Music News

When It Comes to Toronto Music News, There’s Some Good News and Some Bad News…

Let’s start with the good news.

Hugh’s Room, the much-beloved club in Toronto’s west end is going to re-open March 3 thanks to the generosity of some music fans. They’ve raised some money to get the club back on track and have vowed to help with fundraising and financial restructuring. Yay!

Now the bad news: The rescue of Hugh’s Room is an anomaly as Toronto music venues continue to close at an alarming rate. The Toronto Star reports:

In the first two weeks of January, Toronto music venues seemed to be dropping like flies.

[D]ance club and indie band venue The Hoxton announced that it’s closing its doors at the end of January.

While the overall impression is that the 2017 Toronto live music scene is hurting due to dwindling attendance and interest, the reasons behind each venue’s closure seems to be more complicated than simply attributing them to audience apathy.

For example, businessman Richard Lambert, who co-owns the Hoxton with Toronto concert promotion firm Embrace and has hosted a wide variety of acts, DJs and after-parties ranging from The Chainsmokers to Skrillex to Zedd at the 627-capacity venue over the past five years, said that it wasn’t financial considerations that resulted in its closure.

“I guarantee you we would not close that club if the landlord had said, ‘Here’s a five-year lease,’ ” Lambert told the Star on Monday. “It would still be there — probably not because of me, but because the Embrace boys, this is what they do.”

Read the full story here. And by the way, punk club Soybomb HQ has closed, too.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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3 thoughts on “When It Comes to Toronto Music News, There’s Some Good News and Some Bad News…

  • IMO it has nothing to do with dwindling interest (or a conspiracy to shut down DIY venues in the Soybombs case) Venues open, venues close, that’s how things work. In a span of 5 years, I’ve seen something like 10 venues close, small, medium, all ages, DIY, but there’s always new venues that takes it’s place. I think this is getting more attention because this shatters the proclamation of Toronto as some great music epicentre,

  • Soybomb wasn’t a club.

  • Lots of music studios closing too. Mike Turner’s ‘Pocket Studios’ comes to mind. It’s a changing business, and live music isn’t easy to promote compared with dj inspired clubs. I’ve found many live music venues suffer from lack of promotion overall, because they expect the bands to do it all for them every night. To them i say good riddance


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