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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Metropolis: BIG NEWS!

The envelope, please: T.O. wins music shrine
Virtual hall finally to get real home $38M building


JORDAN HEATH-RAWLINGS
STAFF REPORTER

Guess Who is coming to Yonge and Dundas?

Yes, the veteran Winnipeg rock quartet is — as are all the 57 artists and industry professionals who have been elevated to the Canadian Music Hall of Fame over the past 27 years.

Our shrine to the best musicians in Canadian history has finally found a bricks-and-mortar home, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences is to announce this morning — and on a slice of prime Toronto real estate, no less.

The Metropolis shopping and entertainment centre, under construction at the northeast corner of Yonge and Dundas Sts., will house the hall. Doors are scheduled to open in June 2007, the academy said yesterday.

"It's long, long overdue," said Ross Reynolds, academy chairman and head of the selection process that chose Toronto.

The Canadian Music Hall of Fame started inducting artists in 1978, but it existed only as photographs on a wall at the academy's headquarters. Currently, it's housed online, at http://www.junoawards.ca.

Plans for the physical hall include a three-floor, 60,000-square-foot main area, featuring interactive exhibits, administration offices on the top floor and two stores, some featuring the "Oh What A Feeling" brand used to market popular compilations of Canadian music.

The entrance will be on Yonge St. north of Dundas, between the HMV flagship store and the planned Virgin Megastore, which will be one of Metropolis's main tenants, along with the hall of fame.

The hall of fame proposal is not connected with Metronome, a long-planned waterfront music museum that has been in the works for years.

At the music hall of fame, exhibits will lean heavily towards the interactive, said Peter Tillmann, president of Spinning Wheel Design, the interior and graphic design firm which had the winning bid.

Tillmann also worked as a senior designer for the Hockey Hall of Fame, back in 1993, and noted that technology has advanced so much since then that exhibits in the hall of fame will be able to take visitors through the entire recording process.

"We want them to become a record producer or a songwriter. We want to show people what it's like to edit music, what it's like to use a drum set or to have your voice recorded and played back to you," he said. "The exhibits will let them do all this — they'll be like a backstage pass to allow them to experience all the aspects of a musician's life."

The Toronto proposal was chosen from a short list that included Winnipeg and Hamilton, mostly because it promised millions more visitors.

"It came down to the numbers Toronto could deliver," said academy president Melanie Berry, who will make the announcement this morning with other officials at the Olympic Spirit Toronto, about 100 metres from the hall's future home. "The fact this location is the top tourist destination in Canada, drawing over 17 million tourists annually, was also key," she said.

Mayor David Miller yesterday called it "a great addition to Toronto's already vibrant downtown core," and Rush front man Geddy Lee proclaimed it "a great way for Canadians to celebrate our musical history and ... a fine cultural addition to our city."

Councillor Kyle Rae (Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale), who had urged Spinning Wheel to bid, said, "It's a perfect place for it, with all the record stores and the Hard Rock (Cafe) right in the neighbourhood. "It just makes sense. Toronto has been the centre of music publishing and entertainment in Canada for a long time."

After a proposal from a Hamilton firm early last year renewed interest at the academy for a physical site, it opened submissions last June to firms from cities across Canada.

By November, the list had been whittled to three. That was when Tillmann decided to play his ace.

"I had leaked to them earlier that we were going to be (proposing a site) somewhere on Yonge St.," he said. "That got (the board) excited. They kept trying to guess where we would go and we would never tell them. But when we submitted the final proposal on Dec. 15, we had to tell them then."

Reynolds said the board "did its due diligence" on all three proposals, despite being "pretty clearly impressed" when the final Toronto offer came in.

"It's about traffic. It's about people," Reynolds said. "It was tough for us to be good negotiators after we heard that, because it's just such a good location."

The proposed design for the hall of fame — which will include all genres of Canadian music — has an initial price tag of about $38 million, which Reynolds hopes to raise through corporate sponsorships and government partnerships.

"I think if we had a different location, that wasn't quite as sexy as Yonge and Dundas, it might be more of a challenge," he said. "But I'm pretty optimistic that this location will be seen as attractive."

Instead of focusing almost exclusively on the annals of musical history like Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Tillmann said the Canadian hall will be closer in feel to Seattle's EMP (Experience Music Project), where visitors can explore the process of creating music as well as learn about great musicians of the past.

The site will also feature an outdoor component. Tillmann said yesterday there's a tentative agreement to help the city book live music for Dundas Square once the hall opens.

