Masonic Temple (Toronto)

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Masonic Temple
The Concert Hall
Info-Tech Research Group Toronto Office at Masonic Temple.jpg
The Masonic Temple from the south-east corner in May 2016.
Address 888 Yonge Street
Location Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Coordinates 43°40′23″N 79°23′18″W / 43.673003°N 79.388293°W / 43.673003; -79.388293Coordinates: 43°40′23″N 79°23′18″W / 43.673003°N 79.388293°W / 43.673003; -79.388293
Owner Info-Tech Research Group[1]
Genre(s) Rock music
Seating type Standing room only
Capacity 1,500
Built November 2, 1916 (1916-11-02)–January 1, 1918 (1918-01-01)
Opened January 1, 1918 (1918-01-01)
Construction cost $220,864

The Masonic Temple is a six-storey building located at 888 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (on the north-west corner of Davenport Road and Yonge Street).


Construction began November 2, 1916, when the contract was signed and approved by the Board of The Masonic Temple Company for the tearing down of an existing church and excavation. The Masonic ceremony of laying the cornerstone occurring November 17, 1917, with the first Lodge meeting taking place on New Year's Day, 1918.[2] At its peak, the Masonic Temple was home to 38 different Masonic bodies: 27 Craft Lodges, six Chapters (York Rite), two Preceptories (Knights Templar), two Scottish Rite Bodies and Adoniram Council.[2]

The hall functioned as a ballroom in the 1930s and began to host rock acts in the late 1960s.[3]

In the years before its sale to CTV, the building housed live music clubs known as The Concert Hall, and earlier, in the late 1960s, The Rock Pile, a sitting-on-the-floor style concert venue that featured not only showcases for top local talent but also appearances by major international recording stars, including Toronto's first Led Zeppelin concert on February 2, 1969, during the band's inaugural North American Tour.

Although the location remained historically significant and was added to the City of Toronto Heritage Property Inventory in 1974, the building has changed hands a number of times. In 1997, it was threatened with demolition: a developer had planned a new highrise residential building marketed to Asians, solely to exploit its "lucky" address of 888 Yonge Street, [4] It was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act in the same year.[4]

Also in the 1990s, the studio was the home of Open Mike with Mike Bullard, and was one of CTV Toronto's news bureaus. Also, notably, it has been rented as a rehearsal space by the Rolling Stones. From March 2006, the building became the broadcast home of the new MTV Canada and has hosted the Polaris Music Prize since 2009.

The building's fate was once again placed under a cloud on November 2, 2012, when Bell Media announced the moving of MTV Canada studio production to 299 Queen Street West and that the building would be sold, possibly for condominiums.[4] Bell Media officially listed the property for sale on March 4, 2013.[5] On June 17, 2013, the building was purchased by the Info-Tech Research Group for $12.5 million.[6][1] Info-Tech announced that its plans for the building include staging an annual charity rock concert in the auditorium.[7]

In 2017, it was announced that the concert hall was to permanently reopen as a public year-round music venue beginning in June for the Toronto Jazz Festival.[3][6]

List of live shows[edit]

