RIP: Fat Albert’s mainstay Ray Peak has passed away

Ray Peak -courtesy Carole Joskowitz

Ray Peak -courtesy Carole Joskowitz


One of the most familiar faces of all time at Fat Albert’s Open Stage & Coffee House over the past several decades never strummed a guitar at its weekly open stage.

Ray Peak, who, along with Ed Matthews, was one of the original team that ran the event when it started in the basement of Bloor United Church, has passed away at age 86.

I remember him from the mid-1980s when I first visited the event, which now takes place in the Steelworkers Hall on Cecil Street.  For a ridiculously cheap admission fee of around a dollar (if that) music fans got to hear some of the icons of the music business and could also purchase donuts and coffee for next to nothing. Ray would introduce the acts and also help with the food and drinks but never performed to my knowledge.

Ray was known as a gentle soul who, after relinquishing his role with the coffee house a few years ago, continued to support live music by attending shows in his East TO neighbourhood and beyond.

Many artists have expressed their sadness at his passing on the Fat Albert’s Facebook group.

A visitation was planned for Saturday, Sept. 26 at Trull Danforth Funeral Home, 1111 Danforth Ave. from 2 to 4 p.m. followed by a funeral service in the Trull Danforth Funeral chapel. Friends and fans can also visit an online obituary and book of condolences.

-Gary 17,