"One of their mandates (for Dundas Square) is to have musical events regularly in that spot," he said. "We will come in and deliver some of that. It's a no-brainer for them."

Despite being eliminated in the final round, the Hamilton team was upbeat yesterday, saying their goal had been to generate interest in a permanent home for the hall — no matter the city.

"Obviously, from a Hamilton perspective, there's disappointment," said Jasper Kujavsky of Golden Horseshoe Enterprises, who along with Bob Lanois, brother of Hamilton native and music hall of fame member Daniel, led the Hamilton bid.

"I had a pretty good sense of what was coming and we're ready for today," Kujavsky said yesterday.

"I'm excited for Canada and I think there's tremendous national excitement that the project is finally going ahead."

While there's no official waiting list, the process whereby one or two artists are inducted per year might get kicked into a higher gear, Berry said yesterday.

"There's no specific plans right now, but we know we need to do a lot of catch-up," she said.

"There's many, many great Canadian artists that haven't been recognized to date and hopefully will be in the future ... now that there's a real place for people to learn about them."
 

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"The entrance will be on Yonge St. north of Dundas, between the HMV flagship store and the planned Virgin Megastore, which will be one of Metropolis's main tenants, along with the hall of fame."

Oh, so it will be a storefront. Thrilling.
 

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"The entrance will be on Yonge St. north of Dundas, between the HMV flagship store and the planned Virgin Megastore, which will be one of Metropolis's main tenants, along with the hall of fame."

a storefront is an appropriate homage to Canadian music?? A drop in the big bucket.

I should be careful... I'm going to go 'Are Be' all over this
 

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Ok, ok. I've cooled down a little. Naturally I'm dissapointed about Hamilton losing this opportunity. Toronto is a better location because of those tourist numbers... but a project like this would have meant so much more to Hamilton than another drop-in-the-bucket for Toronto. Sour grapes.

that aside, here is my critique:

- the location is good (ie: proximity to Dundas Square)
- the execution is going to stink royally. What could have been a signature building... something special, will now be a facade stuck between HMV and the Virgin megastore. Blah. That whole Metropolis development is cursed anyway. Did no one tell them that?
- judging from the description in the Globe and Mail article, this will be a 'Torch'-like attraction... all fluff and fill, with no substance. To quote the article... " "youth-friendly," hands-on activities".... no thanks, I'll pass.
 

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Jeez. Could you spam this thread any more?

If this helps get Metropolis moving I'll be happy. It sounds like it might since they mentioned a 2007 opening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm starting to think that's why construction was delayed so that Metropolis could be redesigned to accomodate this. Might explain too why PenEquity was not able to comment on the delays.

Either way, i'm just glad to see this project finally moving along. Although I think the Torch site would of been better.
 

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That made my day seeing it on the front page of the Star, the renderingt doesn't look too bad with tons more adverisement space on Yonge. Still have to wait about two more years. It's good to hear that this won't take the place of Metronome and that the project is still alive.
 

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cassius said:
Jeez. Could you spam this thread any more?

If this helps get Metropolis moving I'll be happy. It sounds like it might since they mentioned a 2007 opening.
LOL... there were two threads and they combined them. I don't spam!
 

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I think a spot right on the Yonge Strip is perfect for this kind of thing....very "Goin' Down The Road". A big institutional ivory tower is totally inappropriate.





KGB
 

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That's good news. It's not its own building, but it'll be part of something big, in a great area. I think there is an entrance on the corner itself and on Dundas too. I wonder how big it'll be, and which floor?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I don't understand where they're finding this 60,000 sq/ft from?
This was what was available long before the Hall of Fame announcement. There was nearly 60,000 sq/ft but it's spread out all over the building.



I never realized this but Metropolis is going to be as tall as the Atrium Tower (well, the billboards and such). That's pretty high!

 

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Metropolis is the main building that makes YD Square look like Time Square. It has probably more billboards on it than all the other buildings combined. I think Metropolis will end up having a boring, gray, Torch like facade but the billboards will liven the building up.

Any news on when they'll continue construction?
 

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CrazyCanuck said:
That made my day seeing it on the front page of the Star, the renderingt doesn't look too bad with tons more adverisement space on Yonge. Still have to wait about two more years. It's good to hear that this won't take the place of Metronome and that the project is still alive.
Yes, Metropolis looks very promising. The rendering kept reminding me of Times Square in New York, and Piccadily Circus in London. Toronto needs places like this. The building itself looks very modern and lively.

Great addition to Toronto.
 
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