Massey Hall seats

You can now buy a seat from Massey Hall

Toronto's historic Massey Hall turns 124 years old today, and she's celebrating the occasion with a big ole' party.

After that, it's under the knife for at least two years of reconstructive work that, in the end, should reveal a much healthier and younger-looking performing arts theatre.

Some parts of Massey Hall will (rightfully) remain intact, but plans show that a lot must change to revitalize the designated-National Historic Site while meeting the demands of modern audiences.

One of the biggest changes will be the complete replacement of all 2,753 seats within the venue.

"The Massey Hall Revitalization will see updated seating throughout the auditorium, but will retain the original iron standards and hardware on the Gallery level to be used for generations to come," reads the theatre's website.

"This will result in the decommissioning of the wooden seat backs, and create a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for fans of the hall to own a piece of history."

That's right — you can own one of Massey Hall's original wooden seats dating back to 1894.

Being that all of the orchestra and balcony level seats were replaced in 1948, only a limited quantity of these older, gallery-level seats exist.

The public will have an opportunity to buy one for $750 starting June 18, but don't expect to sit on it. You'll be purchasing a framed seat back, with a certificate of authenticity, in as-is condition.

Conversely, you could buy one of the seats installed during Massey Hall's last major renovation in 1948.

"These seats are as distinctive as Massey Hall itself," reads the website. "For generations, fans have reclined and rejoiced in these seats while watching Bob Dylan, Ella Fitzgerald, Luciano Pavarotti, Diana Krall, Keith Richards, Maria Callas, Justin Bieber, and Joni Mitchell to name a few."

You could, theoretically, sit on these chairs, but at $1,000 a pop ($2000 for a pair) I wouldn't.

Massey Hall is scheduled to close for renovations on July 2. It will re-open sometime in 2020, if all goes well, with new chairs that people will purchase for a pretty penny in 2142 (should the world still exist.)

Lead photo by

Lee Chu


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