Division 88 is turning Geary Ave into the next social hotbed
Toronto's next big social scene is taking shape north of Dupont, and local producer, Billy Wild thinks his latest endeavor will solidify it.
Wild is the owner of Division 88, a multi-purpose space that doubles as a full-time record label and a social venue where he and his friends throw open jam sessions with local musicians and artists.
The space used to live in Kensington Market, before making its way onto the quickly changing, Geary Avenue.
The label was established in 2018 after Wild became tired of being suppressed by big record labels. During his time in the industry, he made a name for himself as a producer with his remixing of the Glenn Gould estate.
"It's so hard to break through the noise, so we figured that the best way to promote was to open the space up, and essentially start selling good times," said Wild.
Selling good times he did. Wild began hosting jam sessions that were completely open to the public, giving up-and-coming musicians the chance to come and jam out with other emerging stars.
"A lot of us see it as a litmus test," he says, "You're going to have the opportunity to play with people you never thought you'd play with before. We have strings, singers, a million guitar players, bassists, and piano players. Practically every walk of life comes through here".
Wild is set to host his next open jam session on the 22nd of May at the 225 Geary Avenue space. He also fully intends to keep the garage door wide open for all to see, and hopefully come in.
"There's so much dope stuff happening on this little strip," explains Wild. "I want people to walk by and go 'yo, what is that place,' and hopefully, pop in."
Wild's parties give you the chance to let loose, all while consuming music from artists you may not have listened to prior.
For the musicians, he is eager to bring the more talented ones into the back, letting them into his full-blown recording set-up.
While the Geary strip has quickly shifted from industrial to social with new breweries, restaurants, and festivals in recent years, Wild's collaborative ideas could bring a new level of creativity and party vibe to the up-and-coming neighbourhood.
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