Published on June 23rd, 2013 | by Alan Cross


The History of Toronto’s Legendary Massey Hall

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.

Continue reading.

About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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