Thursday, October 27, 2016Light Rain 7°C

Guvernment Nightclub to enter deadpool after 17 years

Posted by Aubrey Jax / May 1, 2014

Guvernment Nightclub ClosingThe Guvernment and Koolhaus announced today that they're shutting down for good, just when we thought it was safe to bask in a little optimism. If you smell condos, we do too. The venues' sound might have been muffled (check the debate over on our best Toronto live music venues post) but having opened its doors in 1996 after the closing of RPM, the complex was a crucial part of Toronto's early electronic scene and also Canada's largest and longest-running club.

The Guv plans to celebrate its esteemed 17 years - and performances/sets by The Rolling Stones, Prince, Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga, Tiesto, Avicii, and Deadmau5 - with a huge bash, though details are still TBA. The club will be "open as normal through summer and autumn," reads a press release issued by INK Entertainment earlier today. "The farewell will begin in the two or three weeks leading up to The Guvernment's close, with a series of closing parties featuring The Guvernment's closest DJs and promoters, and a grand closing weekend at the end of January [2015]."

Notably, waterfront/Queens Quay condo development has reached a frenzied pace over the last few years. With in-progress developments lining the south side of the street, a massive project proposed at the foot of Yonge Street, and the LCBO selling off its downtown headquarters, it's hard to imagine that the nightclub and live venue won't become part of the residential mix once the music's over.

I guess soon some jerks (maybe you!) will be able to say they live in The Guvernment/RPM with varying degrees of irony depending on their chosen lifestyle brand. Toronto will soon be lacking another mid-sized venue, and though this change was inevitable, both clubs will be missed by Toronto music lovers.



mike in parkdale / May 1, 2014 at 04:46 pm
is it because Rob Ford and Justin Bieber prefer Muziq?

but really... it's a shame. The guv (and warehouse) is an institution in this city. It's a big hole to fill.
James / May 1, 2014 at 04:50 pm
Can't say I'm sad to see the hangout of freshly legal drinkers thinking how cool and awesome they are to be in a club, as that's what it has turned into the past many years.
Lance Francis / May 1, 2014 at 04:55 pm
Is it a secret that this property is being developed by Artscape? I thought that was common knowledge for some time now.
Al / May 1, 2014 at 05:01 pm
Stop trying to make "deadpool" happen.
Ryan replying to a comment from mike in parkdale / May 1, 2014 at 05:02 pm
...that's what she said.
Gavin / May 1, 2014 at 05:13 pm
I've seen some great shows at the Guv. And true, the crowd was getting particularly young and annoying, but isn't that an expectation at any venue? It seems like everything is closing, so I hope all these new condo owners are homebodies!
zktxo replying to a comment from Gavin / May 1, 2014 at 05:21 pm
Well the reason why the crowd is getting younger is because you're getting OLDER. Let's face the music, shall we? LOL. Anyway, this marks an end of an era. Thanks Guvernment for allowing me to have some of the best and most memorable nights of my life! xxxx
MrBig / May 1, 2014 at 05:47 pm
Glad to hear it will be closed , this is a drig club,nothing but trash in this club , all these punks that cant be free without the drugs , this club has made more from dealing drugs than 1 can imagin , not to mention creation of more addicts , I like to be the first to slam the wrecking ball into this dump.
MrBig / May 1, 2014 at 05:48 pm
drug not drig , my bad.
Simon Tarses / May 1, 2014 at 06:55 pm
Condos? Of course! Why the fuck not?

EVERYTHING in this city seems to be getting destroyed or crushed due to these things; where's the hand of whoever runs planning here in this city? Are we going to have everything of value be destroyed because of them?

We need to put a moratorium on these things, before we lose what makes Toronto, Toronto.
Bay St. Guy / May 1, 2014 at 07:18 pm
It's been coming for a while and it really is a shame. Where else are all of the big EDM guys going to play now? You either have to be really pop and fill the rogers center with an all ages show (gross!) or somehow jam into Uniun which isn't big enough. I guess everyone needs to haul to Sound Academy now with its shitty A/V?
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / May 1, 2014 at 07:47 pm
Ignorant comment of the day.

