Toronto’s Rock Pile Reborn As Concert Hall

Toronto’s Masonic Temple, a landmark building since it was built in 1917, hasn’t seen much in the way of concerts in the last couple of years, but that is about to change with a relaunch of its once legendary concert space as The Concert Hall during the Toronto Jazz Festival.

The Concert Hall
– The Concert Hall

Known during the late 1960s as The Rock Pile, as well as other incarnations, it’s hosted top artists including Led Zeppelin, Chuck Berry, The Who, The Grateful Dead, Metallica, The Tragically Hip, Foo Fighters, Bob Dylan, Beck, and James Brown among others, according to the Toronto Sun. It was also a rehearsal space for The Rolling Stones.

Randy Bachman, along with Walter Trout and special guests, kicked things off for the 1,500-capacity Concert Hall June 23 to open Toronto Jazz Festival. The venue will continue to operate year-round.

Concerts in the space largely ceased after Bell Media bought the Masonic Temple in 1998. It was used instead for mainly television production, including MTV Canada and events like the Polaris Prize, according to Toronto Now.

Bell put the Masonic up for sale in 2013. It was purchased by IT firm Info-Tech Research Group for $12.5 million and, given founder Joel McLean’s affinity for music, it’s returning to its roots.

The relaunch comes at a good time for Toronto, which has suffered closures in recent years of mid-size music venues like the Silver Dollar, the Hoxton, and Soybomb HQ – and the looming closure in 2019 of