The City of Toronto Issues a Statement Regarding Music Venue Protection

In the past few months, Toronto has seen a few sic venues closing, including The Hoxton and long-standing venues like Hugh’s Room and the Silver Dollar. In light of these recent closures, the city has teamed up with the Toronto Music Advisory Council to address things like music venue protection in an economy that doesn’t always favour the music industry in our city. With the next meeting taking place February 13th, it’s important to voice your opinions and concerns, as well as ideas, and can do so by sending an email to music@toronto.ca.

“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. 

Read the full statement on behalf of the city and TMAC after the break.

“A joint message about the closing of live music venues from Mayor John Tory and Councillor Josh Colle, Chair of the Toronto Music Advisory Council:

 Toronto’s music community lost a number of live venues in 2016, and sadly, that trend has continued during the first month of this year. We and many of our Council colleagues and the Toronto Music Advisory Council are very aware of these closures.

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

We understand that it has become more difficult for music venues to find and hold onto affordable, accessible spaces, especially in Toronto’s downtown neighbourhoods. Together with TMAC and other partners, the City is already considering a number of recommendations addressing music venue protection, pop-up venues, and the overall health of the nighttime economy. In doing so, we are continually studying how any success stories from other cities might work in Toronto – because the same difficulties our music sector is experiencing here are also being seen across the world in many other cities, including our music alliance partner city of Austin, Texas.

We recognize how important music venues and the communities they nurture are to the social, cultural, and economic fabric of Toronto – from long-standing institutions like Hugh’s Room, the Hoxton, and the Silver Dollar, to the DIY and alternative spaces so important to the artistic grassroots in our city.

Together with the Toronto Music Advisory Council, we are committed to a complete exploration of how to support our music venues. As we deeply miss those venues already lost, we are also hopeful that in 2017, bringing the City together with the music community to generate solutions will help Toronto turn a corner and make progress toward a healthier future for music venues and music in general.”

Photo Credit: @SoTeeOh (IG)