hughs room live toronto

Historic concert hall in Toronto is looking to move to a new venue

Long hailed as one of the best folk and blues venues in Canada, Hugh's Room Live is continuing its legacy by moving to a new space after rising rents forced it out of its beloved home of 19 years in 2020. 

The venue, previously located at 2261 Dundas St. W., was well known for hosting some of the biggest acts in jazz, blues, acoustic, folk, country, bluegrass, rock, and gospel that came through the city. 

"Since 2011, Hugh's Room Live has been dedicated to presenting great musicians in an intimate 'listening room environment,'" said Brian Iler, Chair of Hugh's Room Live Board of Directors. "While our partner venues have hosted wonderful shows, we yearn for the unique ambience of our former space." 

Last year, Hugh's Room attempted to purchase a new venue at 296 Broadview Ave., but without government assistance, the deal unfortunately fell through. 

hughs room live toronto

Hugh's Room Live is looking to call 296 Broadview Ave. its new home. Photo: HRL 

"Nevertheless, this property keeps calling us back as the perfect home for Hugh's Room Live," Iler wrote.

"The main hall is comparable in size to our previous venue. The acoustics are excellent. Despite its 129 years, the building is in fantastic condition. It holds historical significance, designed by renowned architect E.J. Lennox, known for Old City Hall and Casa Loma. There's ample space for multiple music-oriented activities." 

Just last month, Hugh's Room Live Board of Directors unanimously voted to proceed with the venue's purchase on June 30, 2023, following an offer from the owner for vendor-take-back financing, as well as a collaboration with Redwood Theatre that bolstered their confidence. 

"With commitments from donors and lenders, we have the funds to purchase the building. But we still need your help to ensure live music in our city has a permanent and sustainable home, continuing the amazing legacy of Hugh's Room Live," Iler continued. 

Local residents and fans of the venue were listed several ways to help support the changeover to the new space, including making a donation online or mailing in a cheque

"2261 will always remain a special place in our hearts, but as the music industry responds to massive structural changes brought on by the pandemic, technological innovation and other factors, Hugh's Room Live must adapt and take this opportunity to build for the future," Iler said. 

Lead photo by

Matt Forsythe

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