One of Toronto's most famous concert venues is in the process of getting a brand new addition. To the south of Massey Hall's traditional footprint, on land donated by MOD Developments as part of their adjacent land assembly for the Massey Tower, new concrete cores are rising into the air. Following the first phase of the revitalization of the 1894-built concert hall that added new space in the basement for a club and bar, the current phase of construction involves a modernization of the existing concert venue, and the construction of a modern wing to the south that will bring several new facilities to the site.

Looking southwest to Massey Hall, image by Forum contributor Red Mars

Work on the existing Massey Hall venue is unfolding behind a scaffold and protective netting, working away on restoring details of the auditorium including long obscured stained glass windows and art, along with the addition of new seating and modern performance technology to better serve the hall's famous acoustics. 

More obvious is the new six-storey, KPMB Architects-designed south addition now rising behind Massey Hall. A trio of concrete cores rise high above the roofline of the 126-year-old venue, where elevator cores and stairwells will serve both the new tower and existing building. The new connections dovetail with the heritage restoration to the north, allowing for the removal of exterior fire stairs which have detracted from the building's architecture for decades.

Concrete cores at Massey Hall addition, image by Forum contributor Red Mars

The new addition will top out at a final height of 48.9 metres. Architectural plans show off an exterior treatment consisting of a mix of glazing, metal and corrugated metal cladding, and brick and stone masonry to tie the addition in with the existing structure.

Inside, the addition will add new backstage facilities for the main auditorium, office space, practice studios, and an intimate performance space. It's all been made possible by the land gift from MOD, fundraising, and grants from the Ontario provincial government—$8 million in 2017, and an additional $4 million in 2018—to "support Massey Hall's importance in Canadian music culture and heritage."

Looking southwest to an expanded, renovated Massey Hall, image courtesy of 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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