The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #119892   Message #2603652
Posted By: mike gouthro
02-Apr-09 - 11:28 PM
Thread Name: Toronto Folk History
Subject: RE: Toronto Folk History
I moved to Toronto from Montreal in 1979 so I can't contribute early roots memories.

But I do remember Cafe On The Park on Eglinton west of Yonge. It was a cozy narrow L-shaped room with a free bar area in front and a paid performance area in the back.

I don't know the owner but he clearly had a passion for folk music. He brought a number of first string performers in from the United States when the (few) other venues in the city exclusively showcased local acts. I saw Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Dave Van Ronk and Eric Andersen there.

Unfortunately, this period was short lived - perhaps a couple of years in the mid 1980's. Some aspect of the operation ran afoul of union interests and the doors were summarily locked.

To my recollection it wasn't until Hugh's Room opened in 2001 that Toronto once again had a venue to host the best folk and roots performers. Later in this thread, I'm sure someone will do justice to Hugh's Room which has been a godsend.