OverActive Media will build a “landmark” esports and performance venue in Toronto


OverActive Media has released details of a $500 million venue in the heart of Toronto’s Exhibition Place. In a press release yesterday, the company revealed that it expects to complete the project in 2025. It will be located on the north side of Lakeshore Blvd., across from the Ontario Place lands.

OverActive Media owns the Overwatch League’s Toronto Defiant and the Call of Duty League’s Toronto Ultra. It also owns the esports organization MAD Lions. (Singer Abel Tesfaye, better known as the Weeknd, is a partial owner of the company. So is Toronto Maple Leaf Mitch Marner.)

In other words, esports events are a given. As OverActive president and CEO Chris Overholt said: “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.”

More than just esports

The facility will include a theatre-style entertainment venue and hotel complex. According to the press release, “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.”

The new venue will host more than 200 events per year. In addition to esports, music, and entertainment events, these will include conventions, corporate events and product launches, and awards shows.

The 7,000-seat venue was conceived by the design firm Populous.

“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 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 architecture, unique to Toronto and the world.”

I have done a lot of different things over the course of my life and professional career. I have interviewed Oscar and Grammy winners and written cover stories for glossy newsstand magazines. I have played guitar in a rock band on national TV and run an independent music label for which I wrote all of the PR and marketing materials. In my spare time, I sweated out a novel about a world where raccoons are kings and dragons are real.

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