Concert venue

A Glimpse of History, Drake’s Highly-Mediated Eastern Concert Hall

After a series of blockages. live music is back, baby. The latest addition to the scene is History, Drake’s new concert venue, which opened in November 2021 in partnership with Live Nation Canada. It’s meant to fill the gap between the city’s smaller clubs and the giant stadiums of Scotiabank Arena and Rogers Centre, and with just 2,553 seats across multiple tiers, it has a big arena feel in a small square footage. Even the cheapest seats provide excellent sightlines.

Expect Drake-isms to be subtle. Alright there’s a framed set list or two and some Degrassi-photos from the time, but much of its imprint is in the details: the space was built with high-performance quality in mind, with massive LED screens, state-of-the-art soundproofing , dedicated quick-change rooms and a customizable staircase for pre-show pumping sessions. Here is a glimpse of the interior.

The story may be far from the city center, but that means it offers everything the city center can’t, namely 300 parking spaces (available to rent with the purchase of tickets) :

The front doors open into an Instagrammable lobby. Meanwhile, performers are not limited to the adjacent OVO. Already on the program: The Flaming Lips, Kaytranada, All Time Low and Yungblud (as well as CanCon favorites like USS, Silverstein, July Talk and Lights). Ted Talks, weddings and other events are also in the works:

Here is the main room:

The entire site is fully accessible, with general access ramps and lowered bars:

Bars surround the ground floor and there are plenty of water bottle refill stations. The nearby restaurant scene is sparse, which is why the venue has teamed up with the Food Dudes for menu service bites in the VIP areas as well as fresh slices of Blondie’s Pizza in the general admission area:

A VIP area on the ground floor is ideal for superfans and guest artists. It is slightly elevated above the general admission area and offers a private entrance, bathroom and bar, as well as spitting distance from the stage:

The upper level has 55 theater-style seats for those who prefer to stretch out, as well as 10 box-style seats. There is also premium standing room for general admission and accessible seating with excellent views of the stage:

Much of the backstage space is influenced by Drake’s likes and dislikes in locations around the world. His team chose the furniture and manages the space. There are two changing rooms, and the larger one is split in two with a retractable wall. They’re equipped with pull-out cabinets for quick changes – Teyana Taylor put them to good use during a show in November:

Illustrations are from Drake’s personal collection. Throughout the room there are high school photos of Drake, tour lists, signed Godfather posters and portraits of Aaliyah and Virgil Abloh:

A staircase leading from the dressing rooms to the stage is a prime location for pre-show push-ups – performers can customize their colors, music and lights:

During shows, the performers’ friends and family relax and watch the show via live streams in this overflow space, equipped with a wine fridge and Nespresso machine:

After the show, performers take this high-octane staircase—which has the lyrics to “Started From the Bottom” printed on the riser of each step—from the venue directly to their tour bus: