It’s been a tough year so far for Toronto’s music venue closures, including Hugh’s Room, The Silver Dollar, Soybomb, and the Hoxton. With talk about Toronto becoming the music city and with so much going for us, including our festivals, venues, artists, and labels (not to mention the city crowdsourcing a music strategy), this trend of losing our brick and mortar institutions is troubling to say the least.
The City of Toronto has now made a statement on the issue with a letter to Noisey from Mayor John Tory and Councillor Josh Colle, Chair of the Toronto Music Advisory Council:
Here is part of the letter:
We share the disappointment of musicians, music fans, and the music community at these recent announcements. Most of all, we would like the music community to know that we take the matter extremely seriously and are actively taking steps to address it.
The Toronto Music Industry Advisory Council (TMAC) will discuss the issue of music venue closures at its next meeting on February 13, and will provide expert suggestions and recommendations to City Council about how the City can best support music venues now and in the future.
City of Toronto elected officials and staff have been constantly looking at strategies and actions that might be taken to help our music venues and the musicians and wider communities they support.
Some of the measures taken already include:
- – Council has passed a motion aimed at protecting live music venues
- – The City with the help of local Councillor Joe Cressy has taken steps to protect the Silver Dollar Room so it continues to be a music venue
- – Council has asked staff to focus on helping the city’s nighttime economy
- – Part of the TOCore planning study will look at how to create, maintain music spaces, including pop-up music spaces
- – Ongoing discussions with venue owners about how the City can help them succeed
This is definitely a step in the right direction. We will be following this story as it develops.