Will Munro, 1975-2010
Will Munro, the Toronto-based artist who helped redefine what “queer” meant in Toronto, passed away on Friday morning of brain cancer. Munro founded Vaseline (re-dubbed Vazaleen to dodge unhappy lawyers for Unilever), a monthly dance night at the El Mocambo and Lee’s Palace that helped launch such Canadian artists as Peaches and the Hidden Cameras to stardom. After the legendary party series ended, Munro went on to become the proprietor of the Beaver Café at Queen West and Gladstone, giving queers a place to dance, drink and brunch as the neighbourhood grew more and more gentrified. The Beaver became Munro’s DJ headquarters, too, where he hosted such nights as No T.O. and Peroxide. At a memorial in Trinity Bellwoods Park on Friday, a large crowd gathered to celebrate Munro’s life (complete with fireworks) and the influence he had on Toronto. He will be missed.
• Read “Generation V,” R.M. Vaughan’s story on how Vazaleen changed Toronto »