Massey Hall


Restoring and Expanding Canada's Longest Continually Operating Performing Arts Centre.

Image of massey hall auditorium from balcony, with red seats and ceiling of white arches

The solution resulted in a radical redesign of the Head Theater to create a 400-seat thrust stage auditorium with greatly improved technical systems and a modular stage floor to enable format flexibility.

In June 1894, Toronto’s Massey Hall celebrated its inaugural concert series. The building was a memorial to the late son of famed Canadian businessman and philanthropist Hart Massey. He envisaged a space dedicated to the development of the arts. More than 120 years later it is a 2,700-seat, internationally-revered concert venue and the longest continually operating performing arts centre in Canada.

In what is being treated as a “sensitive, strategic revitalisation of the hall” by architects KPMB, the building has been both restored and expanded. Classic details such as its iconic Moorish-style arches and plaster ceiling were cleaned and the original front signage restored. The entrance now includes a more accessible box office area and external walkways that connect visitors to the new South tower. The South tower houses a “new flexible performance space with an audience capacity of 200-500 people. A new cabaret venue will be designed below the main hall.”

Charcoalblue has provided theatre planning, stage lighting and stage engineering for the project. This included a new concept for flexible auditorium seating to enable a greater audience capacity with standing room and wider variation of event types.

Project Details


Massey Hall



Project cost



November 2021

Image of red Massey Hall seats, you can see both balcony and orchestra level and a historic brass railing along the balcony

Supporting the industry internationally since 2004

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Clemeth Abercrombie

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