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Condo pressure claims Fly Nightclub

Posted by Derek Flack / April 30, 2014

Fly Nightclub TorontoFly Nightclub is set to shut down after one last hurrah for World Pride. The lease on the 15 year old establishment is up at the end of June, and as Extra! reports the landlord is looking for a major rent increase that owner Keir MacRae has balked at. Condo pressure is the ultimate culprit, with a new development slated to rise on the site near Yonge and Gloucester.

This has become something of a familiar story in the Village, as big retail and condo developments arrive in the area. A similar situation has jeopardized Zipperz, which is also slated for condo redevelopment. Nightlife in the Village won't be the same in the absence of both dance clubs, though it is possible that someone could still take on the Fly space. The timeline on construction of the condo is up in the air, and a licensed dance club north of Queen isn't exactly a common thing.

Discussion

21 Comments

example / April 30, 2014 at 11:19 am
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Toronto: The city without fun.
Paul / April 30, 2014 at 12:10 pm
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Landlords are ruining this city, and nowhere more so than in the gay village. There really should be some degree of rent control on commercial properties, and property owners should have to pay higher taxes on vacant spaces.
Trevor / April 30, 2014 at 12:17 pm
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Where is there any proof that this due to 'condo pressure'? What does that even mean?
Rick replying to a comment from Trevor / April 30, 2014 at 12:32 pm
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When the property on which a club is located is approved for the development of a 29-storey condo and the landlord wants to jack up the rent pre-construction, it's not hard to do the math.
David L / April 30, 2014 at 12:58 pm
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Nightlife in the village died a long time ago. Truly it started to die when Badlands closed although the end of 5ive really hastened the death.
local replying to a comment from Paul / April 30, 2014 at 01:19 pm
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Agreed Paul. These guys have just been waiting for their lottery numbers to come up, and when they do, they show no consideration for existing (often long-standing) tenants and the neighbourhoods they're in. I'd venture to guess most of them don't live in the city, which further explains their complete disregard. But greed is definitely the main culprit.
Rafa replying to a comment from example / April 30, 2014 at 01:19 pm
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This is clearly a case of homophobia and discrimination! Take it to the Human Rights Commission!
Rafa / April 30, 2014 at 01:33 pm
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In all seriousness, while I have had a few fun nights at Fly in my time, I don't think any of us are in a position to make judgements about what a land owner wants to do with his or her land. Yes, it sucks that all we seem to do is build condos in this city, but if there wasn't demand, there wouldn't be supply. If I stood to make a few million (or more) by selling my gay dance club, you can bet that "but where will the gays party?" won't factor much into my decision making.
prince / April 30, 2014 at 01:43 pm
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what the hell is "Extra!"? it's "Xtra".
steve replying to a comment from Paul / April 30, 2014 at 02:17 pm
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How are landlords ruining Toronto?
Sarah / April 30, 2014 at 02:22 pm
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Fly. What a place. There's really nothing else to say.
Neil replying to a comment from Trevor / April 30, 2014 at 02:30 pm
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Trevor,

I used to work at Fly (2012/13). I can tell you first and foremost that we were well aware of the condo threat hanging above our heads. It was a significant "pressure."

don / April 30, 2014 at 07:28 pm
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Nothing to do with the property being a gay club , the lease is up soon and the owner of the property has the option of either another lease or selling the land or leasing it to someone else. That's how it goes when someone else owns the property your business is sitting on.
MilaCam / April 30, 2014 at 07:37 pm
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The real culprit here is the City itself... I'm sure you're all familiar with the city's tall building guidelines. They are encouraging this sort of development. What the people at the city do not understand is that a good city doesn't mean high rise buildings... even the so called mixed high rise developments do not produce the same diversity as that of a mid rise development. Diversity is an extremely important aspect of a city, I don't have to go on here. Anyway, these new "high rise mixed" developments provide retail rent that is not affordable and therefore only box stores and shoppers can really afford to have a shop there... killing specialty stores. The city needs to get their priorities straight when rezoning. http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=80a70621f3161410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD
MilaCam / April 30, 2014 at 07:38 pm
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Anyway this is all going to hell... people with a different vision of what Toronto should be move while you're ahead.
Owen / May 1, 2014 at 07:12 am
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I say good riddance, the place is a drug hole anyway and overpriced.. Who charges cover in this day and age?
CF replying to a comment from Owen / May 1, 2014 at 06:06 pm
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A.. lot of places?
Random Guy in YOUR Photo / May 6, 2014 at 12:50 am
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In many cities all across North Ameerica the gay club scene has changed. There are a number of factors that created the changes...

1: The people who were clubbing and partying in the 80's and 90's party scene that was booming in the 80;s andand into the 2000's are now much older and have more responsibilities.

2: Many of those same peeole worked out at the gym on a regular basis and made sure they looked good to
go out to their local club on the weekend. It was all about going to the club and doing your drugs and having fun and maybe getting lucky As people get older their bodys change and if you were hot sexy and buff in the 80's that means today you are in your 50's and very difficult to handle the drugs, party all night, and have enough enery to go to work come Monday morning.

3: The drugs available today are NOT the same quality they were then, and the drug market has become MUCH more competative. The people making the drugs are paying more to manufacture the drugs...so either the price goes up or the quality goes down. (this is not the food industry where the price stays the same but the package gets smaller)

4: Most of the people going to clubs today are in their 20's or 30's On a typical Saturday night they will have a couple drinks at a local bar..then heading to the club (Just like in the 80's, 90's amd 2000's.) However when they get to the club they usually have at least one more drink and do NOT do Exstasy or Ketamine or MDA, or MDMA) They might do cocaine, but cocaine does not have the same effects as the previously mentiong drugs.

I have travelled to clubs in Toronto, Montreal, South Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Chicago and other cities over the past 6 years, I have also done numerous Atlantis Cruies. In my opinion the club scene and the circuit party scene have changed. If you want to party and like it was 1999, try an Atlantis Cruise. I know people who go on every Atlantis Cruise that leaves from Florida every year. And many gay Americans now consider the new circut is the Atlantis Cruies
Brendan / May 18, 2014 at 04:02 am
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I've recently been to fly and have seen it completely packed with people so I don't see why they would close it sounds kinda silly why mess with a good thing Fly is the only major gay iconic club from Queer As Folk KEEP IT OPEN!!
Trunch / June 13, 2014 at 01:40 pm
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Clubbing globally is on the decline. Gaydar killed the gay scene and grindr killed off gaydar. Everything is Web based now. I'm 49 and years ago I wouldn't be caught dead staying in on a fri or sat night. Now it's norm as I still have the same amount of interaction socially and I save £500 a month by having chicken deliver itself rather than hitting a bar to pick up chicken for a take away. After 25 years of house and techno we need something new to drag the crowds out.
Danny / July 6, 2014 at 06:25 pm
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It is a shame....we are building so many condos downtown that we are loosing our night life also....be it in the gay village or elsewhere......The village is dying and dying fast.....I have heard there are 4 or 5 more that are going to be going up in the village.....Church & Maitland.....two north of Gerrard and Church and many others.....what will pride be like without a village......what will Toronto be like when there is nothing but condos......

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