Date Operating Name Act Notes
1966-05-25 Club 888 Wilson Pickett
1966-12-?? Club 888 The Regents [1]
1967-09-27 Club 888 Tina Turner
1968-09-20 The Rock Pile Blood, Sweat & Tears
1968-09-21 The Rock Pile Blood, Sweat & Tears Transfusion opened.
1968-10-05 The Rock Pile Procol Harum[8]
1968-10-27 The Rock Pile The Jeff Beck Group
1968-11-09 The Rock Pile Iron Butterfly
1969-02-02 The Rock Pile Led Zeppelin[9]
1969-02-23 The Rock Pile Frank Zappa[10]
1969-03-02 The Rock Pile John Mayall
1969-03-08 The Rock Pile Savoy Brown Blues Band
1969-03-16 The Rock Pile Chuck Berry
1969-03-23 The Rock Pile Spirit
1969-03-29 The Rock Pile Jethro Tull
1969-04-05 The Rock Pile John Lee Hooker
1969-04-12 The Rock Pile The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
1969-04-19 The Rock Pile Family
1969-04-26 The Rock Pile Paul Butterfield
1969-05-04 The Rock Pile Sweetwater
1969-05-11 The Rock Pile Deep Purple
1969-05-17 The Rock Pile Kensington Market
1969-05-19 The Rock Pile The Who[11] Concert Poster
1969-05-24 The Rock Pile Frank Zappa
1969-07-08 The Rock Pile Grateful Dead[12]
1969-07-12 The Rock Pile McKenna Mendelson Mainline
1969-08-18 The Rock Pile Led Zeppelin[13]
1969-09-24 The Rock Pile The Mothers of Invention[14]
1969-12-31 Masonic Temple Auditorium Alice Cooper Teegarden & Van Winkle Keith McVie, Moonshine and more...
1977-10-09 Masonic Temple Iggy Pop The Ramones opened
1979-11-15 The Concert Hall City Boy[15]
1980-08-21 The Concert Hall Magazine
1980-10-17 The Concert Hall Split Enz
1980-10-18 The Concert Hall Split Enz
1980-11-18 The Concert Hall Siouxsie & The Banshees[16]
1981-03-?? The Concert Hall Blue Peter as part of the "March Hop Jump"
1981-03-12 The Concert Hall Iggy Pop
1981-05-10 The Concert Hall Plasmatics[17]
1981-06-10 The Concert Hall Goddo[18]
1981-06-19 The Concert Hall Iron Maiden[19] Reckless opened, first Canadian Iron Maiden show
1981-06-21 The Concert Hall Iron Maiden
1981-07-24 The Concert Hall Kraftwerk[20]
1981-08-30 The Concert Hall The Cure[21] First show in Toronto
1981-10-23 The Concert Hall King Crimson 2 shows
1982-??-?? The Concert Hall Public Image Ltd
1982-07-06 The Concert Hall Duran Duran
1982-10-28 The Concert Hall Iggy Pop with The Untouchables
1982-10-29 The Concert Hall Spoons Show simulcast on CITY-TV and CHUM-FM; later released on DVD
1982-12-17 The Concert Hall Spoons Santa Geets Xmas Party presented by CFNY-FM
1983-01-?? The Concert Hall Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
1983-??-?? The Concert Hall Nina Hagen
1984-06-13 The Concert Hall Marillion The Box opened
1984-07-13 The Concert Hall R.E.M.
1984-11-12 The Concert Hall The Cure
1984-12-21 The Concert Hall The Parachute Club
1985-01-19 The Concert Hall Metallica[22] Armored Saint opening. WASP followed Metallica
1985-03-10 The Concert Hall Run–D.M.C.
1985-03-31 The Concert Hall Venom/Slayer/Razor
1985-05-05 The Concert Hall Cabaret Voltaire
1987-??-?? The Concert Hall Boogie Down Productions with special guest Biz Markie
1987-05-31 The Concert Hall Skinny Puppy
1988-04-21 The Concert Hall Love and Rockets The Mighty Lemon Drops & The Bubblemen opened
1988-05-08 The Concert Hall Midnight Oil
1988-11-06 The Concert Hall Skinny Puppy
1990-01-12 The Concert Hall Voivod[23] Faith No More and Soundgarden opened
1990-03-30 The Concert Hall The Tragically Hip
1990-09-22 The Concert Hall Public Enemy HDV, Self-Defence, M.R.F. opened
1990-11-25 The Concert Hall Jane's Addiction The Buck Pets opened
1990-11-27 The Concert Hall The Pixies[24] Pere Ubu opened
1991-02-24 The Concert Hall The Charlatans venue moved from the Opera House
1991-04-14 The Concert Hall Happy Mondays Stereo MCs opened
1991-05-24 The Concert Hall Deee-Lite w/ Bootsy Collins on bass
1991-05-25 The Concert Hall Deee-Lite w/ Bootsy Collins on bass
1991-07-05 The Concert Hall The Tragically Hip
1991-07-09 The Concert Hall EMF
1991-09-29 The Concert Hall Jesus Jones
1991-10-29 The Concert Hall Red Hot Chili Peppers Pearl Jam & The Smashing Pumpkins[25] opened
1991-10-30 The Concert Hall Red Hot Chili Peppers Pearl Jam & The Smashing Pumpkins[26] opened
1991-11-23 The Concert Hall Billy Bragg Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy opened
1991-11-30 The Concert Hall The Pixies
1991-12-03 The Concert Hall Tin Machine[27] (David Bowie) It's My Life Tour
1992-03-30 The Concert Hall The Beautiful South The Waltons opened
1992-04-28 The Concert Hall The Charlatans Catherine Wheel opened
1992-05-04 The Concert Hall Soundgarden Swervedriver & Monster Magnet opened
1992-05-15 The Concert Hall Sugarcubes[28]
1992-05-15 The Concert Hall Beastie Boys[29]
1992-11-29 The Concert Hall Alice In Chains
1992-12-21 The Concert Hall Body Count
1993-01-25 The Concert Hall Ned's Atomic Dustbin
1993-01-29 The Concert Hall Slik Toxik
1993-02-18 The Concert Hall Ice Cube Da Lench Mob opened
1993-02-19 The Concert Hall Inspiral Carpets
1993-03-06 The Concert Hall Pantera Sacred Reich opened. Vulgar Display of Power tour.
1993-03-31 The Concert Hall Rage Against the Machine
1993-04-13 The Concert Hall Midnight Oil
1993-04-27 The Concert Hall Phish
1993-05-17 The Concert Hall Danzig Nudeswirl and Proper Grounds opened.
1993-06-15 The Concert Hall The Flaming Lips Porno for Pyros opened.
1993-10-06 The Concert Hall Bad Religion Green Day and Doughboys opened.
1993-10-18 The Concert Hall Stone Temple Pilots The Mighty Mighty Bosstones opened.
1993-10-24 The Concert Hall Primus Melvins opened.
1993-10-28 The Concert Hall Rage Against the Machine Quicksand opened.
1993-11-21 The Concert Hall The Lemonheads Redd Kross opened.
1993-12-06 The Concert Hall Green Day
1994-02-23 The Concert Hall Tool Failure opened.
1994-04-06 The Concert Hall Phish[30]
1994-05-16 The Concert Hall Rollins Band
1994-11-18 The Concert Hall Anvil
1996-04-03 The Concert Hall Foo Fighters
1996-04-18 The Concert Hall Rusty
1996-04-27 The Concert Hall Bob Dylan[31]
1996-04-28 The Concert Hall Bob Dylan[32] Aimee Mann opened.
1996-05-11 The Concert Hall Dave Matthews Band[33]
1996-05-31 The Concert Hall The Band High on the Hog tour. The Mahones opened.
1996-06-14 The Concert Hall Cocteau Twins
1996-07-06 The Concert Hall Finn Brothers
1996-08-18 The Concert Hall Steve Earle[34]
1996-09-20 The Concert Hall Sloan
1996-10-27 The Concert Hall Billy Bragg Robyn Hitchcock and Deni Bonet opened
1996-11-22 The Concert Hall James Brown
1997-04-18 The Concert Hall Rusty
1997-06-09 The Concert Hall The Tragically Hip[35]
1997-10-01 The Concert Hall Paul Weller
1997-12-27 The Concert Hall Rakim
1998-06-27 The Concert Hall Cibo Matto
2016-05-06 Info-Tech Research Group Luke & The Apostles
2016-06-02 Info-Tech Research Group Platinum Blonde
2016-09-09 888yonge Karl Wolf GLB V after party