Most cities in North America, even the ones with healthy economies, would kill for Toronto's condos. Even after the recent "rediscovery" of downtowns, many lie in ruins. Try finding a major department store or large supermarket in a big city like Houston -- chances are it is closing or already long gone. Meanwhile, downtown Toronto thrives. Condos are a big part of that. You are literally dumber than dirt if you want a moratorium on residential development. Improve the architecture, sure. Incentivize public space or certain unit mixes, ok. A total freeze? Go smoke some crack with Robbie.

There was a recent article about Cleveland and how the downtown was coming back to life and doing great because their population had doubled. Except that by doubling they meant increasing from 6,000 to 12,000. That's what, the equivalent of 7 or 8 Toronto condos?

As to Guvernment, might be interesting to note how many people died at that place or in front of it over the years. I can think of at least 4 shootings. Music clubs are great, but Guvernment had some serious issues.
bill replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / May 1, 2014 at 08:06 pm
Before the condo boom began a 1/3 of Toronto's downtown was surface parking lots, with a significant number of empty building in former industrial areas, the water front was abandoned by heavy industry leaving a toxic mess rendering the waterfront inaccessible, a great swath of land was dedicated to rail lines. All that is being filled and redeveloped, Toronto is loosing very little it was lost many decades ago. What was left after that is still here.
Since the boom 10k's of peoeple have moved into the city, and there are 1000's more coming. As a result many companies have moved to Toronto creating a lot of jobs. Millions of square feet of office space had opened up with more to come. Toronto arts and culture scene has never been better. There are so many more things to do and choose from to entertain yourself.
So why go back? Why close the gates to the city?
Joey / May 1, 2014 at 08:06 pm
I lost my virginity to a glory hole in the gov :(
going to have to smoke my crack out on the street now.
don't forget to vote for ROB FORD YALL
Steven / May 1, 2014 at 08:08 pm
Perhaps the patrons started getting older and felt odd being in their late 30s trying to fit in with the early 20s crowd.

Good location for condos. A view of the lake would be perfect. Lots of rats (real ones) are a problem in the area though.
Joey replying to a comment from Joey / May 1, 2014 at 09:09 pm
"I lost my virginity to a glory hole in the gov"

No. No I didn't. Stop impersonating me on blogTO.
jef / May 1, 2014 at 09:12 pm
Crap.......and even worse I will loose my best customer and one time competition, .....MR BIG (mouth)
5 Second Search on Google replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / May 1, 2014 at 10:00 pm
From the Wikipedia entry for the city of Cleveland:

As of the 2010 Census, the city proper had a total population of 396,815...
Don't Barricade the Waterfront replying to a comment from bill / May 1, 2014 at 10:04 pm
We need to develop the Waterfront of the city thoughtfully.

We can't just build a 10 kilometre long wall of condos on the waterfront, as much as it seems like it would be beneficial.

We need to put serious thought into developing the land; We can't just sell it off to developers.

Doing so would be the death of the southern portion of downtown Toronto.
Richard replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / May 1, 2014 at 10:16 pm
Yes!!! This is how I've always felt about the residential boom here throughout the city. When I first came to Toronto from Simcoe County about six years ago I thought, wow so much development, this city is in demand and reflects its health and vitality, I BET EVERYONE HERE MUST BE PROUD. I thought the architecture was ok or even great at times, I always thought the soviet-style blocks of the 60s and 70s brutalist style to be truly appalling such as in Jane and Finch.

But then I started reading about the NIMBYs and WOOOWWWW!!! they are so lame, get your heads out of your asses. I would advise that change, good or bad, is never welcome initially. Move to the 905 middle-of-nowhere land where I hail from where you can be as NIMBY as you like.
Richard replying to a comment from bill / May 1, 2014 at 10:22 pm
Yes, another great comment with sense and logic. Hey NIMBYs, read this and take ur heads outta yer asses!!! Condos are at their worst ok looking, but who the hell wants to see parking lots everywhere!?!?!? And the waterfront, oh gawd don't get me started. Sure the Gardiner isn't great, I guess, but the waterfront is there and can be enjoyed believe me!!! I have a feeling about the condo wall complainers are mostly suburbanites driving in along the Gardiner thinking, "oh man I wish I could see more of the lake but I can't", well why not walk down there after work or on the weekend. Bloody complainers, the worst, more than any condo or elevated expressway could ever be.
Logan replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / May 1, 2014 at 10:24 pm
And where would you put the thousands of new people that move to Toronto every year?

