Another Toronto music venue is closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The boat has been around as a Portuguese restaurant and event venue since 1976, but was taken over by the music community in the mid-2000s. Since then, the nautical-themed venue at Kensington Market has been a kitschy venue for parties. DJs and live music, hosting everything from Owen Pallett (then Final Fantasy) and Arkells to community-based music festivals like Pitter Patter Music Fest and Wavelength.
Over the years, celebrities like Dan Levy, Rachel McAdams, Ronnie Wood and Dan Aykroyd have been spotted on the dance floor.
The bar had actually reopened for 50-person queer events and open mic parties when Toronto was in Stage 3 this summer, but it threw in the towel with the latest lockdown.
Since 1976, The Boat has flourished as a Portuguese restaurant, karaoke bar, concert hall, event space and one of the…
Posted by The Boat at Kensington Market on Monday, November 23, 2020
“It is with extreme sadness that we say goodbye to this wonderful community,” they wrote on Facebook. “Like so many places before us, we had done our best to survive this pandemic. We had the best owner who worked with us through these unforeseen times; but we don’t know what the future will bring to this industry.
“We cannot thank everyone enough for all of your support over the years. To anyone who’s ever eaten here, stuck here, DJ here, hosted a birthday party here, danced the night away here, met up with friends for a drink here we mean CHEERS yours. ”
The boat is one of the many music venues that have called it to stop amid the pandemic. Like the Mod Club, which also closed recently, it was one of the city’s tax break venues. But it was clearly not enough.
The Kensington market, in particular, has been facing a business closure crisis.
In Augusta, The Boat was next to Krudar Muy Thai and his music and party mates Round Venue, both of whom were abruptly locked down by their owner earlier this month.
Just yesterday, the Cold Tea bar also announced that it was closing its Kensington site.