queen street west

A closed Toronto store is about to become something totally different

A corner of Toronto that was once home to a fast food restaurant and a shoe store will hopefully soon be welcoming a big change.

The corner where shoe store SVP once resided right next to a KFC is being recommended by City of Toronto staff to be transformed into a DIY live music venue centring around Black, Indigenous and racialized artists.

With rehearsal and performance spaces, the new venue would be run by non-profit It's OK*.

A report shows that a basement, ground floor and second floor total over 10,000 square feet of potential space for the venue.

468 Queen St. W. was acquired by the City of Toronto for future public parkland. A new park should be delivered in a number of years as part of a larger project creating affordable housing and cultural spaces, but the venue will take up the space until then.

468 Queen St. W., 464-466 Queen St. W. and a portion of 15 Denison Ave. are all slated to be developed when the lease for the venue ends in 2024 (this includes the area where the old KFC used to be).

"I am thrilled by the opportunity for a City-owned building on Queen West to host It's OK* and create a welcoming space for diverse and marginalized artists and musicians," says local Councillor Joe Cressy, with TMAC chair Brad Bradford saying, "We must continue to do everything we can to support live music." 

The General Government and Licensing Committee will hear the proposal on Mar. 22, with City Council to decide whether they approve the recommendations on Apr. 6. If approved, It's OK* should be operating on Queen West in June.

It's OK* has also been running an ongoing local musician showcase on their Instagram called "Moments."

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