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Plans for Populous-designed performance venue unveiled

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Events Facilities

Plans for Populous-designed performance venue unveiled

The venue will host events ranging from music and entertainment to eSports competitions.

By David Malone, Associate Editor | February 23, 2021
Populous-designed performance venue

All renderings courtesy Populous.

OverActive Media has recently revealed details of its new $500 million, 7,000-seat performance venue located in Toronto. The project, which includes a theatre-style entertainment venue and hotel complex, will be built in the heart of the historic CNE Grounds.

The facility will be positioned on four acres on the north side of Lakeshore Boulevard, across from the Ontario Place lands. Populous’s design is meant to reflect a modern expression of a new age of theatre for sports and entertainment.


Populous-designed performance venue interior


"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, Populous, in a release. "The old channeling 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."


Populous-designed Toronto performance venue aerial


The purpose-built venue will host over 200 events per year with the majority of the events being music and entertainment bookings. The new venue will also be home to Toronto’s two professional eSports teams (Toronto Ultra of the Call of Duty League and Toronto Defiant of the Overwatch League), which are owned by OverActive Media. The new venue will be leveraged to position Toronto as a destination of choice for the global industry of gaming and eSports.

The venue, which has yet to be named, is slated for completion in 2025.


Populous-designed performance venue set up for eSports


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