Music News

Another Toronto Mega-Club to Close. BUT…

So much for Sound Academy. Less than a year after the Guvernment/RPM complex was razed to make way for a condo-and-tech-hub development, the venue out on Polson Pier in Toronto will close in January, once again reducing the number of places for bands to play.

This isn’t good. The city is already suffering from a shortage of viable mid-sized venues and with Massey Hall scheduled to go dark for more than a year during its massive renovation project, the situation is going to get worse before it gets better.

Then again, not a lot of people will mourn the loss of Sound Academy. Sightlines are bad, the sound can be awful, the parking miserable and the coat check a shambles. And don’t get me started on the cab service to and from the place.

Then there were the issues with the people who lived on the Toronto islands. Noise complaints came every hour on the hour, especially during nights when the thump of dance music continued into the early morning hours.

So that’s it, right? No more club action on Polson Pier. Well, not so fast.  Sound Academy will be replaced by an even bigger venue which include areas for a dance club as well as a concert hall. The designer says the new spaces will take things to “new heights of hedonism,” something that’s sure to please the islanders.

No timeline has been made public yet, but expect more detail once the place closes in January.

Here’s material from the press release:

Sound Academy will officially close its doors as of January 2016, to undergo a complete remodel that will include major structural work. The new venue will reveal an exceptional, premier world-class space to function as a state-of-the-art live concert venue, a versatile corporate event space and a spectacular dance space for club nights.

Designed by Studio Munge, INK Entertainment’s long time creative partner, the 45,000 square foot space will feature design aspects such as a fashionable black and gold colour scheme, high-gloss contemporary surfaces, unusual animalistic and vegetal patterns, and subversive graphics. The venue will also feature a sculpted ceiling, along with state-of-the-art visual displays. A focal point of the new venue will be a bold patterned floor: the skin that connects all the spaces together.

“The main of objective of the remodel was not only to deliver a visually striking platform for guests and headliners, but to elevate their collective experience to new heights of hedonism,” says Alessandro Munge, Principal, Studio Munge.

The new venue will also feature two floors with private VIP access, sprawling views of the city skyline and a seamless connection to the luxury outdoor lounge, Cabana PoolBar. The venue’s main feature will be a 65-foot stage, with an expansive installation of LED video walls.

“Being in this industry for over 30 years has given me the opportunity to see and experience some of the world’s best practices in hospitality and entertainment,” says Charles Khabouth, CEO, INK Entertainment. “My vision for this space was to create something with Alessandro that is mature and sophisticated, both in the way that it looks and functions. Ultimately I wanted to design a space that creates a complete sensory experience for our guests.”

Throughout the venue will be multiple bars, each with their own design concepts, and a large dance floor. There will also be an exclusive and discreet backstage club situated discretely away from the main stage, as well as an intimate yet dynamic side club that will feature impressive views of the city, also tucked away from the main room. The mezzanine will house a pièce de résistance – a grand central bar with a light installation hung above, with lush VIP booths that will offer unobstructed views of the main stage.

Through immersive light features, a state-of-the-art sound system and the implementation of some of the world’s most advanced LED lighting technology, guests will be instantly absorbed into a world of sensorial self-indulgence at the new venue.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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3 thoughts on “Another Toronto Mega-Club to Close. BUT…

  • They should copy the Kee to Bala when making the concert Hall.

  • To me, the worst part of sound academy was the sound (or lack thereof). Good riddance.

    sad, then, that the press release makes absolutely no mention of the sound in the new venue being an improvement over sound academy. it is entirely focused on how things look. I hope their lack of attention to this in the press release is not indicative of a lack of attention to it in the design.

  • @Rivum

    I wouldn’t worry about sound. All ink venues have had amazing sound. I’m sure this one will be no different.


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