Music History

Dead rooms: Toronto music venues that no longer exist

A healthy city is always being rebuilt and renewed. However, this renewal often comes at a cost. Rising property values lead to rising rents forcing some tenants to either cut back or move out. And sometimes they have nowhere to go.

This is often the case with music venues. As a neighbourhood gentrifies, clubs and bars feel the squeeze. It’s been terrible in Vancouver for years. The real estate boom has made it impossible for small venues to survive in the city. And with all the construction in downtown Toronto, a lot of rooms have shut down.

Cameron Gordon over at Completely Ignored as a fascination with these buildings. Click on the graphic to see the whole thing.

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.

Alan Cross has 38296 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

2 thoughts on “Dead rooms: Toronto music venues that no longer exist

  • Of course these venues are closing. People in Canada seem to have no appreciation for their history generally and their cultural history specifically. I can’t imagine the same thing occurring in the U.S. They tend to have a greater collective commitment to preserving their history and culture.
    There will be nothing left to show future generations how we got to where we are, since we won’t know where we came from. How unfortunate.
    In Winnipeg, they are constantly demolishing historic buildings, parks and venues. I guess they figure in today’s world it might offend someone.

  • The most underrated and overlooked period in Toronto’s music history was the period between 2005 and 2010. Riding on the momentum of Torontopia, small makeshift venues and DIY spaces were popping up everywhere. Local promoters were taking risks. It wasn’t about bar sales, it was all about the music and pushing the boundaries. Here’s a fun fact, on Augusta in Kensington Market, there were once 9 venues that featured live bands. I don’t think you’ll see that again.


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