There are few venues in Canada as iconic as Massey Hall. I'd heard of it long, long before I moved to Toronto from my tiny prairie outpost.
When I came to the city to work for CFNY, the very first band I was assigned to introduce to the crowd was a Stranglers show at Massey Hall.
Much later, I talked to Eddie Vedder about Massey Hall. "I want to play there one day, either with the Pearl Jam or solo. I mean, if Uncle Neil"--Neil Young--"played there..."
And then in the fall of 2011, I got to appear onstage at Massey myself as William Shatner's sidekick in his production, How Time Flies. That was pretty freakin' cool.
On the eve of some massive renovations--don't worry, it's all good--BlogTo offers this brief history of what's probably still the most famous venue in Canada.
Massey Hall has been Toronto's premier music hall for more than a century. Its intimate confines and rich acoustics have made the Shuter St. building a mecca for music aficionados and a magnet for classic performances. This week, the venerable old institution turned 119 years old. It's also been 32 years since it was officially designated a National Historic Site of Canada.
Big changes are in store over the next few years: a deal with MOD Developments, the builders of the Massey Condos planned for 197 Yonge Street, has provided the cash for the biggest set of renovations in its history.