Located between Roncesvalles Village and Parkdale in Toronto’s West End, Green Door Studios was founded in 2002. The studio itself is housed in a converted 100- year- old brick building that is rumoured to have once been a blacksmith’s workshop.The immediate surrounding area is today a residential neighbourhood, so the studio has a very calm and hidden away feel to it and yet Queen St. West is only a block away.
When the building was purchased in 2001, the old brick walls were crumbling, the floor was oil and dirt, the roof was caving in, and the dilapidated wooden barn doors were falling off their hinges. After the structure was resuscitated, what is now the live room was the first part of the studio to be built. At a size of 14x30 ft with 9.5 ft ceilings, this room originally accommodated both performers and recorders. The adjacent control room is 12 x 22 ft with 11ft ceilings. Construction in this half of the studio was completed in the fall of 2005.
Two colourful features remain from the original building; the red and orange brick walls and the distinctive green colour of the front entrance.
John Critchley became known in the music world as the driving force behind the widely celebrated Canadian band, 13 Engines. John was the singer and lead guitarist in the band and produced several of their albums. The Engines recorded and toured extensively for over a decade, creating a body of work on the EMI and Nocturnal labels. Their album “Perpetual Motion Machine” (co-produced by John), was voted one of the top 50 records of all time by a Canadian artist in a national poll of music critics published by Chart Magazine. In 2000, John released his first solo CD "Crooked Mile," on the SoundKing/Outside imprint to critical acclaim.
Since then, John has focused his energy on producing other artists in the recording studio he built - Green Door Studios. John has produced a number of celebrated albums by a wide range of artists at his studio including Dan Mangan’s “Nice, Nice, Very Nice” and Elliott BROOD’s “Mountain Meadows” – both of which were short listed for the Polaris Prize, The Warped 45s, The Leather Uppers, as well as additional recording on Jane Bunnett’s Juno Award Winning album “Embracing Voices” and The Hidden Cameras “Origin:Orphan”.To listen to a song segment from these artists and others – click here.
John has also been active composing for film and television. He scored the feature film Goldirocks which won “Best Indie Feature” at the La Femme Film Festival in Los Angeles, and has composed music segments for multiple programs on the Discovery Channel/National Geographic TV. John has also scored a number of short films, including the multi-award winning film Pudge, and the Early Adopter segment of the feature film Infest Wisely.
John occasionally uses the studio for sound mix/sound edit and ADR purposes.
John’s songs have been featured in Canadian Feature films - Come Back Lover from 13 Engines album “Before Our Time” in John Greyson's Law of Enclosures (starring Sarah Polley) and Ricochet from “Crooked Mile” in Goldirocks.