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Although I have never visited the Holy Oak Café and live music bar at 1231 Bloor St. W. near Lansdowne Ave., I feel as if I know the vibe there pretty well after a couple of years of visiting their website daily to see who’s performing in the room that night.
In that time I have typed the names of a plethora of indie acts I probably would never have heard of otherwise, as the room appears to have been home to a parade of up-and-coming and off-the-radar acts during its eight years of existence.
The roster has included a lot of self-described “queer” performers, feminist acts and arts events of various kinds (book launches, art shows, theatrical performances, dance) making it a haven for such non-mainstream artists in an area that tends to be dominated by less exotic businesses, many of them low-rent enterprises such as dollar stores and discount furniture and clothing outlets.
Like Parkdale and Queen Street West and the Dundas-Ossington areas before it, however, the surrounding area appears to be gradually upscaling as artists and musicians and others who flocked there because of its affordability have started making it more appealing and a number of other little cafés and bars have sprung up since Holy Oak first opened.
And as with many such pioneering rooms before it, the reward that the operators of Holy Oak are reaping for helping to drive property values up is to be forced out by escalating rents.
The room is closing tomorrow evening. A statement on its website succinctly explains why:
“LOVERS! We’ve had a beautiful 8 years of building community and fostering the arts. Unfortunately, Holy Oak is closing up at the end of february. Rent hikes are forcing us out & so we’re on the hunt for a new home. Thank you for all your support over the years! Stay tuned!”
Hopefully the room is able to find a new location but for now it goes dark as of Wednesday.
-Gary 17, TorontoMoon.ca
SHOW LISTINGS for Monday, February 27, 2022
For KEY to listings codes and schemata see note at end of shows list.
Names of subscribers appear in bold, are underlined and, where applicable, include a live link to their websites.
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7-8> “Acoustic Workshop” with host Heather Fielding @ CIUT 89.5 FM broadcast and online
416 – TORONTO CENTRAL
6> Heavy on The Willie @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W. ~Country
6:30> U of T Jazz Ensembles @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $
**7-1 (sign-up at 7, show starts 7:30)> open stage with host tba @ Free Times Café, 320 College St.
*7-10> open stage with Brad Scott @ Lola, 40 Kensington Ave.
7> Dua Lipa @ Mod Club, 722 College St. ~$17.50
7:30> Chris Banks @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave.
7:30> Wintergarten Orchestra @ Seven44, 744 Mount Pleasant Road ~R&B/Swing
8> Ukulele jam @ Tranzac Lounge (Main Hall), 292 Brunswick Ave.
8:40> Field Study; Hillsburn; Vicki Brittle; Christopher McNally @ Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W. ~local indie; 0$
*9:30> open mic with host Mark Villamor at Amsterdam Bicycle Club, 54 The Esplanade
9:30> Rex Hotel Orchestra @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $
10> Jordan John @ The Orbit Room, 580 College St. ~R&B/Blues; $
**10> open mic (2 songs; sign-up starts 8 p.m.) with host Yawd Sylvester @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave.
10> Laura Merrimen @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W.
*10> live musical theatre open mic @ Statler’s, 487 Church St.
416 - TORONTO EAST
7-9> David Hayes & James Clark @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave. ~; 0$
7:30> Marti Aykroyd; guests Fat Head Hazel; Marcia McVean @ The Old Nick, 123 Danforth Ave. ~songwriters; 0$
8:30-10:30> Lotus Wight @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E. ~Country/Blues
*8:45-12> Riverboat Mondays acoustic open stage jam with Julian Taylor & Tyler Ellis @ Dora Keogh, 141 Danforth Ave.
*9-12> The Out of Towners @ Sauce on Danforth, 1376 Danforth Ave.
9-2> Tom Waits Appreciation Congregation @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave. ~Tom Waits tribute; 0$
*9:30-2> Sebastian Agnello & friends @ Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave.; 0$
416 – TORONTO ETOBICOKE
*8-12> Al Reilly’s Catalyst also featuring Anthony Cee & Rick Anderson host Rock jam @ Rockpile, 5555 Dundas St. W.
416 – TORONTO SCARBOROUGH
*8-11> open stage with Dan Walek @ McGradie’s, 2167 Victoria Park Ave.
*9-1> open jam with The Repairmen @ Newfoundlander Tavern, 472 Danforth
416 – TORONTO WEST
5-8> Steve Farruga Quartet @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Jazz
7> Ben Duff Quartet @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St. ~Jazz; pwyc
*7:30> Balfolk @ La Rev, 2848 Dundas St. W. ~French Folk music & dance; $5-10/pwyc
8> Vallis Alps; Matt Maeson @ Drake Hotel Lounge, 1150 Queen St. W. ~touring act; $13.50
8> Smut; WLMRT; Elegance; Bald Britney @ Smiling Buddha Stage 1, 961 College St. ~indie; $
*8-11> Ken Yoshioka @ On Cue Billiards, 349 Jane St. ~Blues
8:30> Keffaleng; OSIYM @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W. ~Urban originals; $15
*9-1> Hamstrung Stringband @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Bluegrass
*9-1> eclectic open stage/jam with host Nelson Sobral @ The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Ave.
10> Parkside Drive @ Drake Hotel Lounge, 1150 Queen St. W. ~Rock; 0$
9-1> Tim Hamel Trio & guest @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Jazz
9:30> Graem Stephen’s Projector Trio @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St. ~Scottish Jazz; pwyc
*10> Liam Kearney @ The Hole In The Wall, 2867 Dundas St. W.
*5> open mic @ Rhapsody Barrel Bar, 179 King St. W., Kitchener
*8-12> open stage @ The Boathouse, 97 Jubilee Drive, Kitchener
*8-2> Matt Weidinger @ Jimmy Jazz, 52 Macdonell St., Guelph ~acoustic originals & covers
9:30> Turk and the Hobbits @ Duke of Wellington, 33 Erb St. W., Waterloo
*7> Rick & Gailie @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
9?> jam night with Rob Drake @ Sticky Fingers Dunlop, 199 Essa Rd.
10> Claire Coupland @ The Garnet, 231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough
*8-11> open stage @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa
9:25-1:05> jam/open stage with backline @ Sneakers Uptown, 18025 Yonge St., Newmarket
*8> The New Rebel Westerners @ Cat ‘n’ Fiddle, 174 John St. S., Hamilton ~Country
11> Mary Simon @ Gallagher’s Bar, 69 Augusta St., Hamilton
*7-10> open mic with Chris Partland @ The Purple Heather, 3600 Dundas St. W., Burlington
**8-12> BBQ & jam night with Wayne Cheddie @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville; ($8.95 with BBQ dinner special starts at 6)
*9-1> The Dedbeats @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Rock ‘n’ Roll
*9:30-1> jam with Tom Barlow @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit
Listings are organized by area in which the shows occur and within each area field shows are listed chronologically.
Listings preceded by an asterisk (*) are repeating weekly events. (Double asterisk indicates repeating event with different hosts/guest/etc.). Events preceded by question mark (?) usually take place but have not been confirmed. Admission prices followed by a slash and minus (/-) after the amount indicates door charge with availability of cheaper rates for some purchases. /+ indicates stated price is minimum.
-Copyright © 2017 by Gary “17” Webb-Proctor & TorontoMoon,ca. All Rights Reserved