Music Memories of Yonge

Explore Downtown Yonge’s music history with us!
Content researched and written by Nicholas Jennings.

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Massey Hall

Concert Hall

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178 Victoria Street

“Canada’s Carnegie Hall” is the country’s oldest and most acoustically revered venue and over its 126-year-history has featured concerts of every genre imaginable.

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Standing at the corner of Shuter and Victoria, Massey Hall opened its doors in 1894 with a performance of Handel’s “Messiah.” Built by industrialist Hart Massey, Massey Hall was the original home of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, which performed there until 1982. Oscar Peterson and a 13-year-old Glenn Gould both made their Massey Hall debuts in early 1946. In 1953, a concert led by Charlie Parker was recorded and became the famous Jazz at Massey Hall album. Bob Dylan and Bob Marley both performed on its stage, as well as countless other major acts, including Rush, which recorded its All the World’s a Stage album there. Of all the artists, none has performed at the Hall more than folk legend Gordon Lightfoot, who has appeared 166 times. Massey Hall is currently closed for renovations, but “the Grand Old Lady of Shuter Street” will continue making history when it reopens in mid-2021.