In 1954, philanthropist, horsebreeder, and developer E.P. Taylor, the head of the O'Keefe Brewing Company and Argus Corporation, offered to build a much-needed performing arts centre for the city.
Three years later, demolition of a cluster of aging warehouses, stores, and office buildings at the corner of Front and Yonge streets began, and Earle Morgan and Page & Steele started construction on the complex which became known as the O'Keefe Centre. While Earle Morgan is the architect of record, in recent years the building has been credited to English architect Peter Dickinson. The red-carpet opening was held on October 1, 1960 with the pre-Broadway premiere of Alexander H. Cohen's production of the Lerner and Loewe musical Camelot with Richard Burton, Julie Andrews, and Robert Goulet.
The centre led the way in transforming the city's business center into an entertainment district, resulting in increased revenue for local restaurants, bars, and hotels.
The O'Keefe Centre was renamed the Hummingbird Centre in 1996 after the naming rights were purchased by the Canadian software company Hummingbird Ltd.. In late 2006, Hummingbird was acquired by Open Text Corporation who opted not to rename the venue or renew the naming rights. Sony, the new owners of the naming rights, have renamed the building as the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. (Wikipedia)