It's been over two years since the non-profit charitable corporation which operates Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall in Downtown Toronto announced the next phase in their seven-year revitalization of the legendary concert venue. Now, a new six-storey tower is beginning to rise behind it that will add a new intimate performance space to the 1894-built landmark.

The first phase of the Massey Hall Revitalization focused on the creation of cozy new space in the basement for a club and bar, while the current phase is both expanding the complex with the KPMB Architects-designed south addition and restoring details of the auditorium like long covered over stained glass windows and lost painting. New seats and updated technology will add to the mix while preserving the hall's famous acoustics.

Looking southwest to Massey Hall, image by Forum contributor AlbertC

With the heritage portions currently wrapped in a scaffold and netting, the rising addition to the rear is now the most evident task to passersby. A crane was installed just over a year ago, and now a concrete stairwell dominates the site's Victoria Street frontage, well on its way to final height of 48.9 metres. The stairwell and new connections to the auditorium will replace the exterior fire stairs that for decades cluttered the heritage building’s north, east, and west facades.

Looking north on Victoria St to Massey Hall, image by Forum contributor AlbertC

Architectural plans show that the rising structure will eventually be clad in a mix of glazing, metal and corrugated metal cladding, and brick and stone masonry to tie the addition in with the existing structure.

Looking southwest to an expanded, renovated Massey Hall, image by KPMB Architects

The project started with a gift of new land to the south from MOD Developments, part of the parcel assembled for their Massey Tower project along Yonge Street. Grants from the provincial government—$8 million in 2017 and an additional $4 million in 2018—have funded the project due to Massey Hall's importance in Canadian music culture and heritage.

Rendered interior of the renovated Massey Hall, image by KPMB Architects

Once complete, the addition will boast a new performance space with a glazed wall overlooking the dome of the 1905-built Bank of Toronto building on Yonge Street to the west.

New performance space at the renovated Massey Hall, image by KPMB Architects

Additional information and images can be found in our Database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the field below.

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