Massey Hall reopens after undergoing $ 184 million renovations
One of Toronto’s most iconic venues has reopened after being closed for more than three years as it underwent $ 184 million in renovations.
Massey Hall has not hosted a live performance since July 2018, but the long wait ended Thursday night as fans got their first glimpse of the revamped hall during a special performance of Gordon Lightfoot.
Prior to his performance, Lightfoot was awarded the Key to the City from Toronto Mayor John Tory.
âI know he was born in Orillia, but he’s definitely one of us now,â Tory said.
âWe are so lucky to live in this country. But we have needed people, maybe more than other countries, to tell our stories over time, because we may be fewer in number than in other countries. other places we love too. But it’s a beautiful country. And one of the people who has been a long storyteller is this man who I believe is giving his 170th concert tonight in this one hall. made proud as a Canadian artist. “
Tory added that reopening the venue will bring people together again to celebrate arts, culture and music, “hopefully put a smile on the face of people and enjoy this magnificent building again.”
Lightfoot accepted the key, saying he was happy to be back to perform in the venue.
Thursday night’s concert is the first of three consecutive performances by the famous singer-songwriter, who also performed the last show at Massey Hall before it closed for renovation.
“It’s a traditional hall that has been in performance action for over 125 years, so the whole project aimed to protect this intangible asset from what is in the auditorium, but also to meet the many challenges. related to security, hospitality and accessibility, âMassey Hall Vice President of Operations President Grant Troop spoke of the renovations in an interview with CP24 Thursday afternoon.
âIt was about improving the economy and I guess all the pluses that come with the room without any impact on that very intimate feeling you get in the auditorium. This intimacy in the auditorium has always been something artists and audiences love when they come to Massey Hall and so our goal was to preserve that.
Troop said new seats have been installed throughout the hall, including 470 removable seats that will allow a general admission area for some shows, which could increase the hall’s overall capacity from 2,550 to over 2,800.
He said the wire mesh that served to protect the crowds from the crumbling plaster that tended to fall from the ceiling was also removed and all of the original stained glass that had been covered with plywood has been fully restored.
Additionally, automated roller shutters have been installed so that natural light can filter through the stained glass windows as guests enter the room.
âBasically the view in the lobby is now very similar to what guests would have had when they first entered in 1894,â Troop said. âBut it’s fully loaded with all the new security features, new hospitality, additional lounges and bars, and enough restrooms. So all of those things that people remembered about Massey that were a little frustrating, I think we did a pretty good job of fixing that.
Massey Hall was donated to the city by a wealthy industrialist Hart Massey.
It was declared a national historic site in 1981.