I know, we could just pave over a few more farmers fields out where people would have to commute 2-3 hours just to get downtown.

Build up, rather than out.
Marco / May 1, 2014 at 11:07 pm
And nothing of value was lost. The Guv hasn't been "the place to be" for great EDM since at least 2005, and the acts they have been hosting since then can (and are) just as easily be hosted at clubs on Peter St. I've never seen Uniun packed to the gills like The Guv was back when Tiesto and PvD were at their technical prime, so it's safe to say that the age of mega-raves in Toronto has passed. This isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Ash / May 2, 2014 at 12:03 am
Tis a shame to hear that they are closing before the Sound Academy. Outdated equipment, bad sound, and limited occupancy should end its life soon.
Bryan replying to a comment from Marco / May 2, 2014 at 12:37 am
Marco, sorry to break it to ya pal, but you are dead wrong. Guv is STILL packed to the gills most weekends. When they have all access events, it gets so packed, walking to the bathroom to have a piss is a half hour affair. No exaggeration at all on my part. Also, 2008-2011 Guv had some LEGENDARY parties. Sunrise sets on the skybar with dubfire and steve lawler, Markus schulz 7 hr marathon set *TWICE* one time being on a whim, because he loves Toronto so much. I've had some great great times there. In fact, I'd say Guv is the greatest club I've ever been to, in terms of experiences. I've been to clubs and parties all over the world including Ibiza(twice) and guv blows a few of the ibiza venues out of the water, and very strongly competes with others.Although I haven't been going to Guv much the last two years because of all the pop-edm focus($$$$$)Guv will forever hold a place in my heart. Don't knock a Toronto LEGEND. It will be missed.
Mario replying to a comment from Bryan / May 2, 2014 at 02:20 am
Amen brother! Also back then voted no 1 nightclub in North America and no 7 in the world.... :,(
Dan / May 2, 2014 at 03:06 am
The Kool Haus will forever be remembered as the venue which held the best concert I have ever been to. Wolfmother in 2009

RIP, I love you Kool Haus
Dave / May 2, 2014 at 06:34 am
If it wasn't for Ecstacy/MDMA that place would have closed years ago. I went there a few times and it was strange to see so many people fucked up on drugs.
McRib replying to a comment from Dave / May 2, 2014 at 08:10 am
something tells me you didn't spend much time in clubs throughout the 90s-00s
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from 5 Second Search on Google / May 2, 2014 at 08:23 am
The point was about specifically about condos and downtowns. You quoted the entire population of a city that is mostly suburban and looks like this:

A slightly longer search on google would have revealed:

"An estimated 12,000 people now live in downtown Cleveland, double what the population was in 2000, according to the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, a nonprofit organization that represents property owners. Rental occupancy is near a record high of 95 percent. Such growth has roots in initiatives that Rust Belt cities like Cleveland and Detroit are using to lure residents, including tax credits, new business incentives and outreach to millennial professionals looking for affordable and bike-friendly city living."
Deadpool is from the 80s knob replying to a comment from Al / May 2, 2014 at 09:16 am
user-pic never went away.
Matt / May 2, 2014 at 10:24 am
To be honest, I have never seen a truly great show or had a good time at either of these establishments. I really never enjoyed the patrons or the hideous amounts of dry ice. How are you supposed to see a show with that much dry ice?!
Sean / May 2, 2014 at 12:05 pm
I met my girlfriend while watching Thrice preform back in 2013, we are still together today! We just saw Taking Back Sunday and The Used play at the Kool Haus about 3 weeks ago, we went to the spot where we first met and first talked. Its sad to see this place go but it's one of those things about living in Toronto. First rule about living in Toronto: Build a solid history with something and then destroy it, NO NOSTALGIA ALLOWED!

I remember when it was RPM / May 2, 2014 at 12:34 pm
I've seen some great shows at the Warehouse/Koolhaus over the years. This is going to leave the Sound Academy as the only venue of its size in the city, and that's NOT okay.
Chris Dart replying to a comment from bill / May 2, 2014 at 12:47 pm
I don't mind condos. I just want better condos. I want ones that are beautiful to look at from the outside, that can support independent ground floor businesses, and have units big enough you can raise a kid or two. I don't feel like I'm asking for the world here.
Chris Dart replying to a comment from Chris Dart / May 2, 2014 at 12:47 pm
Also, this is a huge loss for live music in the city. It wasn't the best venue, but it filled a niche.
nj replying to a comment from Marco / May 2, 2014 at 03:44 pm
YES! Thank you. Nothing worth my time anyway...
condos n stuff / May 2, 2014 at 08:38 pm
To anyone saying they can't imagine the downtown just being too many residential condos, I say think about Manhattan. It's magic there (to me anyway). If it's done right you can build crazy and varied and interesting downtowns. Tokyo is another example. These places aren't perfect but I agree with the posters saying it's indeed better than parking lot Toronto of yore.

