Toronto firm ‘over’drive on venue plans


Canada Toronto performance venue Image: Populous

Toronto (Canada)-headquartered global esports and entertainment organization – OverActive Media – confirmed on February 22nd details of their highly-anticipated performance venue, scheduled to be completed in 2025. The almost $500 million project which comes armed with a theater-style entertainment venue and hotel complex will be the first new sports or entertainment venue built in Toronto since BMO Field (stadium in Toronto) in 2007 and promises to be an unrivaled experience for fans and performance artistes alike.

overactive-media sources stated that lodged in the heart of the historic Exhibition Place, the facility plan is a strategic extension of the master plan for the region previously established by City officials. Sitting on four acres on the North side of Lakeshore Blvd., and across from the Ontario Place lands, the venue is expected to become the focal point 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 cream of the crop music artistes and best entertainment acts of the world a new place to call home in Toronto, now the fourth largest City in North America.

“Today is another important step in the evolution 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,” observed Chris Overholt, OverActive’s President-cum-CEO.

overactive-media sources added that the facility plans to stage 200-plus events a year, driven primarily by premium music and entertainment bookings. It will also serve to attract major Citywide conventions, corporate events and product launches, award shows and naturally, a full slate of esports events increasing over time.

OverActive Media is the owner of four major global esport franchises – including Toronto’s two professional teams (Toronto Ultra of the Call of Duty League and Toronto Defiant of the Overwatch League). While this planned facility will be home for its two teams, their vision is to also consolidate Toronto and Canada’s position as a destination of choice for the global industry of gaming and esports.

Added Overholt, “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. We are already in active discussions to attract some of the biggest esport events in the world. This venue will redefine Toronto’s event hosting opportunities in every way.”

Conceptualized by the celebrated design firm Populous, the building composition delivers an iconic architectural presence along the Toronto waterfront and reflects a modern expression of a new age theater for sports and entertainment.

Stated Jonathan Mallie, Senior Principal and Lead Designer for Populous, “The design of the theater 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 theater architecture creates a merger of the old and the new.”

Added Mallie, “The old channeling the rhythmic repetition of historic landmark theaters, and the new integrating the progressive forms of avant-garde 21st century design. In combination, a symbiotic balance delivers a one-of-a-kind theater architecture, unique to Toronto and the world.”

Matt Grace, Senior Associate, Head of Marketing, EMEA Populous, UK, is a Member of Coliseum – Global Sports Venue Alliance.

“Our vision on this project from Day One has been to combine a premium concert and live events program with world leading technology and best in class hospitality. We will create an unparalleled experience for our fans while being a low net cost producer to our entertainment partners and artistes. A landmark experience and venue for a world class City that defines a new future,” Overholt concluded.

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