Toronto's Historic Massey Hall Receives $47M Grant for Revitalization Project
The 60 million Canadian dollars in funding covers about two-thirds of the total cost and comes from the Canadian and provincial Ontario governments.
The Massey Hall revitalization project just got a significant infusion of funds from the Government of Canada and Government of Ontario totaling 60 million Canadian dollars ($46.67 million USD) to help restore and renovate one of Canada's most iconic live venues and designated national historic site. The figure represents two-thirds of the estimated CA$94 million total cost.
The 124-year-old landmark in downtown Toronto will close for renovations in late June after a pair of shows by Gordon Lightfoot, who will have then played Massey Hall a record 166 times. It is expected to reopen in the fall of 2020. The venue is where the legendary Jazz at Massey Hall album was recorded in 1953 featuring Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus and Max Roach, and it has hosted thousands of concerts from such varied talent as U2, Luciano Pavarotti, Rush and Neil Young.
The federal government's CA$30 million contribution to the revitalization is through the Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component–National and Regional Projects, which is being matched by the provincial government. The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall -- a charitable, not-for-profit organization -- is responsible for the balance through its newly launched Massey Hall Forever fundraising campaign.
"On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff at the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall, a heartfelt thank you to the governments of Canada and Ontario for believing in the Massey Hall Revitalization," said Deane Cameron, president and CEO of the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall. "[The] announcement marks one of the most extraordinary days in Massey Hall's 124-year history. This support will allow significant opportunity and prosperity for Canadian artistic communities and music fans coast-to-coast. This support also ensures the continued operational sustainability of Massey Hall and continue its legacy as Canada's premiere and most beloved music venue."
The revitalization project is in the final phase. Phase 1 was completed at the end of 2016 and phase 2A involved design and planning work, as well as the construction of the south tower basement. When completed, the exterior and interior will be fully restored and a new addition will be connected through the construction of a new seven story south tower. In addition to the 2,700-seat auditorium and revamped Centuries performance space in the original building, the new structure will house a third stage featuring a 500-capacity venue.