It’s not forever, but it feels like a big loss for some music fans: Massey Hall, known for its 20/20 sight lines and good acoustics, is closing for a massive renovation that will take at least two years.
“Massey Hall is probably the most iconic music venue in all of Canada,” said music historian Alan Cross.
“Anybody who’s anybody has played there over the last 125 years.”
And this musical holy place wasn’t seen as just a stepping stone to something better.
“Barenaked Ladies graduated from playing street corners, gradually working up to Massey Hall thinking, ‘If we made it to Massey Hall, that’s as good as it gets,’” Cross told Global News.
A $142-million prokect will see a new building installed behind the original one. There will also be new washrooms as well as modern and retractable seats. It is set to be a modern Massey Hall that preserves the best of the old.
Many fans said they appreciate the venue they’ve got already.
“The sound is really good, the sight lines are really good — it’s a great place to be,” said Doug McDonald, a frequent Massey Hall patron who will see his first Gordon Lightfoot concert as the singer makes three final performances before the closing.
Two Lightfoot fans said they came all the way from California to witness history.
“That’s why we came: the closing of Massey, Lightfoot playing -— it can’t get any better than that,” said Gwen Goodmanlowe from Long Beach.
Her friend Janine Santoyo said the event would be a special one.
“I’ve been going to see Gordon for 44 years, so it’s a big deal we’re here. We wouldn’t miss this,” she said.
Massey Hall is scheduled to reopen in 2020.