Soon the doors will stay closed forever

Another One Bites the Dust

It wasn't so long ago - the 90s - that Toronto was regarded far and wide as a capital for the Goth Scene. From the Sanctuary, to Savage, from the Velvet Underground, to the Savage Garden, clubs abounded, each with their own take on Gothic culture. Some were more fetishy, some were more ravy. Some, like the Catacombs underneath the Sanctuary were all ages, while others like the Bovine Sex Club were just in a strange league of their own.

Nearing the end of the decade, all of that began to change - Savage Garden started going more electronic; Velvet started attracting frat boys, other clubs closed down entirely. In 2000, when the Sanctuary/Catacombs closed down, many worried that it would be the end of the long dark gothic ride that Toronto had enjoyed for so many years. But then, out in Parkdale East, a saviour seemed to appear.

It was called the Vatikan, and it was run by the same people who used to run the Sanctuary. It catered to much the same crowd as had its previous, more easternly incarnation - a mix of fetish nights, all ages nights, industrial, and live music. For a time, it seemed as if the Toronto Goth scene had not died, but only migrated. Then, in 2005, the Vatikan underwent a format change, and switched almost entirely to live music.

And now even that trip has halted. Tonight will be the last night of operations for the Vatikan. It will be going out as it came in: with DJs and dancing, for one last hurrah of the all-ages, 'Return to the Catacombs' night. If you've never been, you'll probably never miss it. But if you were a goth kiddie (or more likely, somebody who never considered themselves a goth, but just dressed in black and hung out at goth clubs) at any point in the last two decades, this marks a milestone, if not an end of an era. It was a run, but now the scene may have to stay undead.


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