moca party toronto

Toronto museum recreating underground nightlife scene in now-gentrified neighbourhood

The city's nouveau riche have a reason to celebrate as the MOCA tries to transform Sterling Road from what was once a chocolate-scented industrial wasteland into a chocolate-scented nightlife hotspot.

The MOCA is gearing up to host a big art party next month that will take over two floors of its new space that was, for many years, a severely dilapidated manufacturing plant.

"[The] MOCA will be transformed into an interactive art party by a group of Toronto’s talented emerging artists," reads the press release.

"This building, at 158 Sterling Road, was once the site of legendary illicit dance parties, raves and punk gigs. Taking inspiration from this past, underground nightlife hub, we will revive its wild legacy for one night only with amazing art and music, lighting MOCA up in the dark."

The theme, however, only focuses on the sexy part of 158 Sterling Road's past in a neighbourhood that's become rife with gentrification, including the MOCA's takeover of that very building

Noteworthy was the controversy that erupted last year when an unauthorized Banksy exhibit arrived at a warehouse near the museum, charging patrons $35 for entry and flooding the area with people. Some mocked the exhibit while others staged a parody exhibit of their own.

Many of the complaints surrounding the exhibition was the insensitivity toward the area's history as a small, working class, industrial hub, headed in large part by the Tower Automotive Building that once made everything from bottle caps to military supplies. 

The MOCA's first endeavour into an after-hours art party like that of Power Ball, All Hours or Friday Night Live sounds good, but it certainly won't have the grittiness of any illicit parties of old.

Lead photo by

MOCA Toronto


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