Toronto bar and live music venue evicted by landlord
After seven years of running dance parties in Kensington Market, the event space Round Venue has been forced to close for good.
Round was evicted from its upper floor property on Augusta Avenue last week, along with the beloved muay Thai gym, Krudar, in a double whammy of closures for the strip.
Both businesses had their locks changed and any remaining equipment inside their units seized.
Neither Ashley Giesecke, owner of Round, nor Krudar owners Darwin and Danica Miranda, say they were informed about the eviction until they found the doors locked.
Giesecke and Miranda claim the landlord has since changed their number, and can no longer be reached. The property manager was not available for comment.
Round — which took over the previous venue Augusta House in 2013 — had a lease which was meant to last until 2023.
But both Giesecke and Miranda allege they were unable to convince their landlord to jump on the Province's rent relief program, leading to several months of outstanding rent.
Like all other live events venues in the city, it was forced to shutter temporarily in March, and has remained closed since then.
The two-storey property at 152 Augusta Avenue is now up for sale by the Sutton Group for $4,750,000.
"There was already a problem for venues in the city and [the pandemic] has just exacerbated it," says Giesecke. "And it's not just venues, it's everyone. Promoters, DJs, people who do deco: everyone's affected."
Prior to the pandemic, Round had been hosting an eclectic roster of events, including LGBTQ staples like the monthly dance party Cherry Bomb, Business Woman's Special, and New Ho Queen.
"For me, it was just an alternative space. I tried to have a vibrant calendar and a space for everyone," says Giesecke.
"We'll have to see, there might be hope, maybe the rents will go down... But right now, honestly, it just looks really bleak for events and live music and being social."
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