Inside Lynx Music

"We want musicians to step into our rooms and feel inspired."

The first thing I thought when I entered Lynx Music was, this place is well designed. It feels downright luxurious.

Everything a musician needs in a rehearsal space is here: parking, free WiFi, room projectors, iPads, room mics that connect to your phone, beer fridge, mic stands with phone holders, vending machines filled with music miscellany and... did I mention parking? Yeah, there's plenty of it.

The tavern.jpg?ixlib=rails 1.1

Above: Every rehearsal room has a projector for displaying chord charts, lyrics, and inspirational videos.

Generally speaking, rehearsal spaces are dark, dirty and uninspired. I play in a band, and in our last rehearsal space, the toilet had a problem where it perpetually flushed. It wasn't what you'd call a creative space.

Lynx Music was built to be the opposite of that. One of the founders Ryan Altschuler explained to me that they "built Lynx out of a sense that something was missing in the city... we wanted people to step into our rooms and actually feel creative and inspired."

The Rehearsal Rooms

Each rehearsal room has unique artwork done by a local artist. So while the equipment and layout is identical between rooms, the artwork gives each room an identity.

My favourite room is the Toronto Room— which has a huge cartoon map of Toronto music venues:

Lynxmusic 6760.jpg?1526041030?ixlib=rails 1.1

Above: Can you spot the music venues?

Ryan says they treated the rooms to have "just a bit of liveliness... If you have a room that's all carpet or curtain it creates a naturally dead sound that the life out of the music. "

"Rooms are setup to make it feel like bands are on stage performing. For example, rather than arranging in a circle, the instruments are arranged as you would expect them to be on stage."

There are 6 standard rehearsal rooms and 2 premium rehearsal rooms. Standard spaces are 270 square feet and rent for $24 / hour (except for two standard rooms that rent for $20 / hour because of their proximity to other rooms). Premium spaces are 350 square feet and rent for $28 / hour.

Rooms are setup to make it feel like bands are on stage performing. For example, rather than arranging in a circle, the instruments are arranged as you would expect them to be on stage. Each room also has a variety of lighting controls— so that bands can feel like they're performing onstage.

LEFT: The Tavern, a premium room. RIGHT: The Ampitheatre, a premium room.


God save the queen.jpg?ixlib=rails 1.1

God Save the Queen

Half baked.jpg?ixlib=rails 1.1

Half Baked

Stals basement.jpg?ixlib=rails 1.1

Stals Basement


The street.jpg?ixlib=rails 1.1

The Street

The supernova.jpg?ixlib=rails 1.1

The Supernova

Toronto room.jpg?ixlib=rails 1.1

Toronto Room


The details and design are what makes Lynx stand out from other rehearsal spaces.

There all kinds of thoughtful details:

LEFT: The iPad is connected to the projector— which makes it quick and easy to project lyrics and chord charts. (Each iPad has an email address so bands can quickly send lyrics and setlist to it.) RIGHT: Ryan and his partners auditioned seven or eight different guitar hooks before finding the perfect one.


LEFT: A phone holder lets singers see the lyrics. RIGHT: There are cup holders everywhere— which encourages people not to put drinks on amps.


LEFT: That's no guitar amp... RIGHT: ... That's a fridge!


LEFT: Vending machines sell guitar picks, strings, slides and more. RIGHT: To make this sign, Ryan's wife found each letter separately and backlit them.


20180502 059a6742.jpg?1527169172?ixlib=rails 1.1

Above: The centre console has phone chargers, a room mic that connects to your phone, an iPad and a StudioLive AR16 18-channel hybrid mixer.

How Lynx Music Started

Ryan and his partners dove headfirst into research mode once they decided to build Lynx.

They started by touring every rehearsal facility they could find— in Toronto or abroad in cities like Austin and Paris— and started figuring out what they liked and what they didn't like.

"The number one thing [band's asked for] was parking— even ahead of sound isolation and gear!"

Then they sent out surveys asking bands what amenities they loved and hated in rehearsal spaces. They thought bands would want a patio or coffee shop area. But that's not what bands said. That was almost last on the list. The number one thing was parking (even ahead of sound isolation and gear!). So they transformed a dirt and grass parking lot into a nice, paved parking lot.

20180502 059a6702.jpg?1526043342?ixlib=rails 1.1

Above: According to Ryan, 'building parking was the best decision we could have made.'

When you enter Lynx, your eyes are drawn to the cool details: the iPads, projectors etc. But the reality is that those things were easy— it was the unsexy construction that turned out to be hardest. Ryan says "the hardest part of this whole process was just construction. My partners and I know audio and we know music. What we didn't have was construction experience." Fortunately, one of the partners was a project manager and Ryan says, "without him this place never could have happened. Going through that process was by far the hardest thing we've done. "

Production Studios

Apart from the rehearsal studios, Lynx also offers four production studios— all available at very competitive rates:

LEFT: The Control Room ($25/hour) connects to the Live Room and Production Room. Think of it as the command centre. RIGHT: For $32/hour, bands can rent the Live Room for doing plug-and-play live off the floor recordings.


LEFT: The Isolation Room ($5/hour) has a video conferencing display and pairs with the Control and Production Rooms. RIGHT: The Production Room ($20/hour) is a bring-your-own laptop room for EDM or hip-hop producers. It can also be paired with the isolation room.


A Place For Creativity & Community

When you build something like Lynx, you start cultivating a community around it. On any given night, you can find hip hop acts, jazz trios, Peruvian flute bands and a metal band all rehearsing at Lynx.

They even have bigger bands like Glass Tiger, Bad Bad Not Good and Selfish Things coming through. Ryan describes a scene a few days ago when "a few of the guys from a [local] band walked in front and saw one of the members of blue rodeo just hanging out on the couch."

Lynxmusic 6806.jpg?1527097963?ixlib=rails 1.1

Above: Me interviewing Ryan (on the couch) in the lobby.

For Ryan this was all part of the plan. "We really wanted to we wanted to capture the entire spectrum. From casual people who want to jam once a month to much bigger bands... We want everyone to coexist in the same facility."

Lynx Music is near Geary Ave at 260 Emerson Ave. You can book rooms and find out more at LynxMusic.ca.

· Published June 8 2018