revitalized Massey Hall will represent a total stepchange for the patron experience. New elevators and the external walkways running from one end of the Hall to the other will make navigation within the venue easier, and long lineups will be a thing of the past thanks to the addition of washrooms and spacious bars and lobbies throughout the Hall. Patrons with mobility challenges will also have improved seating options in the front row of the parterre instead of the handful of seats at the rear of the orchestra level.


Strengthening Toronto’s culture and economy

Instilling a love of music

According to independent consulting firm Nordicity, Massey Hall’s construction, operation and tourism is estimated to contribute $348 million in GDP and close to 4,000 jobs to Ontario’s economy between 2016 and 2025, along with more than $108 million in city, provincial and federal tax revenue. A renewed Massey Hall will be the catalyst for the revitalization of the YongeDundas entertainment district, stimulating demand for other businesses, including restaurants and clubs, and raising the neighbourhood and city’s profile as a “Music City.” The new Hall will also strengthen Toronto’s social fabric and recreate its storied history as a hub for civic discourse — debates, meetings and speakers’ series, among the possibilities — in the heart of the city’s downtown core.

Massey Hall’s thriving education and outreach programs, anchored by the two decadeold Share the Music program for students, will benefit from the Hall’s expanded footprint. Multiple spaces throughout the facility will be excellent venues for pre- and post-concert educational sessions, interactive workshops and lectures. Community-based programs like the Lullaby Project that matches songwriters with new moms and the Learn English Through Song project for new immigrants will be relocated to the Hall’s new performance spaces. At the same time, the venue’s new recording technologies will open the door to live performance streaming and distance learning that showcase the power of music to enrich lives by connecting Massey Hall artists to audiences across the country.


Between 2016 and 2025... Massey Hall’s construction, operation and tourism is estimated to contribute $348 million and 4,000 jobs to Ontario’s economy.

2016 – 2025

4,000 jobs

$348 million


he vision of a revitalized Massey Hall, restored to its architectural glory and expanded to advance its mission as a showcase of international arts, developer of Canadian talent and hub of civic engagement, has been in the works for many years. The impetus for action came in 2012 when Tricon Capital and MOD Developments acquired a plot of land on Yonge Street that included the 450 square-metre lot immediately behind Massey Hall. The companies generously transferred the land to the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall in 2012.



Campaign Phase I 2014-2017

Phase I I 2018-2020


The Board of The Corporation of Massey Hall & Roy Thomson Hall immediately set to work planning the revitalization with the support of the City of Toronto, provincial and federal governments and the Massey Hall community. The ambitious, two-phase project has been endorsed by Toronto City Council, the City of Toronto’s Heritage Preservation Board, City staff and the Ontario Heritage Trust.

The first phase of the revitalization got underway in 2014 with the decommissioning of the Albert Building and excavation of the expanded footprint directly south of Massey Hall. Construction of the foundation and basement shell for the seven-storey addition were completed to street-level grade, and above-grade structure and slabs were made watertight.

On July 2, 2018, following three final, historic performances by Gordon Lightfoot on the pre-renovated Massey Hall stage, the Hall closed for up to two years to allow for renovations and construction of the seven-storey addition. Crews are completing the two-level basement, including a loading dock, dressing rooms and technical/ production facilities; refurbishing the interior and exterior of the existing Hall; and constructing seven levels above the new addition’s foundation. Plans are already underway for the grand reopening of the revitalized Massey Hall in Fall 2020.

WITH YOUR SUPPORT, MASSEY HALL WILL PLAY ON. assey Hall’s revitalization comes at a time when community leaders and all levels of government recognize the vital role the performing arts can play in city-building and Massey Hall can play in cultural and artist development, civic engagement and the rise of Toronto as a world-leading music city. A total of $116 million has been committed to the $142 million Massey Hall Forever Campaign.


Federal Government


Private Sector Fundraising


Campaign gifts are a sound investment in the revitalization of a legendary venue, the careers of young artists and the long-term health of our city.

The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall

1% 30%

EILEEN COSTELLO Board Chair The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall

The City of Toronto (Section 37 benefits) Provincial Government

Massey Hall is turning to its community — patrons, artists, local and national businesses and foundations — to help contribute the remaining $26 million to complete Phase II and launch Massey Hall on its next 125 years.


A SOLID INVESTMENT As Canada’s longest, continuously operating music venue, Massey Hall has a more than century-long history of solid financial management. The revitalized Hall will inject increased revenue into the corporation’s operations from ticket sales and rental of the additional performance spaces and lounges. Projections indicate that every $1 million of government investment alone will return close to $4.2 million in GDP impact and $1.3 million in taxes and fees. Private investment offers an equally strong return with the assurance that every dollar donated will be carefully stewarded and formally acknowledged as part of Massey Hall’s donor recognition program.




It’s fitting that Allan Slaight, a man who has dedicated his life to championing Canadian music and talent as the founder of Slaight Communications, the largest privately-owned media company in Canada, should be a lead supporter of the revitalization of the celebrated Massey Hall. The Slaight Family Foundation’s donation of $5 million will help ensure that future generations of music fans will continue to witness legendary performances in this national institution. In recognition of The Slaight Family’s outstanding support, Massey Hall is honoured to name the Allan Slaight Stage in the main hall. 12

BE A PART OF HISTORY. When the revitalized Massey Hall opens in 2020, it will encompass everything we know and love about the historic building, but improved with 21st century standards, so it can operate more efficiently and remain culturally relevant for another 125 years. This is your opportunity to invest in a legendary Canadian music hall, in the careers of the nextgeneration of Canadian artists and in the culture, economy and future of Toronto.

Thank you for generously supporting the Massey Hall Forever Campaign.


I never felt magic like the magic on the Massey Hall stage.

The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall 60 Simcoe St. Toronto, ON M5J 2H5 masseyhall.com | roythomsonhall.com liveatmasseyhall.com


To find out more about how you can join us in protecting and celebrating Massey Hall’s heritage and build a lasting legacy for artists and fans, please contact: Deane Cameron C.M. President and CEO deane.cameron@mh-rth.com 416-593-8827

Alasdair Hooper Director, Development alasdair.hooper@mh-rth.com 416-593-7885

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Massey Hall Forever  

Massey Hall Forever