Work continues on the History Concert Hall at 1163 Queen Street E. The inset photo shows local band The Beaches, who will perform at History on February 11-12 next year.
By ALAN SHACKLETON
Over 100 community members participated in an online community consultation hosted by the History Concert Hall on Monday, September 13.
The purpose of the Virtual Town Hall was to address concerns from Beach residents regarding the upcoming opening of the venue which has a capacity of 2,500 people and will be used for concerts and other events.
The story will be located at 1663 Queen Street East, between Coxwell Avenue and Eastern Avenue. It will be operated by Live Nation Canada and was designed in partnership with Drake.
Beaches-East York Councilor Brad Bradford spoke after the moderator’s introduction to let residents know he would listen to what Live Nation representatives had to say during the consultation and that it was important that community concerns are taken into account.
âThere are concerns and some anxiety expressed by the community about this, especially from those who live near the site,â he said.
Bradford pointed out that the Queen Street East concert hall was approved in 2018 before he was elected councilor.
With the story open, Bradford said the navigation may not go smoothly from the start and that he and the city will be watching to see if any issues need to be addressed.
“It won’t be perfect, especially when we step out of the door and find out … But proactively have a plan in place and make sure we have the escalation measures, tools and accountability to fix things.” . We will work hand in hand with you my neighbors and the community to make sure this thing is successful. ” he said. âIt will be a bit of a period of discovery. “
Ahead of Monday’s town hall, many concerns from residents of the “Pleasantville” neighborhood (on the former Woodbine Racecourse land between Queen Street East and Lake Shore Boulevard East east of Woodbine Avenue) were shared with Live Nation Canada.
These concerns included parking and parking enforcement in the neighborhood; traffic flow; public transport; noise and community safety.
Given the craziness of last summer in the Woodbine Beach Park and Woodbine Park area with huge crowds of young people looking to party, fireworks shooting, noise, trash, fighting and All around bad behavior, many members of the Pleasantville community are already feeling extremely nervous when it comes to events involving large groups of people coming together.
âThe Pleasantville Facebook group has been very engaged during what has been a difficult summer. Let’s be very honest about this, you’ve been through a lot. I hear you. We worked on it; working together throughout the summer to try to get things back on track, âBradford said of the incidents that took place.
This largely explained the growing concerns in the community about the story.
But Bradford pointed out that a concert hall run by one of the world’s largest music and live events companies is a far different scenario from runaway raves in public parks and on beaches.
âWe’re not dealing with the waterfront with tens of thousands of people coming from all over town or out of town and a lack of accountability. We’re dealing with an operator, and they’re online tonight, âBradford said.
To that end, Wayne Zronik, president of business operations for Live Nation Canada, explained that the company operates more than 100 open-air theaters and amphitheatres, including the Danforth Music Hall, the Budweiser Stage at Ontario Place and the Velvet Underground.
âOur roots run deep in this community and in Canada,â said Zronik of California-based Live Nation.
âWe are optimistic and excited about the future of live music. This optimism for the future is demonstrated by significant investments in Canada, including the recently announced redevelopment of the Budweiser Stage at Ontario Place and the launch of History right here on the beach.
Partnering with Drake on the design of History was a perfect fit for Live Nation, Zronik said, as they are already working with the Toronto music icon on his live shows.
Drake helped design the venue from the perspective of what would be best for fans and performers.
âHe’s passionate about Toronto. So when we wanted to build a flagship music hall for the city, it made sense to work together. Drake was able to help us put together an amazing experience for the performers and the fans, âZronik said.
He added that the story will host all kinds of musical genres and performers, including comedians, as well as events such as company meetings and weddings.
The story has been extensively designed and tested to be sound and light proof, so concert noise shouldn’t be an issue, Live Nation said.
The parking problems should be mainly solved by the 300 places secured by History in the parking lot south of the site. Combined with the Green P lot, there will be approximately 700 parking spaces available.
Steve Biasutti will be the CEO of History, and he also spoke at Town Hall on September 13th. He was previously Principal of Danforth Music Hall and is very familiar with the East Toronto area.
He said the number of parking spaces nearby should be more than enough, as the majority of people who attend concerts in the city do not drive there.
âIn my experience at Danforth Music Hall, a very limited number of people drive to concerts,â he said. “The majority of them use Uber, they use taxis or take the TTC.”
Biasutti said the story will encourage those who drive to concerts to purchase parking spaces in advance at a discounted rate when they purchase their concert tickets.
Regarding security concerns and people gathering in nearby parks or parking lots to continue socializing after a concert, he said History’s security team will make sure people start leaving quickly once the shows are broadcast.
âAfter each show, our security team will monitor our parking lot to make sure people leave in an orderly fashion and don’t hang around to the point of disturbing the neighborhood. The last thing we want is to make it a late night party outside of the room after we close. Our security will take steps to prevent this, âBiasutti said.
âHistory is not a nightclub,â he stressed. âWe are a concert hall focused on concerts, culture and art, as well as private events. Saying that, the majority of our shows will be covered at 11pm and that includes weekends. “
Zronik and Biasutti both said History looks forward to being a positive influence in the community and that they will hire locally for many positions. For more information on jobs at History, visit https://livenation.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/LNExternalSite/2/refreshFacet/318c8bb6f553100021d223d9780d30be
Zronik said History also plans to encourage young artists in the community by giving them the opportunity to design posters for upcoming events on the site.
The story is expected to open its doors for shows at the end of October, and a number of concerts are already on the program. Zronik said more than 100 shows are booked for 2022.
Upcoming concerts include performances by Kaytranada, BADBADNOTGOOD, July Talk, Deadbeats with Zeds Dead, The Flaming Lips and The Beaches from East Toronto.
The Beaches concerts, with special guests The Blue Stones, are scheduled for February 11-12, 2022.
The first scheduled History concert is All Time Low on October 22.
To find out more about upcoming concerts at History, visit https://www.ticketmaster.ca/history-tickets-toronto/venue/132501
To see a You Tube of the virtual town hall of September 13, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WL0qC8MlsgY