Strengthening Toronto’s culture and economy
According to independent consulting firm Nordicity, Massey Hall’s construction, operation and tourism is estimated to contribute $348 million in GDP and close to 4,000 jobs to Ontario’s economy between 2016 and 2025, along with more than $108 million in city, provincial and federal tax revenue. A renewed Massey Hall will be the catalyst for the revitalization of the Yonge-Dundas entertainment district, stimulating demand for other businesses, including restaurants and clubs, and raising the neighbourhood and city’s profile as a “Music City.” The new Hall will also strengthen Toronto’s social fabric and recreate its storied history as a hub for civic discourse — debates, meetings and speakers’ series, among the possibilities — in the heart of the city’s downtown core.
Attracting and developing new artists
The addition of new, performance spaces and a high-tech performance capture facility will expand Massey Hall’s capacity to attract new artists and communities and advance the Hall’s unique role as an incubator of emerging talent and hub for artistic innovation and diversity. In a local music scene noticeably void of modest performance spaces, burgeoning Canadian artists will be guided from the ground up, advancing from the smaller Centuries bar, through the mid-size live-music room and on to Massey Hall’s main stage — all within the same venue and with the support of the Hall’s expert artist development team.
Expanding the Hall’s business model
Massey Hall’s new state-of-the-art deployable seating system and backstage loading dock will be gamechangers in the Hall’s future business model. The ability to transform the orchestra level into a standing room audience and to unload large production sets through an accessible backstage loading dock — a first for the more than century-old Hall, which has always directed production crews through the front doors on Victoria Street — will attract a whole new category of acts. The result is an expanded business model, which is expected to inject more revenue per year from performances and ancillary sales.
Improving accessibility and comfort
The revitalized Massey Hall will represent a total step-change for the patron experience. The addition of elevators and the external walkways running from one end of the Hall to the other will make navigation throughout the venue easier, and long lineups will be a thing of the past thanks to washrooms and spacious bars and lobbies on every level. Patrons with mobility challenges will also have improved seating options in the front row of the parterre instead of the handful of seats at the rear of the orchestra level.
Instilling a love of music
Massey Hall’s thriving education and outreach programs, anchored by the two decade-old the Share the Music program for students, will benefit from the Hall’s expanded footprint. Multiple spaces throughout the facility will be excellent venues for pre- and post-concert educational sessions, interactive workshops and lectures. Community-based programs like the Lullaby Project that matches songwriters with new moms and the Learn English Through Song project for new immigrants will be relocated to the Hall’s new performance spaces. At the same time, the venue’s new recording technologies will open the door to live performance streaming and distance learning that showcase the power of music to enrich lives by connecting Massey Hall artists to audiences across the country.