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The Weeknd To Winston Churchill, Toronto’s Massey Hall Had It All

Justin Bieber, Rush, and U2 also took to the stage here.


For over 100 years, Massey Hall has built itself up as one of the top music venues in Toronto and has drawn in some of the world's top names.

In this episode of Then&Now, Toronto Historian Morgan Cameron Ross looks back at the iconic Toronto spot that has hosted everyone from The Weeknd and Justin Bieber to Conan O'Brien and Winston Churchill.

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Commissioned by Hart Massey as a tribute to his late son Charles Albert Massey, Massey Hall opened in 1894 and eventually went on to hold many legendary recordings including Neil Young's Live at Massey Hall 1971 and what is often referred to as "the greatest jazz concert ever" in 1953.

In addition to hosting acclaimed bands and singers, the venue was also called home by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for about six decades, before moving to what is now called Roy Thompson Hall in 1982.

While the venue has become an iconic Toronto building — Mayor John Tory even declared June 14 as Massey Hall Day — the venue is currently closed as it undergoes an extensive revitalization effort.

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