Lead Photo: Rene Beignet
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Sunday, April 23, 2017
Plan to Save Matador Rejected on Same Day Mayor Tory Sings Music City’s Praises When it comes to Music City, Mayor John Tory has a serious credibility problem.
On Friday Tory stated confidently that “we’re at the height of music success” in Toronto. The same day city building officials rejected a fully compliant plan to save one of Canada’s most iconic and storied live music venues. “It is hard to take anything Mayor Tory or council says about music city seriously, especially the two local councillors, Ana Bailao and Mike Layton” says Matador Ballroom Owner Paul McCaughey.
“The last few months have been brutal for our city’s music venues. The Hoxton, Hugh’s Room and Silver Dollar Room all face uncertain futures and closures and the Mayor comes out on Friday claiming that music city is a runaway success? The Mayor needs to stop talking and start acting. We submitted a strong plan that fully complied with building requirements while also preserving and enhancing this unique Toronto landmark. There is no reason the city shouldn’t be able to work with us and approve our plan.”
Paul McCaughey purchased the storied Matador, originally opened in 1916, in 2009 and has been road blocked and delayed ever since. He is trying to protect and preserve a space that could easily become another condo or generic retail space. “We are trying to do something good, to reopen an iconic music venue and preserve cultural space in the heart of our city.” McCaughey said. “But Toronto lacks the civil leadership from the Mayor’s office on down to actually address this issue. We call on Mayor Tory to step up and act right now⎯time is running out.”
The Matador Ballroom has a wide range of supporters in the music, cultural and business community, and they are meeting this week to discuss how best to activate support to hold our elected officials accountable.