Maybees are out at The Music Hall project in downtown Oshawa

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Published June 26, 2023 at 10:11 am

The Maybees are definitely out at the Music Hall concert venue in downtown Oshawa but the property owners are still going full speed ahead with plans to re-open the iconic building and return it to its spot on the city’s music pantheon.

Ed and Maggie Maybee had been trying to re-open the venue at 44 Bond St. E since they lost the former Music Hall (now the Biltmore Theatre a block away on King Street) at the onset of the pandemic. The project was rife with delays and cancelled gigs (most moved to the Biltmore) and the Maybees finally threw in the towel last week with an announcement they will not be moving forward on the venture.

“The arrangement between us and our new location has turned south after we have worked tirelessly on the building for the last three years,” Maggie Maybee said in a social media post. “We thought we were putting blood, sweat, tears and broken backs into an investment in our future, but sadly Ed and I won’t be a part of it. We did everything we could to salvage things and continue on, but things have been made financially impossible for us to operate by the property owner.”

“This one stings.”

Building owner The Sacco Group is still moving forward with the project – now dubbed the Bondst Centre – which will contain the concert hall, a smaller, “more intimate” venue in the basement, a street level café and a second floor restaurant.

Stefano Diachenko, Sacco’s Chief Operating Officer and Director of Development, explained the break-up with the Maybees simply: “They couldn’t meet their tenancy obligations, so they had to step away.”

Diachenko said he has tenants already for the café and the restaurant and is actively looking for someone to take over the music venues, especially the main floor concert hall, which he called a “beautiful venue.”

“We really believe in this project,” he said. “Especially the music hall, and we’re moving to get (someone in) there as quickly as possible.”

“We’re keeping all our options open.”

The historic building was home to a union hall for many years and became known in the early years of this century as the home of the Dungeon, an incubator for dozens of local bands looking to make their break.

The Dungeon was the inspiration for the Maybees when they began working on the building three years ago. “When Ed and I created (this) concept, it was the revitalization of the infamous Dungeon we were especially looking forward to. It was like ok, dreams can come true. But dreams can end too,” Maggie Maybee said. “We are devastated and still trying to make sense of it all (but) we have had no choice but to walk away.”

The latest concert booked at the Music Hall was Death From Above 1979, scheduled for November 9. The show will still go on, but at the Biltmore Theatre on King Street.

The Sacco Group, a noted property developer and landlord in Oshawa, was founded in 1979 by the late Angelo Sacco and his wife Mary and is now run by daughter Antonella Diachenko and her children.

A post from May 27 in announcing the Bondst Centre venture declared the family wants the building to be a place for arts, culture, and entertainment and to contribute to the “ongoing development” in downtown Oshawa.

“We love this city and cannot wait for this project to open.”

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