TORONTO’s live-music venues – under pressure from boomtown construction – are struggling to survive. Both Mayor John Tory and Councillor Josse Colle “share the disapointment of musicians, fans, the music community” and say they’re working to address the problem.”
On the good news front, the venerable El Mocambo on Spadina is reopening. Jazz and folk outpost Hugh’s Room clings to life in the west-end, waiting to be rescued by a crowdfunding campaign. If that goes well, plans are to re-open in March as a not-for-profit. A newly renovated Velvet Underground is on the way.
<HUGH’S ROOM, Dundas Street West>
<THE CAMERON HOUSE, Queen Street West>
The 90-year-old Cameron House seems stable. Grossman’s jazz and blues joint on Spadina and the Rex Jazz Club on Queen West are both going concerns. <PHOTOS ABOVE>
The Hoxton is gone, along with Tattoo, the Hideout, the Tennessee (a.k.a. the old Mitzi’s Sister), the Old Laurel (a.k.a. the old Rancho Relaxo), long-running DIY space Soybomb HQ, Cabal, Cherry Cola’s and, in just the past couple of weeks, the Central.
The long-running Silver Dollar Room, in a heritage building on Spadina Crescent, may disappear this coming May. Student housing will soon replace the 118-year-old Waverly Hotel next door.
Mayor JOHN TORY: “It’s the bad-news side of a strongly and rapidly growing city. While there are some places being lost, there are lots of other often smaller places that are a bit more out-of-the-way that are still thriving and we want to make sure that continues to be the case.”
Musician PRIYA PANDA at the Cherry Coke Bar says this should be a priority at City Hall. In other words, get on with it.