Downtown Toronto strip club closes after almost 30 years in business
Toronto's strip club scene just got two steps closer to full extinction with the closure of a long-running adult entertainment venue on King Street West.
For Your Eyes Only will not be reopening post-pandemic like other strip clubs in downtown Toronto... all five of them that still exist.
A representative for FYEO and its airport-area sister club, The Landing Strip, confirmed to blogTO on Thursday that both venues had recently closed down "solely for the reason that we sold the real estate."
FYEO's rep could not say who purchased the properties, only that he had been told neither would operate as adult entertainment clubs in the future.
Provincial business records show that the club was first issued a licence to operate in April of 1992. The Landing Strip has been around even longer, since 1987.
It's unlikely that either service will relocate, given how hard it is to get a license for strip clubs in the City of Toronto, where Chapter 545-391 of the Municipal Code was amended in the 1970s to state that the number of adult entertainment clubs shall be limited to 63.
"Adult entertainment club" is described rather broadly in the bylaw as "any premises or part thereof in which is provided services appealing to or designed to appeal to erotic or sexual appetites or inclinations."
Newer laws further prohibit clubs from existing within 100 metres of a residential area, 500 metres of a school or too close to various other businesses and services including churches and massage parlours.
In other words, unless FYEO transfers over its existing licence for the property, there's no way another strip club will pop up in its place at 563 King St. W.
Toronto is notoriously bad at supporting peeler bars, though the dwindling number of clubs in the city (nay, the country) may have more to do with financial challenges in an era of free, bountiful internet porn.
As it stands now, only five traditional strip clubs remain standing in downtown Toronto: The Brass Rail, Zanzibar, Filmores, Club Paradise and House of Lancaster.
You can raise that number to about a dozen, if you count further out spots like Backstage Theatre in York, Diamonds Cabaret in Mississauga and the cluster of strip clubs surrounding Pearson.
There were 47 strip clubs within city limits in 1998, according to municipal data.
Sadly for fans of going to the rippers, Filmores is also scheduled to bite the dust sometime within the next few years, when the building that houses it turns into condos.
Real estate values are skyrocketing, after all, and strip club revenues are no match for development investor funds.
This in mind, it's easy to understand why the owners of FYEO sold the club — however much we might not like to say goodbye to yet another Toronto institution.
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