Massey Hall redevelopment adds new space for emerging artists

With so many live music venues shuttered in the city, it’s a special day when news comes of progress on Toronto’s most storied concert hall.

Massey Hall was closed down to undergo a massive redevelopment well before the pandemic even hit. The venue recently announced that a new seven-storey tower addition, currently in construction, will soon be home to a “creative urban workspace.”

Called the Allied Music Centre, it’s being created in partnership with developer Allied Properties and will host a number of spaces and venues for emerging artists.

“We’re truly grateful for the opportunity to partner with historic Massey Hall,” said Michael Emory, Allied CEO and president. “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.”

The gorgeous facade of Massey Hall was uncovered recently (Photo: Salina Kassam)

The new space will include a 100-seat capacity theatre where emerging artists can perform and learn, complete with retractable seats similar to those currently also being installed in Massey Hall’s renovation.

In addition, the Allied Music Centre will contain a studio for professional recordings and education, an artists’ lab that will give musicians the “modern tools needed to develop their craft,” such as audio workstations and practice rooms, as well as a lounge for casual meet-ups for the music community and concert-goers.

The tower, designed by KPMB Architects, was previously unveiled in October 2017 and will also include a new 500-capacity club with sightlines of the city.

“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 and CEO of 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. We are immeasurably grateful for this remarkable gift to Canada’s music scene!”

The revitalization of Massey Hall’s interior and exterior is scheduled to be complete in 2021.

Article exclusive to TRNTO