Roy Thomson Hall is located at 60 Simcoe St (at King St W on the southwest corner) in the Entertainment District of downtown Toronto.
In 1967, plans to build a new concert hall were announced and in 1982, the iconic structure was completed. Named after Baron Thomson of Fleet, Roy Herbert Thomson was a Canadian-born newspaper magnate. His family made a $4.5 million donation toward building the venue.
Designed by Arthur Erickson
The Modern style building, on 2.5 acres of land, was designed by Arthur Erickson, a prominent Canadian architect, and author. This was in association with the Toronto architectural firm of Mathers and Haldenby. To ensure there was accessibility for disabled patrons and performers, violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman was a special advisor to the architects.
Roy Thomson Hall is constructed of steel and concrete and is covered by a multi-paned glass roof. The triangular and diamond-shaped glass is divided by glazing bars and braced by a steel-tube frame. The 30,000 square foot auditorium has seating for over 2,600. The concert hall received heritage status in 2001.
Acoustical Renovation of Roy Thomson Hall
In 2002, the auditorium underwent a $20+ million acoustical reengineering altering its size, design and shape. One of the major updates included adding 23 multi-layered wooden bulkheads to the upper chamber. This brought reflective surfaces closer to the audience creating better sound. Other updates included replacing the clear acrylic discs that were suspended over the stage with two adjustable wooden canopies, the stage was lengthened and refinished as well as the auditorium floor with Canadian maple and the seating was divided by two aisles for better access.
Home to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the internationally famous venue has seen performances by the Mendelssohn Choir, Leonard Bernstein, Anne Murray, Yo-Yo Ma, Miles Davis, Gordon Lightfoot, Herbie Hancock and many more.