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Massive $500M State-of-the-Art Performance Venue Planned for Exhibition Place

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While COVID-19 has temporarily halted wide-scale events, Torontonians can look forward to a new state-of-the-art performance venue that’s slated for Exhibition Place, next to the Hotel X Toronto.

Global esports and entertainment organization OverActive Media announced the details of the nearly $500 million, 7,000 seat theatre-style entertainment venue that will also be home to a hotel complex Monday.

Positioned on four acres on the north side of Lakeshore Boulevard and across from Ontario Place, the venue is expected to become the “epicentre” for what is starting to emerge as Toronto’s future meeting place for sports, media, and entertainment.

This privately financed, purpose-built venue will offer premier music artists and entertainment acts of the world a new place to call home in Toronto.

entertainment venue
Courtesy of OverActive Media

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OverActive Media, which owns Toronto Defiant of the Overwatch League (OWL) and Toronto Ultra of the Call of Duty League (CDL), says the facility plans to host over 200 events a year, driven primarily by premium music and entertainment bookings.

While this venue will be home for its two teams, the vision is to also poise Toronto and Canada as a destination of choice for the global industry of gaming and esports.

The new venue will also serve to attract major city-wide conventions, corporate events and product launches, awards shows, and naturally, a full slate of esports events increasing over time.

entertainment venue
Courtesy of OverActive Media

“We are building a world-leading, 21st-century sports media and entertainment company and this best-in-class performance venue will be the chosen home for a new generation of fans that think differently about their entertainment choices and experiences,” Chris Overholt, OverActive Media president and CEO, said in a statement.

“It has always been our intention to develop a venue and hosting strategy and to build a facility that could not only serve as an iconic home for our two franchises but ultimately emerge as a global hub for major international esport events,” added Overholt.

entertainment venue
Courtesy of OverActive Media

Designed by world-renowned architectural firm Populous, the building is said to deliver an iconic architectural presence along the Toronto waterfront and reflects a modern expression of a new age theatre for sports and entertainment.

“The design of the theatre was neither conceived as a sports arena nor an opera house, rather, a new typology that straddles the two – a state-of-the-art performance venue. The theatre architecture creates a merger of the old and the new,” said Jonathan Mallie, Senior Principal and lead designer for Populous.

“The old, channelling the rhythmic repetition of historic landmark theatres, and the new, integrating the progressive forms of avant-garde twenty-first-century design. In combination, a symbiotic balance delivers a one-of-a-kind theatre experience, unique to Toronto and the world.”

While the plan has yet to receive final approval, construction is expected to be completed in 2025.

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