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299 Queen Street West, as seen from the corner of Richmond and John Streets.

299 Queen Street West, also known as CTV Queen Street, is an office and studio complex located at the intersection of Queen Street West and John Street in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Currently the corporate head office of CTVglobemedia (CTVgm), the building previously served as the headquarters of CHUM Television, a division of CHUM Limited, and was known as the CHUM-City Building until CTV acquired CHUM in 2007.

With its 1913 neo-Gothic terra cotta façade, the building is designated as a heritage property by the City of Toronto's Heritage Preservation Services under the Ontario Heritage Act[1] and has served as a broadcast facility since 1987.

Contents

Overview

The building houses various CTV-owned media outlets previously owned by CHUM, such as CP24, MTV2, MuchMusic, MuchMore, The Comedy Network (as of 2008), Bravo!, Star! and Space, as well as the master control operations for the A television stations in Southern Ontario (A Windsor, A London, A Barrie and A Ottawa). In addition, CTV's entertainment news program eTalk has been produced at the building since 2008.

Although the building bears a CTV signage on its east façade[2], it does not currently house the studios of CTV Toronto; the main studios for that station is located at 9 Channel Nine Court in Scarborough, along with most of the other CTV-owned channels and the master controls for the CTV stations in Eastern Canada (see below).

Tours of the facilities are held regularly.

History and architecture

299 Queen Street West, then the headquarters of the Methodist Church, in 1919.
299 Queen Street West, then known as CHUM-City Building, in 2004. The CHUM and Citytv signs were removed after CTV took control of CHUM.

The five-storey building was originally constructed as the headquarters of the Methodist Church of Canada in 1913 by Burke, Horwood and White. The Methodists joined with two other denominations to form the United Church of Canada in 1925, for which the building served as the headquarters until 1959. By this time the Ryerson Press, originally the publishing arm of the Methodist Church, had grown to occupy the entire building. The building was purchased by CHUM in 1985, and was re-opened in May 1987 as the new headquarters for the company and its various outlets, including Citytv Toronto (which was previously located at 99 Queen St. East).

The building's east wall is decorated with an actual older style news truck seemingly bursting out of the building; the front tires of the truck can be seen spinning from time to time. The truck previously bore the old CityPulse Live-Eye decal; has been overhauled with the CP24 Breaking News decal following the acquisition by CTVgm.

On the northwest corner is the former Speakers' Corner videobooth, where for a dollar anyone can record two minutes of oneself. Citytv says it receives over 50 hours of video per week, which its staff edits into short vignettes and a half-hour show. CTV plans for future use of the video booth for their portfolio of channels.

While the outside facade has been restored and remains intact, the building's interior has been modernized into one of the world's most innovative media complexes. 299 Queen Street West has no TV studios: the entire building has been rigged for audio and video. The building has been engineered so that public space, working areas, offices, and even the parking lot may all be used as optimal shoot locations. Many television shows produced by the various outlets operating out of the building, such as Citytv's Breakfast Television, CityLine and the former Electric Circus, are filmed live on the ground floor. The ground floor features giant glass sliding partitions so that the building can be open to the street. The annual MuchMusic Video Awards show is held as a street party that takes place in the parking lot, rooftop, as well as Queen and John Streets adjacent to the building.

299 Queen Street West served as the national broadcast headquarters for the 2007 Live Earth concert, with several CTVgm-owned media outlets and personalities collaborating to broadcast the live event nationally for 28 hours. The building also served as the headquarters for CTV's multi-platform coverage of the 32nd Toronto International Film Festival in September 2007, acting as the launching pad of red carpet coverage, galas, film parties, film premieres, festival breaking news, and other related events. Various corporate divisions, such as eTalk, Star!, MuchMusic, MTV Canada, Bravo!, FashionTelevisionChannel and Canada AM, collaborated on the event coverage.

Although acquired by CTVgm together with other CHUM entities, Citytv Toronto was sold off to Rogers Media in 2007. Since then, the Citytv signage at the front building was replaced with an eTalk logo; the Citytv logos on the satellite mural were replaced with logos of eTalk and various CTV-owned media outlets; the CityPulse banner on the truck was replaced with a CP24 logo; and the main Citytv signage on the building's east façade was replaced with a private balcony, looking out off the company's boardroom. Citytv finally moved out of 299 Queen Street West into its new home at 33 Dundas Street East on September 8, 2009.

Other CTV facilities in Toronto

References

  1. ^ City of Toronto's Heritage Property Search. Accessed online March 10, 2010.
  2. ^ CTV building, Toronto Flickr.com

External links

Coordinates: 43°38′59″N 79°23′25″W / 43.649701°N 79.390233°W / 43.649701; -79.390233

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