Blue Rodeo frontman Jim Cuddy knows there’s some underlying disdain for Toronto from fellow Canadians, but says Massey Hall is an exception.

“As much as Canadians have antipathy towards our great city, there are three things that they love: Massey Hall, Maple Leaf Gardens and the CNE,” Cuddy said.

“And those are generally accepted as, ‘OK. We hate your city and we hate you. But those are great things.’”
Cuddy was in Toronto on Friday to join Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Joly for a funding announcement on the Massey Hall Revitalization Project.

“Massey Hall has been sort of the top shelf goal for not just for musicians but also for audience members,” Cuddy said. “Massey Hall is one of those places that when people get here, no matter when the show starts, they love sitting here.”

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The federal government is investing $8.3 million for the project which is expected to be completed by 2019.

The renovation includes the demolition of the Albert Building just to the south of the concert hall and the creation of new, modernized backstage spaces, along with new technical and production facilities and the hall’s first ever loading dock.

The seven-year $135 million private and publicly funded revitalization plan was approved by city council in 2013.

Massey Hall, which first opened in 1894, remained open to the public for concerts and events during the first phase of the project which was completed in 2016.

VIDEO: Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly announced an $8.3-million investment for cultural infrastructure funding at Toronto’s legendary Massey Hall on Friday.