<PHOTO ABOVE – the Yonge Street strip in the 1960’s>

First came the world’s original Hard Rock Cafe. That was replaced in 2018 by a Shopper’s Drug Mart franchise. Recognizing the musical history of this downtown neighbourhood, Shoppers did the right thing. The building’s second floor became a micro museum honouring the musicians and their nightclubs that once inhabited these blocks.

<Friar’s Tavern, c 1960s-70s; the BIA (Business Improvement Area) produced the project, and Shopper’s franchise owner ANDREW YEH underwrote it. Admission is free.>

Among those who frequented Yonge Street’s clubland in the 50s, 60s and ‘70s – Bob Dylan, Robbie Lane (now a nighttime dj on Zoomer Radio), Grant Smith, Cathy Young, Ronnie Hawkins, Ritchie Knight & The Mid-Knights, David Clayton-Thomas & The Shays, George Olliver, Jay Jackson, Jeff Cutler of Jon & Lee & The Checkmates, and Jay Douglas and Everton “Pablo” Paul of the Cougars, Oscar Peterson, Jackie Shane, as well as radio legends Duff Roman and Doug Thompson.

<PHOTO ABOVE – the micro museum occupies 140 square-feet.  Exhibits will change this spring>


<PHOTO BELOW – the drum wall at the Museum.  Other “micro museums” planned for the strip include Yonge Space, a pop-up gallery at Yonge and Gerrard streets, a tribute to Sunrise Records and a display celebrating the Colonial Tavern.>

<PHOTO BELOW – the city-building founders . . .>

Pictured L-R: Jay Douglas (formerly of the Cougars), singer-songwriter Cathy Young, Everton “Pablo” Paul (Cougars), Bernie Letofsky (Cheapies Records), Bobby Sniderman (Sam the Record Man), Shoppers franchise owner Andrew Yeh, Grant Smith (of Grant Smith & the Power), Downtown Yonge BIA head Mark Garner, Robbie Lane (of Robbie Lane & the Disciples) and Jeff Cutler (of Jon and Lee & the Checkmates).

On FACEBOOK there are lots of photos – https://www.facebook.com/FriarsMusicMuseum/

<ABOVE – clubland on a weekend night, 1960’s – Ryerson Polytechnical students loved TORONTO’s ‘great white way’And there were cheap movies too.  TRIPLE BILL ANYONE?>