The Big Bop in Toronto Set To Close

December 5, 2009

There are reports and rumours today in Toronto that The Big Bop is set to close it’s doors.  And let me tell you folks, I’m a particularly sad panda upon hearing this news…

I heard the first rumour this morning and the gossip seems concrete with the Globe and Mail reporting in a story last night that:

Owner Dominic Tassielli said The Big Bop, at the corner of Queen Street West and Bathurst Street, will “shut down completely” shortly, but that an announcement on the site’s future will come next week.

The triple-decker complex encompasses three key Toronto music venues in one – The Kathedral, The Reverb and Holy Joe’s upstairs. It’s a busy place, and nearly every night of the week you can see band vans and u-haul trailers parked outside on Queen Street West.

The Big Bop was one of the first venues that I stumbled across when I first came to Toronto in 2006. In truth, it’s pretty hard not to stumble across the place, as it stands painted bright purple at the corner of Queen Street West and Bathurst.

I liked The Big Bop from first visit, with it’s chilled-out vibe inspired by the grungy and slightly run-down aesthetics. Some music venues can be off-putting by being too clean and sterile – The Big Bop is by no means a dive, but it’s suitably grimy to be an authentic rock and roll venue. The staff are always friendly too.

The three Big Bop venues get heavily-used for Toronto’s biggest music festivals, including NXNE, Canadian Music Week and Indie Week. The calendar on The Big Bop’s website currently shows listings up to March 2010, with the venue set to be part of Candian Music Week once again – time will tell if the venue will still be open by the that time.

Queen Street West is the main artery of Toronto’s music scene, with its venues providing the lifeblood and energy of everything that happens – it just won’t be the same without The Big Bop. I’m crossing all my extremities in the hope that a new owner will come along to re-open the place open as a music venue.

When the doors of The Big Bop do close for good then it will be sorely missed.

Brian Banks

Editor and Founder, Music Vice Magazine. Writer. Photographer. Poet. From Scotland. Not Ireland. Proudly based in Toronto, Canada. Rock N' Roll Don't Pay The Rent... 

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