I Heart House Toronto Message Board › With clubs disappearing, where will Toronto dance?

With clubs disappearing, where will Toronto dance?

user 21460621
Group Organizer
Mississauga, ON
Post #: 8
I came across this article in the Star this morning about the slow disappearance of night clubs in Toronto. Yes all of those condos are killing the club scene. For example the Guvernment, a mainstay since the 80's has been sold to property developers. Read on house lovers. I would love to hear what you think?

Long live underground!!

At Richmond and Peter streets in Toronto there were once nightclubs on all four corners. Now there are none. Shawn Micallef laments the loss of fun places where “social barriers fall away as people dance. . .”
By: Shawn Micallef Living Columnist, Published on Thu Apr 11 2013

The bright aisles of the Shoppers Drug Mart at King St. West and Strachan is an orderly and Muzak-filled place, a big change from the incredibly loud, dark, and crowded nights this space housed from 1996 to 2000 when it was Toronto’s legendary Industry nightclub.

Legendary because it was one of those rare nightclubs where a bunch of cultures met without fuss — gay, straight, white, black, suburb, downtown — around a shared love of dance music. When a club works the way Industry did, it is alchemy. Social barriers fall away as people dance together in a sweaty heap.
“Clubs are where people meet and intersect; it’s so much more than just about drinking,” says Denise Benson, a DJ who writes about the history of Toronto’s clubs in a bi-monthly Grid magazine column. “It’s where people can define themselves culturally and where new sounds and art forms come from.”

Clubs matter, and Benson’s columns, which she is turning into a book, are a fantastic social history of Toronto. Good clubs are revelatory and liberating; everybody can be whoever they want to be. There’s a reason so many dance anthems are about liberation and freedom. The gay community always found refuge in clubs — and still do — where they could hold on to each other like everybody else could outside. Working class folks get to feel a little Studio 54 glamour when in a club. Social rules are remixed inside.
When Industry was open it was thought to be “way out there,” many blocks from the Clubland cluster between University and Spadina, but the geography of where people go to party expanded considerably as bars opened around the Drake and Gladstone hotels, and even further into Parkdale.
But Toronto is losing its club spaces.

Stand on the corner of Richmond and Peter Streets, the former epicenter of Clubland. Once there were clubs on all four corners, now there are none. Other big club spaces around town are giving way to residences. The huge Guvernment (formerly RPM) site at Queens Quay and Jarvis was recently sold to a developer and Fly, the last remaining big gay club in the Gaybourhood, may be going condo soon too. Do we need to start worrying about where people can dance to loud music?

“Clubs are another artist space when done right. Toronto is crawling with DJs and performers who travel around the world but have no place to play here,” says Benson. “They’re also where new sounds and visual art forms like photography and lighting design come from.” She also points out that clubs employ a lot of people too.

A city where you can’t dance is a city not worth living in. We need places where people can let loose, a release value from the daily drudgery. As Toronto redevelops the in-between parts of town where big clubs once existed, how much farther out will people go for late night liberation? The industrial areas of Weston, Leaside, or Scarborough? A warehouse in south Etobicoke with a world-class sound system? Lousy night transit makes that more difficult.

We need to dance. Let’s leave some space to let loose and be free.
Shawn Micallef writes every Friday about life in the GTA. Wander the streets with him on Twitter @shawnmicallef.
A former member
Post #: 1
"We need to dance. Let’s leave some space to let loose and be free."

The new generation will never get to experience how awesome Toronto's nightclub scene used to be.
user 21460621
Group Organizer
Mississauga, ON
Post #: 9
But what I do like about what's evolving in Toronto is the variety of local DJs playing in smaller intimate bars and lounges. You don't need to be among 500 people to have a good time. I'm liking the parties where you can meet 75-150 people all dancing.

Good Times!!!
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