Massey Hall is one of Toronto’s musical and architectural treasures, but it’s been in need of an upgrade for some time. For the past couple of years, truckloads of private and public money have been sunk into revitalizing the building and the surrounding land.
With Phase 1 nearing completion, it’s time for–surprise!–Phase 2.
This includes the installation of new flexible seating. In the near future, seats down front will disappear to create a standing-room-only section when required. If you still want to be on the main floor but have a place to sit, “raised parterre seating” will be built around the pit’s perimeter.
Even more ambitious is the construction of a seven-floor tower to the south that will include dressing rooms (Good. The current ones are from the 19th century!), the first modern loading doc (no more loading in through the front door!) and technical support for today’s touring production. In addition to all that, there will be a brand new 500-person capacity music venue contained within the tower. Toronto needs that. Badly.
Back in the main structure, there will be a new small performance space in the basement that will be perfect for artist showcases. And yes, the Centuries bar stays.
What else? Additional washrooms. More food and beverage stations. And restoration of the stained glass that’s been covered up for decades/
The whole project is scheduled to last seven years, which is a lifetime in the world of renovations. But we’re told it’ll be worth it.