Music History

Published on May 9th, 2014 | by Alan Cross

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If You’ve Ever Been Involved in Toronto Music in Any Way, Read This

Whether the rest of the country wants to acknowledge it or not, Toronto is the centre of the music universe in Canada.  Not only is the industry concentrated here but the city is able to support dozens of scenes and new sounds.

But that doesn’t mean that Toronto always gets it right–especially when it comes to the morons that run this city.  In fact, there are plenty of situations where things have been not much fun at all.

Alan Jones, writing for Random House Canada, offers this “not-fun” history of Toronto music.  It starts with the really stinky issue over banning EDM events at Exhibition Place (city property) and then details some other events that…well, you’ll see.

A month ago, The Board of Governors for Toronto’s Exhibition Place voted 4-3 in favour of banning all-ages electronic dance music (known to the kids as EDM) events at the city-owned venue. This decision, which may be reversed by City Council this week, was surrounded by a great deal of colourful language about “the children,” who have made for a convenient political volleyball of late, having also been cast at the centre of The Beer Store’s scaremongering campaign to prevent competition from convenience stores.The motion to ban EDM events was introduced by York West’s own gonzo councillor Giorgio Mammoliti at the behest of Zlatko Starkovski, friend of Rob Ford (who affectionately calls him “Z”) and owner of Muzik Nightclub (now famous for being the site of Rob Ford’s encounter with Justin Bieber and, allegedly, cocaine), which operates across the street from the Ex. “I think drug dealers, pedophiles and people of that nature flock to these places thinking they can sell drugs to kids,” Z told the board. “I’m not going to put my name to any one of those children’s deaths and I don’t want Exhibition Place to do that either,” added Mammoliti.

Ironically, city council’s reason for moving EDM events—back when they were known as “raves”—to Exhibition Place was sparked by the actual ecstasy-related death of a 20-year-old, Allen Ho, in an underground parking garage in 1999. At the time, parents called for a ban on raves, but cooler heads prevailed and the Toronto Public Health Board recommended Exhibition Place as the safest venue for such dance parties.

 Keep reading.




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker.

In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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