Exciting news from Hugh’s Room Live!
Hugh’s Room Live (HRL) in Toronto is getting close to securing a permanent performance space after leading a somewhat nomadic existence over the past few years – a result of having to vacate its long-time home at 2261 Dundas West due to a rent increase.
Since 2021, HRL has staged over 100 performances in several venues in the west end of Toronto including at 3030 Dundas West, Revival in Little Italy, the Tranzac in the Annex, and The Paradise Theatre on Bloor. In that time, while keeping musicians working and audiences happy, they have continued to search for a permanent home, and that’s where the exciting news comes in.
After about a year of going back and forth and attempting to put together the financing to purchase a property at 296 Broadview Avenue in Toronto (between Gerrard St. East and Dundas St. E.), it looks like an agreement is around the corner. On May 29, the HRL board of directors voted unanimously to proceed to purchase the building on June 30.
The dust hasn’t quite settled, but board chair Brian Iler has indicated things are looking good, though continued fundraising will have to be a part of the equation. As Brian noted in a recent fundraising email, this is by far HRL’s best chance to secure a new home, and every dollar contributed now will lessen the amount that will have to be borrowed and financed latter.
If you’d like to help, you can click here to make a donation (with a tax receipt) or purchase a bond or to get more details about 296 Broadview Avenue and the work that’s been done to-date to secure the space.
As many people in the roots community and beyond know, Hugh’s Room Live in Toronto has for many years been an incredible quiet space for musicians to play, be heard and appreciated. It’s a place that has given voice to the broad “roots” canon of North American and global music representing our rich multicultural fabric. Iconic Canadian musicians that have been on that stage include Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, Murray McLauchlan, Dan Hill, Buffy Sainte-Marie, The McGarrigles and Silvia Tyson. The list of international music luminaries is equally impressive. And at least as important, it’s been a place for lesser-known performers to play and make a living.
Maybe the most exciting part of securing a new space is the vision Hugh’s Room Live has set for itself. They say that a new venue will allow them to engage more fully with community groups and partners, offer educational programs, studio space and master classes, and provide opportunities for all artists, including BIPOC, LGBTQ, and marginalized community groups throughout the city. They also plan to make the site available for use by community groups that currently lack space for meetings and other services.
It’s a great vision, a great venue, and we wish them all the best in getting the deal done.