“Great Hall renovation shows Toronto is finally learning to appreciate its past
One developer is overseeing the painstaking renovation of the West End’s Great Hall,
one of the city’s last gems from the 1800s”
We’re pleased to start sharing media coverage of The Great Hall’s 2016 renovation and restoration with this feature in The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper.
“…In his small way, Mr. Metlitski is trying to preserve a part of what is left. As the owner of Triangle Development, he is overseeing a painstaking, top-to-bottom renovation of one of Toronto’s last Victorian gems: the Great Hall at Dovercourt Road and Queen Street West.
Opened in 1890 as the first West End YMCA, the building has a colourful history in several chapters — first as the Y before the organization opened a new building up the road at College Street and Dovercourt in 1912; then as home of the Royal Templars of Temperance, a group that fought the scourge of alcohol abuse; then headquarters of the Polish National Union, when it published a Polish newspaper and took in Polish refugees of the Second World War; and finally, in the last couple of decades, as a community arts centre and performance space where musicians from Feist to Metric to Daniel Lanois came to play.
Distance runner Tom Longboat trained there before winning the Boston Marathon in 1907. Mayoral candidates Sam McBride and Bert Wemp debated there in 1929. At a gathering of psychics on Boxing Day, 1920, the audience heard a lecture entitled What and Where is Heaven?” READ FULL STORY
This story also ran in the paper’s print edition, T.O. section, on August 20, 2016.