Populous and OverActive Media reveal plans for iconic performance venue in Toronto

OverActive Media has confirmed details of its highly-anticipated performance venue, projected to be completed in 2025. The near $500m project, which includes a theatre-style entertainment venue and hotel complex, will be the first new sports or entertainment venue built in Toronto since BMO Field in 2007 and promises to be an unparalleled experience for fans and performance artists alike.

Located in the heart of the historic CNE Grounds, the facility plan is a strategic extension of the master plan for the region previously established by city officials.

Positioned on four acres on the north side of Lakeshore Boulevard, and across from the Ontario Place lands, 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 premiere music artists and entertainment acts of the world a new place to call home in Toronto, now the fourth largest city in North America.

Chris Overholt, OverActive’s President and CEO said at the February 20th announcement:

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.

The facility plans to host 200+ events a year, driven primarily by premium music and entertainment bookings. It 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.

Gaming & Esports

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

Overholt added:

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.

Conceived by world-renowned design firm Populous, the building composition delivers an iconic architectural presence along the Toronto waterfront and reflects a modern expression of a new age theatre for sports and entertainment.

Jonathan Mallie, Senior Principal and lead designer for Populous, said:

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. 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.

Overholt added:

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 artists. A landmark experience and venue for a world class city that defines a new future.

Source & imagery, courtesy: Populous

Populous is a sponsor for both next week’s ALSD International – Virtual event and the main ALSD International event being hosted at Anfield September 6-7.

The upcoming virtual and hybrid editions of ALSD International will focus on increasing revenue via new builds, renovations, service expansions & technology, and reopening with confidence.

The hybrid event, being hosted by Liverpool Football Club September 6-7th, will feature a high-level conference, exhibition and networking events, as well as tours of Anfield, Everton’s Goodison Park and M&S Bank Arena. 

#ALSDInternational – Europe’s leading event for the Premium Seat & Sports Hospitality sector

#ALSD – Leading the Premium Seat sector for the last 30 years


#sportsvenuebusiness – The leading platform for sector news, views & developments

Share This Article

This website uses cookies and asks your personal data to enhance your browsing experience.