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  1. TORONTO - After 95 years, the iconic Masonic Temple – the concert hall where Bing Crosby, the Ramones and Led Zeppelin once rocked out – may be set to close and be turned into condos. CTV and Bell Media confirmed Friday they “are considering all options,” including selling the historic building to developers, after they move their MTV studios out of six-storey structure at the northwest corner of Davenport Rd. and Yonge St. “We are moving the MTV studios to 299 Queen St. and as a result, there will be no further production done at the Masonic Temple as of now,” said Scott Henderson, Bell Media’s vice-president of communications. “Staff were notified of it in September. The future of the temple has yet to be decided. They’re considering all opportunities, including potentially selling it. The real-estate team is trying to determine what the future will be.” Henderson said there’s no deadline for a decision as of yet. According to City of Toronto, the Masonic Temple was added to the list of its heritage sites in March 1974, which protects some historical aspects of the building, including the facade. This isn’t the first time the temple was considered for condo development. In 1997, the previous owners planned to tear down the building and build condos, reportedly marketed to Asians who believed the 888 Yonge St. address was “lucky.” According to a Bell Media backgrounder, the Heritage Board fought the case. Since its construction in 1918, the Masonic Temple was home to 38 different different Masonic bodies and opened as a ballroom in the late 1930s. In the ‘60s, it was known as the Rockpile, the venue that hosted Led Zeppelin’s first Toronto concert in 1969. It eventually became known as the Concert Hall for many years — where bands such as Soundgarden, Black Sabbath, the Tragically Hip and Depeche Mode played — before its sale to CTV in 1998 as a venue to host Mike Bullard’s late-night show. When that flopped, it became the home of MTV Canada in 2006 and ceased being a concert venue. http://www.torontosun.com/2012/11/02/torontos-iconic-masonic-temple-is-closing
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