Heritage is for everyone. It should be accessible to everyone.
As one of the world’s most diverse cities, Toronto is privileged to contain numerous layers of heritage: the natural heritage of our parks and ravines, the cultural heritage showcased in our communities, the built heritage we experience daily, and the archaeological underpinnings beneath us. We must focus our collective energies on the diverse spaces, stories, and traditions on which Toronto is built to develop a community-based view and interest in heritage.
Heritage creates social cohesion.
Heritage is a positive force for economic development.
Heritage is sustainable.
It’s that time of year again; school is out for the summer! Students will be flooding the work force and seeking out full or part time positions during the break. Although that sounds normal because a majority of the population held a job as a youth, there are a few important key points to be aware of. Did you know that new and young workers in Ontario are three times more likely to be injured during their first month on the job than at any other time? Between 2012 and 2016, 30 young workers aged 15 to 24 died in work-related incidents, according to Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) statistics. On April 27th Courageous – My Safe Work held an event in Longboat Hall to shed light on these facts to our youth.
At the age of 18, David Ellis was killed in a workplace accident. He was given limited training and no supervision. It was his second day on the job. After his death, David’s father, Rob Ellis, started MySafeWork, a not-for-profit organization and registered charity.
Emcee Raymond Ablack, Rob Ellis and guest speakers took time to educate young and new workers on safe work environments and their right to refuse to work if they feel unqualified for the appointed task. Injuries can result from inadequate training, orientation, and supervision; a lack of awareness and workplace rights and responsibilities also plays a huge part. Rob encourages our youth to ask questions, request proper training and to acknowledge when a situation is unsafe and that it’s ok to ask for help. Check out more about Courageous here.
Brilliant, incisive and savagely funny, award-winning author Martin Amis, named by the Times as one of the greatest British writers since 1945, is frequently controversial but never dull.
On February 20th, 2018 PEN Canada and Martin Amis hosted an intimate evening of conversation ranging from Saul Bellow to Donald Trump: incendiary politics, literature, and the madness of crowds in the Main Hall. This event was hosted in support of PEN Canada and authors worldwide, advocating for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression.
PEN Canada is one of the 148 centres of PEN International. Founded in 1926, it has a membership of over 1,000 writers and supporters who campaign on behalf of writers around the world who are persecuted, imprisoned and exiled for exercising their right to freedom of expression.
Check out the PEN Canada website for more information here!
Maylee Todd astounds us once again with her new video release for Afanyala off her album Acts Of Love. Todd is dressed in an ornate costume standing solo in Main Hall with nothing but lighting and her delicate movements to convey the message of her lyrics, “there’s no one else like you.”
Todd has chosen The Great Hall, nicknamed her second home, for the second time within a year; last November she debuted her album with a virtual womb. She quotes, “I was going to either have people walk into a vulva or into an ear and go into the mind of someone,” she explains. “The mind is riddled with ego, identity and all sorts of things that have benefits and detriments. In the womb, nothing has been defined yet. Experience hasn’t been defined. I’m interested in inner space, inner-inner space, deep space, outer space. These dark spaces are always fascinating.”
We’re excited to see what Todd has in store for the future, but for now check out her newest video below.
This St. Patrick’s Day 400 patrons lined up outside The Great Hall’s Longboat Hall venue as Nobu Adilman and Daveed Goldman presented the official “Choir! Choir! Choir! Epic! Night” for the NBC Universal production of Jesus Christ Superstar!
Erik Gronwall & Brandon Victor Dixon (Hamilton on Broadway) – singers from the NBC production of JCS flew up from NYC to Toronto to sing “Simon Zealotes” and “Superstar” with all the patrons.
Choir! Choir! Choir! is a Toronto based choir which originally started off on West Queen West practicing in Nobu’s living room, but on March 25th, they had fans travelling in from LA and NYC to sing along to Universal’s broadway Jesus Christ Superstar. It’s come a long and fans truly came together over the years to make it the performance it was. Don’t miss Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert this Easter Sunday, APRIL 1 on NBC.
The 2018 Juno awards kicked off earlier this year at The Great Hall. This year’s Juno nominees were announced at a press conference hosted by CARAS (Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Science) and emceed by CBC host Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe. This weekend, the 47th Juno Awards Ceremony will take place at the Rogers Arena, Vancouver. The Awards ceremony will be broadcasting live from coast to coast for the first time, live streaming to the entire world bringing millions of viewers and listeners together to celebrate Canadian music.
This year’s nominees included numerous talents, old and new, with Arcade Fire and Jessie Ryze leading in nominations. Charlotte Cardin, who is performing at The Great Hall this weekend, was announced for breakthrough artist of the year. Find the complete list of nominees here.
With Toronto Fashion week behind us, The Great Hall is looking back to RE/SET‘s first two seasons held throughout our venue.
Runway shows in Longboat Hall, a market in the Main Hall and showcases taking place in the Conversation Room, the building was buzzing. That was also the case when RE/SET landed in Yorkville for their third season.
RE/SET, developed but Toronto based The Collections helped Toronto Fashion week evolve and the world took notice. The Great Hall was proud to be a part of their beginning and continues to support this amazing talent.
To read more about this exciting company and showcase, check out the V Magazine article here.
On first meeting Chris and Jill, you could tell they were made for each other. Their intimate wedding on Sunday, November 5, 2017 truly represented this couple’s style and spirit through and through.
Their outdoor ceremony had a last minute change of plans due to the weather but they found the Drawing Room a perfect match for what they were envisioning. As the flowers were laid on the mantel and the room was cleansed with some herbs, Chris and Jill were ready to say “I Do”.
The Great Hall is proud to be apart of Toronto’s rich history. A new plaque honouring the building’s history by outlining the different phases of life The Great Hall has had was recently installed outside the main entrance on Queen St by Heritage Toronto.
Originally built as the West End YMCA, The Great Hall’s restoration project has revitalized the original structures character by bringing the build back to its original High Victorian style. 1087 Queen West has gone through many changes since it’s original build in 1890. After the YMCA, the Royal Templars of Temperance purchased and renovated the building in 1912 and by 1933 the Independent Order of Foresters merged with the Templars and added the dance hall, now known as Main Hall. Shortly after, the Polish National Union moved in and managed the building from 1939 until 1987. It was after this group that The Great Hall transformed into the cultural and event venue of Queen St West.
To find out more, check out our history page here.