Toronto's Historical Plaques
Discover Toronto's history as told through its plaques
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Riverboat Coffee House
Photos by Alan L Brown - Posted July, 2009
Photo Source - Yorkville
In front of a hotel at 118 Yorkville Avenue, just east of Avenue Road, is this 2009 Heritage Toronto plaque which tells us about the legendary coffee house. Here's what it says:
Coordinates: 43.670688 -79.393784
Opened in 1964 in the basement of a Victorian row house that once stood on this site, the Riverboat coffee house quickly became one of North America's premier intimate venues for singer-songwriters.
On the leading edge of the surging folk and blues music scene, the Riverboat featured performances on its small stage by such legends as John Lee Hooker and Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, as well as by young performers like Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, and Arlo Guthrie. It also provided an early stage for musicians who would become some of the biggest names in Canadian music, including Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Cockburn, Murray McLauchlan, and Dan Hill. Neil Young immortalized the Riverboat in his song "Ambulance Blues."
A legendary music venue of the 1960s and one of the longest running coffee houses of its era in Canada, the Riverboat outlived Yorkville's hippie scene, but closed its doors in 1978.
> Posted December 7, 2009
This type of talent continues in a place called Hugh's Room. That could be the next Riverboat. Sooo refreshing.
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