Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Tuesday Treasures

 Tom the backroads traveller hosts this weekly meme.

October 2021 - Toronto ON

Click here for a history of Toronto lane naming and a list of other lanes. That post is a work in progress, and gets updated frequently.

It looks like I stumbled on this lane at the right moment. I was here on October 19 and on October 28 the El Mocambo Facebook page said:

Mayor John Tory has been busy, he was mentioned in yesterday's Monday Mural.

Although I think there was more painting done on the weekend of Oct 23, so I will have to go back. I also wonder if the city put up an official street sign.

The El Mocambo is a live music and entertainment venue on Spadina Avenue, just south of College Street, the bar has played an important role in the development of popular music in Toronto since the 1940s.

It is best known for the 1977 surprise show by The Rolling Stones, which became nationally notorious for the presence of then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's wife, Margaret Trudeau , who was partying with the Stones.

Apocryphally, the original building at 462 Spadina had been a music venue since 1850 and was first used as a haven for escaped slaves. The current building was built in 1910 and housed a dry goods store, a barbershop, and restaurants in its first three decades. With the passage of the Liquor Licence Act of 1946, which allowed the sale of liquor in taverns and restaurants in the province for the first time since World War I, restaurateurs Joseph Brown and John Lang decided to apply for one of Toronto's first liquor licences and convert their property at 464 Spadina into one of the city's first cocktail bars. Live music was not permitted until July 1948 when the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario reversed an earlier ban. In later configurations of the establishment musical acts appeared on separate stages located on the main and second floor of the building. By the 1960s, Adam Schuy owned the venue which, by then, featured music appealing to Toronto's Hungarian, Irish, and Portuguese communities. By the time Schuy died in 1971, striptease was being featured on the main floor.

Over the years other major music acts appeared at the venue, including Marilyn Monroe, internationally famous jazz performers, including Grover Washington Jr., Charles Mingus, and Al Di Meola, and rock acts such as U2, Switchfoot, Moxy, Elvis Costello, The Ramones, John Cougar Mellencamp, Duran Duran, Dream Theater, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, April Wine, Eek A Mouse, Durutti Column, Snakefinger, Bo Diddley, Tom Cochrane and Red Rider, Blondie, The Cars, Meat Loaf, Jimi Hendrix, Queens of the Stone Age, Bon Jovi, Teenage Head, Sum 41, Shakin' Natives, Etta Royal and Congress Court.

The club was expected to close after a last show on November 6, 2014, However, on the eve of its impending closure it was announced that the club had been purchased for $3.8 million by Michael Wekerle, who intended to renovate it but maintain it as a live music venue. 
Five years and $35 million in renovations later, the big day finally arrived for Michael Wekerle in September 2020.

I took this photo just after they opened in September 2020.

The daughter of a friend was a camera person working at an opening show and took these photos inside.

Washroom signs.

More photos from my October 2021 visit.

In retrospect I think they were getting ready for the weekend's events.

Painted by STEAM 2021.

Looks like an old Elicser.


  1. I spent many an evening there in the 70s. It won't be the same.

  2. Very nice looking place. Apparently legendary. Would love to visit there and listen to some live rock n´ roll. After this corona that is. :)

  3. This looks amazing! Great shots!
    Thanks for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2021/11/the-return-of-butterfly.html

  4. ...what an exciting community, it looks like a fun destination. Thanks Jackie for sharing, take care and enjoy your week.

  5. Wow! I would love to see Mocambo and the rest of the neighborhood. It looks so fun!


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