Roy Thomson Hall Ontario, Toronto, CANADA

Project Owner/Client : Board of Governors of Massey Hall
Architects : PKuwabara Payne Mckenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB)
Cost : Cdn $4.5 Million

Home to the internationally acclaimed Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Roy Thomson Hall first opened its doors in 1982. It is considered by many to be a cultural and architectural icon in the heart of Toronto’s entertainment district.

Inherent shortcomings in the auditorium’s natural acoustics prompted the development of an Enhancement Program by KPMB that set out to transform the existing venue into a world calibre concert hall and multi-purpose facility. This involved the reconfiguration of the upper reaches of the auditorium to create a more rectilinear sound chamber, and the installation of an adjustable acoustical canopy to allow the hall’s volume and sound distribution to be optimized for each performance. Other changes included the addition of retractable sound absorbent banners for use during amplified performances, a new, more resonant stage floor, and surround walls at the stage that enhance the acoustic environment for performers.

The revitalized material palette is one of warmth and theatricality that, through its introduction of light hardwood, both balances and strikes a resonant chord with the cooler aesthetic of the original architecture. The incorporation of new centre aisles, parterre seating, and private boxes on the orchestra level, increases the level of intimacy, comfort and accessibility for patrons