Massey Hall National Historic Site
Massey Hall was designated a national historic site in 1981.
Commemorative plaque: 178 Victoria Street, Toronto, OntarioFootnote 1
Since its opening in 1894, massey Hall has served as one of Canada's most important cultural institutions. A gift to Toronto from wealthy industrialist Hart Massey, it provided the city with professional concert facilities. Its presence gave a new impetus to the city's budding music community which let to the founding of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Although critized for its plain exterior, the concert hall has earned widespread renown for its outstanding acoustics. Over the years it has attracted orchestras, soloists and speakers from around the world.
Description of historic place
Massey Hall is a three-storey, red brick concert hall located in downtown Toronto. Built in a late Palladian style at the end of the nineteenth century, it was Toronto's major concert hall for much of the twentieth century and is renowned for the warmth of its acoustics.
Massey Hall was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1981 because it has served as one of Canada's most important cultural institutions and has earned widespread renown for its outstanding acoustics.
The heritage value of Massey Hall lies in its historic role and a cultural institution and in the functional design which resulted in excellent acoustic conditions. These values are illustrated by the physical and design properties of the building. Massey Hall was a gift to the City of Toronto from wealthy industrialist Hart Massey (1823-1896). He commissioned the design from Canadian-born Cleveland architect S.R.Badgeley. Since it opened in 1894 Massey Hall has provided Toronto with concert facilities which have encouraged the development of the city's music community, in particular the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Interior modifications occurred in 1933 and 1948. The "warm" quality of its acoustics have attracted audiences, orchestras, soloists and speakers from around the world for over a century.
Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, June 1981.
Related information about this designation:
The National Program of Historical Commemoration relies on the participation of Canadians in the identification of places, events and persons of national historic significance. Any member of the public can nominate a topic for consideration by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.
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