Ten signs of the death of the Entertainment District
The condo invasion is old news to all of Toronto. Except clubland. The point of packing dozens of nightclubs into one area was to contain the noise and stumbling Paris Hilton wannabes, hence the lack of pricey real estate in the Entertainment District. But, as the Toronto Star reports, only about 30 clubs are open for business today in the area between Richmond and Wellington around John Street, down from almost 90 five years ago. With city proposals to build more condos and other developments, the end of clubland as we know it is near. Here, 10 reasons why the fist-pumping hub is on its last legs.
1. The end of 117 Peter Street
A new proposal would turn 117 Peter Street—the headquarters for clubs Embassy, Traffik and Home as well as post-Jägerbomb destination Pizzaville—into a real estate value-friendly hotel and condo complex. So far, only a “Development Proposal” has been placed on an entrance.
2. The revitalization plan
Last summer, the city and the Entertainment District BIA announced an amitious revitalization project to create more parks and boutiques, widen the sidewalks and turn John Street into an artist-designed promenade (bring in the festivals). At the time, councillor Adam Vaughan said the neighbourhood would become “everything the city needs a street, a neighbourhood, a district to do.” We assume this means fewer watering holes for newly legals and more stuff for people with money.
3. Circa is gone
The clubland canary, a nightclub, art gallery and amusement park hybrid, closed in the spring after an 11-month wait to get a liquor license, squabbling among the staff and $2.1 million in accumulated debt. The closest thing to a landmark clubland has had for the ought generation didn’t even last three years.
4. The booming ‘burbs
Not to stereotype, but 905ers looking for the ultimate Friday night have made up a sizable portion of the clubbing crowd. But more clubs have been popping up in the GTA’s outer limits with a winning formula of deafening bass minus the commute downtown.
5. The new Ritz-Carlton
Luxurious hotels always want to be where the action is, but we’re guessing the average evening’s debauchery just blocks away from where the Ritz-Carlton will be opening up this year at Wellington and Simcoe isn’t really what the developers have in mind. Cue skyrocketing rents to squeeze them all out.
6. The 2nd @ Montana’s closed
It was an intriguing concept: a lounge atop roadhouse-fare restaurant Montana’s to lure clubbers after their rib-eye. Neither survived.
7. Pop can’t decide on a name
First it was Liquid, then Fluid (imaginative!), and barely a few years into its latter moniker it became Pop. Pretty soon the club is going to get the hint that changing the name won’t suddenly make you profitable.
8. Moon Rooftop closed
After only a year, Toronto’s rooftop club experiment bit the dust, showing that when it comes to clubland, it’s best if patrons are neither seen nor heard.
9. Runway 244 (a.k.a. Seven Lounge) closed
Maybe it was the unisex bathrooms that turned people off, but this classic two-storey club could easily have filled the void of go-to weekend spot for the Circa crowd. (Unfortunately, both went bust within months of each other.)
10. The rise of King West
Much of the graduating class of the Entertainment District has moved a few blocks south to see and be seen. With scores of luxe lounges and the recently opened Thompson Hotel, King has become the new epicenter of classy nightlife, which relegates clubland to being the place for sketchy drink fests.
16 thoughts on “Ten signs of the death of the Entertainment District”
Honestly, that scene is hugely pathetic. This article is the best news in a long time. 905 back to 905. Take your crime and bad attitude/clothing with you.
Its not only the 905ers but the SCARBOROUGH set who will be hurt when they cant travel down the DVP onto Richmond street to dance, party, walk in heels they cant walk in, barely dressed and then vomit on our sidewalks! Stay in burbia.. we wont miss ya.. bring on the condos!!
Good riddance, for sure, but one thing we are all forgetting is where will all the douchebag club kids go? They will invade King West (it’s already becoming unbearable) and next thing you know they will flood Queen West more than they are now, making that area the next clubland. Can you Imagine the area between the Drake and Ossington in five years?
Typical 416ers. If wasn’t for the 905 working and partying downtown, The Core would be another empty, hollowed out wasteland. Be careful what you wish for you snobby, self righteous, snots.
rich is right , in order to flourish as a city , we have to accept these parasites who vomit and urinate all over our town because they dont realize that people actually live here (and not just in condos !) .
their business allows us to open up more fun new restos and boutiques for them , so that they can buy cool clothing and then wear it wrong , and even eat good food on occasion , when they read an article about black hoof and decide to be really urban and adventurous and skip the delicacies at spice route for a night … or something .
they drive their cars everywhere and make the air a gazillion times more polluted , harrass the homeless during their drunken rampages , and generally bring the cultural value of our way cool city down by quite a few notches , but lets not be “snots” , lets accept all this , because they bring in the bucks , and we all know that the customer is always right .
they will all be voting for rob ford and then thanks to the wonders of amalgamation , if he actually wins , the johns of the burbs may finally pimp our city into full fledged sexual slavery , instead of just coming downtown every weekend and hitting a massage parlour .
The core was actually a fun place when it was still “another empty, hollowed out wasteland” before it turned into Jersey Shore meets Disneyland. Contrary to the gentrification cheerleaders, there were actually a lot of events going on down here, the Ed Hardy Brigade just didn’t know about it.