  1. ^ a b "Toronto’s historic Masonic Temple sells to consultancy firm for $12.5-million". The Globe and Mail, June 17, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Tale of Two Temples". Retrieved 21 June 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Masonic Temple returns as concert venue in June | Toronto Star". Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  4. ^ a b c "Iconic Masonic Temple closing". 2012-11-02. Retrieved 2012-11-05. 
  5. ^ "Heritage Masonic Temple for sale by Bell Media". Toronto Star, March 14, 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Legendary music venue the Concert Hall is reopening in June". NOW Magazine. 2017-05-02. Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  7. ^ "Bell Media sells Toronto Masonic Temple to IT consulting firm". Toronto Star, June 17, 2013.
  8. ^ "toronto_051068". Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  9. ^ "Led Zeppelin - Official Website". Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "May 19, 1969 - Toronto, ON, CA - The Who". The Who. Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  12. ^ "Grateful Dead - 1969-07-08 Rock Pile, Toronto, Ontario, Canada". Jerry Garcia. Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  13. ^ "Led Zeppelin - Official Website". Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Siouxsie & The Banshees at The Concert Hall (18 Nov 80)". Songkick. Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  17. ^ "Plasmatics at The Concert Hall (10 May 81)". Songkick. Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  18. ^ "Goddo at The Concert Hall (10 Jun 81)". Songkick. Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  19. ^ "Iron Maiden at The Concert Hall (19 Jun 81) with Reckless". Songkick. Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  20. ^ "Kraftwerk at The Concert Hall (24 Jul 81)". Songkick. Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  21. ^ "The Cure live concert: 30.08.1981 Toronto - Concert Hall (Canada)". Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Soundgarden Setlist at Concert Hall, Toronto". Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  24. ^ "11/27/1990 toronto, canada – The Pixies". Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  25. ^ " : tour history - dates : 1991-10-29". Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  26. ^ " : tour history - dates : 1991-10-29". Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  27. ^ Cite error: The named reference was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  28. ^ "The Sugarcubes Setlist at Masonic Temple, Toronto". Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  29. ^ "Beastie Boys at The Concert Hall (15 May 92) with fIREHOSE". Songkick. Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Bob Dylan at The Concert Hall (27 Apr 96)". Songkick. Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  32. ^ "Bob Dylan at The Concert Hall (28 Apr 96)". Songkick. Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  33. ^ "Dave Matthews Band at The Concert Hall (11 May 96)". Songkick. Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  34. ^ "Steve Earle at The Concert Hall (18 Aug 96)". Songkick. Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  35. ^ "The Tragically Hip at The Concert Hall (09 Jun 97)". Songkick. Retrieved 2017-05-23. 

External links[edit]