Canada’s legendary Grant Avenue Studio — established in 1976 and home to the likes of Gordon Lightfoot, Johnny Cash, U2, Sarah McLachlan and more — has officially changed ownership. It was sold to music and film industry pros Mike Bruce and Marco Mondano.
Nestled in the heart of the city, Grant Avenue Studio stands as a hallowed sanctuary of musical creativity and innovation. With its storied history, this iconic recording haven has witnessed the harmonious fusion of countless melodies and the birth of remarkable albums that have left an indelible mark on music, both in Canada and worldwide. The studio’s rustic charm, coupled with a diverse assembly of recording technology has attracted an equally diverse array of artists seeking to capture their sonic visions in an environment where inspiration flows freely. The countless amount of gold and platinum albums from around the world have proven time and time again artists trust the studio, lending their talents to its hallowed halls and creating a rich tapestry of musical heritage that reverberates through the walls. Grant Avenue Studio remains an emblem of artistic devotion, a haven where melodies are meticulously crafted, and the echoes of creative endeavors past continue to inspire those who pass through its doors.
Marco is well known in the industry for owning D.C. Music, Toronto’s premier rehearsal, recording and live production studio — a staple in the GTA for more than 20 years. Mike is a seasoned musician who owns and operates film studios, including Hamilton’s own Aeon Bayfront Studios. And head in-house engineer Andrew Lauzon (aka the ‘Audio Geek’) is an accomplished producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist.
Housed in a 108-year-old historic Edwardian home, the two-storey building is the antithesis to the countless sleek and soulless studios found in larger cities. The oldest and longest-running studio in Canada, it was originally established in 1976 by Daniel Lanois and his brother Bob. In 1985, the Lanois sold the studio to longtime friend and studio collaborator Bob Doidge, a Hamilton Music Awards Lifetime achievement recipient. Bob would then pair up with award-winning powerhouse engineer Amy King and they both helmed the studio until spring of 2023.
Over the years, Grant Avenue Studio has adorned its walls with photos of all the talented and legendary musicians who have recorded there. “The problem is we don’t have enough wall space,” said King in 2016. “We have an attic full of pictures we want to hang from back then to stuff that’s happening now.”
Grant Avenue Studio is known for having a large selection of hard-to-come-by and coveted equipment, like an MCI JH500C console outfitted with API preamps (a one-of-a-kind customized version of the same console used oniconic albums like Hotel California, Back in Black, Margaritaville and Cowboys From Hell), a vintage WWII-era Neumann M49 tube mic, the Radar S-Nyquist V and an EMT 250 – the first commercially available digital reverb, of which only 250 were ever produced.
“While we honour and acknowledge the rich history of the studio, we also look towards the future,” the new owners say. “In addition to the usual recording, tracking, mixing, mastering and editing services, new offerings will include an artist lounge, a writer’s studio, film & photography location opportunities and artist development programs.”
The facility will be holding an open house from Sept. 8-10. Get more information on their website.