crews and tangos

It looks like Toronto may not lose Crews & Tangos after all

With the hectic and frankly terrifying news cycle that the COVID-19 pandemic has created, Toronto could really use a good news story completely unrelated to coronavirus right about now — and the staff at beloved drag bar Crews & Tangos have brought us just that.

While many have been mourning the impending loss of the one-of-a-kind Church-Wellesley staple — which was due to be demolished for a condo project after two more years of operation — it seems real estate developer Graywood has decided to listen to calls from the public.

In an Instagram post made late on March 16, Crews announced that Graywood and the venue's owner, Michael Ramawad, "are exploring a joint plan aimed at maintaining a presence for Crews & Tangos in the future new development."

"We are committed to finding a solution to maintain this crucial space for the LGBTQ2S+ community," Ramawad said in the statement, which goes on to detail how the condo giant has come to understand and appreciate the significance Crews holds in the community.

As planning for the complex is still in its early stages, it is unclear how exactly the internationally-renowned bar will be incorporated into the mixed-use condo tower that is due to take its place, but the news has been welcome to many Toronto residents nonetheless.

"The best thing I've heard all day," one Instagram user said.

"So glad to see this, especially during this crisis," another added.

But, some are understandably concerned about the vague wording of the release.

"Doesn’t really say they’re keeping it the way it is," one commenter chimed in.

"As much as I love this, the last statement concerns me. Maintaining the cultural heritage... this line is used to keep the front of a building and tear the rest down. It’s lawyer talk," another said. "We can’t give up our fight to preserve our home, culture and safe spaces!"

As a petition to save the establishment continues to garner vocal support, we'll have to wait and see what plans are in place to keep Crews alive in a new iteration. There is also no word yet on whether any part of neighbouring cocktail lounge Boutique Bar will be salvaged along with it.

Lead photo by

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