For years, music fans would troop to The Concert Hall (also known as The Rock Pile and Masonic Temple) at Yonge and Davenport to see bands like The Pixies, Led Zeppelin, REM, Iggy Pop, Human League, The Pogues, Grateful Dead, Tina Turner, Iron Maiden, Depeche Mode, David Bowie, Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra(!!!) and a billion others. I can’t tell you how many shows I saw there. Built in 1917 and opened on January 1, 1918, it was one of the most interesting music venues in the country. The main floor was used as a rental space to help the Masons pay for the place.
But in the late 90s, things got weird. It looked for a while that the place would be torn down and a condo built on the site. Fortunately, the building received heritage designation and was repurposed for a variety of functions. CTV bought it and used it for a news bureau and TV studio. It sometimes hosted concerts and listening sessions, but its live music role was nowhere near what it used to be.
In 2012, a company called Info-Tech Research Group bought and renovated the place, restoring it as a special events space. It hosted the occasional gig but also boxing matches.
It’s now under the management of 888 Yonge Inc. and concerts are coming back to The Concert Hall. Look what’s coming up.