Each year, as the moments and memories pile up, we like to take a minute to recognize and thank the incredible and dedicated staff, crew, patrons, artists, and community of leaders who help make Massey Hall so magical – night after night.
Over the past year, among countless happenings, we welcomed over 200,000 people through its famous red doors including more than 1800 students from 44 different GTA schools and community groups at Share the Music workshops and CONTINUE READING >
(Source: Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library)
If you’re like me, when you think of Massey Hall you probably think of your favourite rock and roll show. (My vote: Arcade Fire, 2007.) Or maybe you think of other more traditional presentations that have found a home at Massey Hall over the years: dance performances, comedians doing stand-up, symphonic concerts. You likely don’t, however, think of: beauty pageants, a typewriting contest (won by none other than Northrop Frye), sex education films for soldiers, and not one but two rallies against free trade (in 1911 and 1988).*
The point, dear readers, is this: the grand old lady of Shuter Street has witnessed more than you or I can imagine.
Perhaps the most unexpected events to have graced the stage at Massey Hall — and regularly no less — were boxing matches.
In fact, between 1919 and 1921 boxing and wrestling matches were booked at the Hall three times more than any other kind of entertainment. What was arguably the most significant of these Massey Hall boxing events took place on Saturday, April 12, 1919: Jack Dempsey, who would go on to win the world heavyweight championship from Jess Willard, both refereed and fought in a championship match.
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