I used to live in the $417hole that is Cityplace (rented, not purchased thankfully). We need to make sure we do better than that, that's all. Cityplace ain't no Park Ave. It's A LOT of money and effort to put up a new condo building. You can't just change them out on the fly, never mind the urban planning aspect. These buildings will be around for a long time. Let's hope glass and steel holds up for 50 or 100 years they way those beautiful grey brutalist concrete bunkers have. Ah, Toronto.
sammy / May 2, 2014 at 09:55 pm
Iskyscraper a friend of mine was a bouncer at guv back in 2001 he was shot by someone he kicked out and he died the guy got , anslaughter because they couldnt find the gun. The reason they couldnt find it is the a-holes running the place refused to shut it down when it happened..... im glad it's finally closing
Karma replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / May 2, 2014 at 11:53 pm
Condos would be lovely if they weren't horrifically overpriced. Despite most peoples best efforts living in these condos is a pipe dream. Yes I agree that the area could use a cleanup I do not agree that some developer should sweeping in and building condos that will cost a fortune to own. The jobs that have been created in the city don't even begin to cover the cost of living there ... When the average "dive" apartment cost over $1000 a month to rent a job that pays only slightly over minimum wage gets no one anywhere fast.
cheese / May 3, 2014 at 12:45 pm
that's one big sausage fest.
jordan replying to a comment from Bryan / May 3, 2014 at 06:23 pm
I back this comment. Condos are not bad in and of themselves, but if it were up to the developers there would be nothing but condos in this city. Guv is an institution and the venue is unique in its size and quality (not just for dance music, but concerts and private events). The loss of guv is a negative in the overall quality of our fair city.
Joe replying to a comment from Matt / May 3, 2014 at 11:44 pm
The dry ice is a cooling system. It looks so cloudy because it's freezing all the moisture that's in the air from everyone.

There's no sense in building a massive air conditioning system that will only be needed a few hours per week for part of the year. Especially when the place has been on death row for ??? years. Just rent a big tank, truck in Liquid N2 before events and pump it through some nozzles.
ChrisMac replying to a comment from Don't Barricade the Waterfront / May 4, 2014 at 06:29 pm
The more people who live along the waterfront, the more vibrant it will be. Consider the lost years - 1990-2005. It was lost because the waterfront was one long line of parking lots. Condos brought people. People wanted amenities.

Besides, Guv is setback from the waterfront - as are most new developments along the lakeshore.
Mike / May 4, 2014 at 08:05 pm
Even even the land is given for condos, why can't they just move the club to another nearby location?
john doe replying to a comment from MrBig / May 18, 2014 at 10:04 pm
F!@k you! GUV is and forever will be the best club in toronto!! i rather party with all the druggies in there and walk out alive or not in a fight, than go to a regular club and end up fighting for bumping into someone!! anyways im heading to freedom tonight!!! guv will be missed
Mick / December 19, 2014 at 07:02 am
I will miss the distinct smell of that place
esta replying to a comment from jordan / December 28, 2014 at 01:08 am
Thats right, Guvernment is an institution that plays a significant part of the cultural quality of Toronto. Toronto has one of the best party scenes in the world (I should know) and a lot of good times have been had at Guvernment. The youth need a place to party, a big place to party. Please replace Guvernment.
Me / January 30, 2015 at 10:36 pm
The real problem is in the citizens of toronto
Toronto is an amazing city but boring, people here don't like parties, don't like see their city as a party city and toronto lacks of energy, so other venues will be closing in the future like that one.
cleaning solutions / August 6, 2015 at 10:00 pm
With cushion wedding rings, there is an beauty and
romantic glow without resorting to flashy effects. Person wearing this kind of
diamond cut are the type that outgoing. In fact, the top cushion diamonds are available in most
antique shops.
Other Cities: Montreal