RIVERBOAT1YORKVILLE was the epi-centre of TORONTO’s youth and hippie culture back in the sixties.  And the RIVERBOAT COFFEE HOUSE was the epi-centre of Yorkville.  All that remains of this famous establishment is a plaque in front of a new five-star hotel.  Some of the biggest names in music – Canadian and otherwise – played at the Riverboat: Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, Bruce Cockburn, Murray McLauchlan, Dan Hill and Neil Young, among others.

RIVERBOAT2The cafe is immoralized in ‘Ambulance Blues’ by NEIL YOUNG, shown below in 1965 performing at the RIVERBOAT.  <PHOTO – Manfred Buchheit>Back in the old folky days
The air was magic when we played.
The Riverboat was rockin’
in the rain
Midnight was the time
for the raid.Oh, Isabela, proud Isabela,
They tore you down and
plowed you under.
You’re only real
with your make-up on
How could I see you
and stay too long?