Many of the things the writer posted, aren’t addressing the real cause. As in other articles I’ve read on this subject, they always seem to miss the fact that demographics have shifted and the 20-somethings who supported clubland have grown up.
One of the true valid points is the shift to 905, but even that is not 100% true. The shift to 905 is not so much that the young 20 somethings aren’t going downtown, but it’s the 30ish people who are no longer coming downtown. And during clublands hey day, I knew of many 30 somethings who weren’t coming downtown from the 905 as there were many options to enjoy at home in the 905. All we’re seeing is the same 30ish people doing what they’ve always done – stay home, enjoy their houses, friends and local establishments. This even includes the 416ers who did go to these clubs – they stay local or at most head out to King West.
It’s this same reason that the lounges have picked up their business in King West areas, as someone in their 30s tend to move towards more “mature” settings. It’s not that douchebags have disappeared, they’ve just moved to a different setting and wear their Ed Hardy underneath their button down shirts.
So yeah, this list is not really “reasons for why the fist pumping hub is on its last legs” but more accurately in the headline as “signs” why it is. The real reason is simple – demographics. And nothing to do with 905ers or douchebags, as there are many of those who live within the 416 borders also.
Being from the Burbs and now living downtown, I see both the positive & negative sides of this.
To be honest, it would be better for Clubland to exist on Richmond. It’s easier on police resources to contain the majority of the 19-24 party-goers in one area. Once the Entertainment District dies, imagine all these little kids partying in Parkdale, Little Italy, King West, West Queen West … all these areas will become flooded with complete debauchery. Then once again we’ll be finding ourselves in the same situation with wanting to move all of them to another area of the city.
Every major city has its party problems, but removing & relocating them isn’t the way to handle it. I suggest we have one main area for them to party, like the Entertainment District, and let all of the smart party people continue to enjoy what they have. This way it’ll be easier to contain & manage the 905ers and their barf/urine infected fun.
I’m with Greg. These are definitely not the reasons why club land is dying. These are the symptoms.
Whether or not this is a positive occurrence, well, that is yet to be seen. People will continue to gravitate to the 416 no matter what — that’s a promise. Where they decide to park their cars, buy their booze, and cause their ruckus, that’s a moot point really … College, Liberty Vllg, Queen W West, parkdale, Ronces, Dundas, etc.. it don’t matter. That is the output.
What we control, and what should really be discussed is the input. Spoiled kids with garbage attitudes is what Toronto Life should address — I’d read that article. That Fist Pumper Jersey Shore indifference to real-world issues that prevails among current Club Land patrons is a problem. It’s this ignorance and disrespect that The 416 is reluctant to host. If these young people were an interesting, inspiring bunch with oodles to contribute in the way of creative development of the downtown core, I doubt ANYONE would be celebrating the demise of the area they currently congregate in.
Death to Clubland means absolutely nothing. Lets concentrate on fostering intelligent, conscious, artistic and creative young adults.
Yeah, never any 416’rs in Ed Hardy garb.
With the death of Clubland, what will the skinny-jeaned, tattoo-sleeved, trilby hat-sporting, beard and moustache-wearing, bieber-esque hair-sprouting, oversized toques/scarves in mid-summer bearing complain about?
Soon it’ll be cool (or uncool? I never know with this group) to live in Queen West West West.
Little known fact: That’ll be Mississauga.
The best news that I have read. I won’t have to wear my bullet proof bra anymore and won’t ruin another pair of high heels stepping on the drunks.
I live in the 905 area and I really enjoy the shopping, and the many great restaurants and lounges that Toronto has to offer.
You can create an area that’s “Classy Cool”. Nice restaurants, great shopping, small parks with local artwork displayed, nice lounges, sidewalk cafes, and great hotels.
Let’s face it the area is in need of a major face-lift!
“Death to Clubland means absolutely nothing. Lets concentrate on fostering intelligent, conscious, artistic and creative young adults.”
That would require a death of the 905 as well.
Ignorance is indeed bliss. Stupid git.
Running with the Bulls in Spain wasn’t just about Toros. This world party lasted 24 hours a day. Drunk, puking, urinating, sleeping, sexing in the streets. The parks were filled with kids sleeping with the local homeless with their passports as a pillow. Come 5am the cleaners and the cops came around and the streets were spotless for the Bulls and terrified runners the next day.
All clubland needed was a crew to finish the night and clean it up for the people that lived there. Some Cops on horseback and then back to work for the 750 people that called Clubland home.
hit it right on. Keep the clubland kids in the entertainment district and it will be much easier to control them. Have city cleaning crews and increased police presence in the area.
We could even go the London route and get CCTV in the entertainment district… Kind of taking things far but it might help all the ‘416ers’ stfu.
I think that clubland needs to incorporate clubs in condos with Extreme sound proofing if this area didn’t have clubs it would be a dead hollowed out shell as a city with a world class night life we need to incorporate where people live work and play into one rather then having the clubs scattered out all over the GTA and disturbing half the city
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