Label CEO Jeffrey Remedio announced the new HQ will be located in the Liberty Village neighborhood.
Universal Music Canada will be relocating to a “rock star of a building” in downtown Toronto, company president and CEO Jeffrey Remedios told a gathering of employees and media Tuesday outside just near the construction site.
As Universal “transitions from a music company to a music-focused media company,” he said he hopes the new building will become as culturally significant to the city as the Capitol Records tower is to Hollywood, Factory Records was to Manchester, Chess Records to Chicago, and Motown Records to Detroit.
Remedios told Billboard the move is expected late next year.
The planned 40,000-square-foot headquarters at 88 Atlantic Avenue is in a relatively new and vibrant area with condominiums and businesses known as Liberty Village, which years ago was undeveloped and off the beaten path. Here, Canadian Musician, Concert Productions International (CPi), Attic Records and music trade paper The Record once had offices.
Later, as the area was starting to develop, BMG Music Canada (later Sony BMG) had impressive ground-floor digs, but they have since moved to a suburb.
The area is now booming with a younger demographic in modern condos and lofts and businesses that include Twitter, Vice, Music Canada, Gibson Guitars, Zoomer and broadcasters Indie 88, SiriusXM, Jazz FM and Classical 96.
The new Universal Music Canada building is owned by property developers Hullmark which commissioned designers Quadrangle Architects.
“Welcome to our future home,” said Remedios. “So, if you ask a music fan what they know of a record company, there’s a good chance they will immediately connect that label with the city that it’s from. So many great music companies are indelibly linked to location, based in a sense of place,” he said, naming the aforementioned iconic labels.
“Great music companies serve a central and pivotal role in their communities,” he said, “for artists to gather, to share ideas and to create, while engage with their partner executives in the creative process.”
“Our new home will be so much more than a record label’s office,” Remedios continued. “This will be a shift for us on many fronts, starting from the physical uprooting of our long-term home in the northeast to this new home downtown, for a building that will serve in ways no other Canadian record label does, as we transition from a music company to a music-focused media company.
“For a start, it’s going to be a rock star of a building,” he said, proudly pointing out that it will be the first timber-framed commercial building to be built in a generation and will comply with the city’s green development standard. He added that it was be a “modern and frequently mobile work environment continuing to attract the creative talent we support” and a “fluid workspace where collaboration is as natural as…