A nearly six-year–long renovation enabled Toronto’s legendary El Mocambo to resume its rightful place as the crown jewel of Canada’s live entertainment universe. With a history of showcasing stellar artists ranging from U2 to Pat Benatar, Blondie, The Ramones, Cheap Trick and The Rolling Stones, ELMO has been a staple of Canada’s music scene since it opened in 1948. Early guest stars included Marilyn Monroe, Buddy Rich and Muddy Waters. The club was acquired in 2014 by Toronto TV personality (and merchant banker) Michael Wekerle, who commissioned WSDG to design and co-supervise the renovation of the original club and redevelop it into an innovative live performance space with recording and streaming capabilities.
The completely re-imagined and technically updated new venue features two discrete live performance zones: the 350-capacity SL 1 Main Floor Showcase, and the 450-capacity SL2 the 2nd floor/balcony venue. A Green Room/Dressing Room/Iso Booth ‘Content Creation Center’ was also crafted for recording smaller live performances. All three areas are linked to a master audio/video control room equipped with a full complement of state-of-the-art technology including an SSL L550 console for recording, mixing and live streaming.
ELMO presented WSDG with an extraordinary opportunity to employ the full range of our architectural, acoustic and systems integration skills. In addition to collaborating on the complete rejuvenation of this classic performance venue, we were engaged to develop a formidable isolation program capable of accommodating multiple simultaneous live performances as well as occasionally being video captured and/or streamed. The building itself, a one hundred and ten-year-old structure, was completely rebuilt from the ground up. In addition to the creative design and systems integration aspects of the project, WSDG co-supervised the construction of this world-class showplace.