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City of Toronto forms Noise Working Group to review proposed by-law changes

September 28th, 2016


Toronto Urban Roots Festival attendees take in the music and sunshine on the Fort York grounds (Photo by Bram Gonshor, Sep. 2016)

Earlier this year, the City of Toronto began a review of its noise by-laws, regulations which affect music in the city—whether you’re a live music venue owner/operator, or an artist playing music in Toronto’s parks. After hosting consultations, the city has formed a Noise Working Group to review proposed changes to the by-laws and have pushed back any decisions until 2017.

Last week, the Licensing and Standards Committee met and passed amendments which directed the Noise Working Group to review the proposed by-law changes and then report back to the committee. The working group is not expected to complete its review until after it has had a chance to incorporate the findings of Toronto Public Health’s Noise Monitoring Study, which will be delivered to the Board of Health in Spring 2017.

The Noise Working Group was created on the recommendation of a May 2016 city staff report. It is made up of stakeholders with an interest in changes to the noise by-laws, including citizen’s groups, entertainment and business associations, business improvement areas, and city staff. The group is tasked with reviewing the proposed changes to the by-laws and identifying areas of concern and improvement. It will provide its final advice and recommendations to the director of Municipal Licensing and Standards.

The city has released a report and background document on the process so far. You can read more about it on the City of Toronto website.

Dolly Parton presented with plaque before sold out Toronto show

September 14th, 2016

Prior to her sold out show Friday night at the Molson Canadian Amphitheater, country legend Dolly Parton was presented with a plaque by Sony Music Canada commemorating her new album, Pure & Simple, reaching #1 on on Nielsen SoundScan’s Top Country Album Chart for the first time in the history of SoundScan.

Parton kicked off the Canadian leg of the Pure & Simple Tour, her first major North American tour in 25 years, in Toronto before making her way through Western Canada. Parton played for nearly 3 hours, which included dozens of hits, personal anecdotes, and even mentioning her meeting with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.


Pictured (left to right): Shane Carter (President, Sony Music Entertainment Canada), Dolly Parton, Danny Nozell (CEO, CTK Management), Simon Rayner (Director, Marketing, Sony Music Entertainment Canada), Kirt Webster (President/CEO, Webster Public Relations)

Steamwhistle Brewery to host music industry social in support of Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research

August 23rd, 2016


As a fundraiser for the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research, members of the Toronto music industry will be coming together on Thursday, August 25th to raise a glass at the Steamwhistle Brewery at 255 Bremner Blvd before attending the Toronto Blue Jays game at Rogers Centre.

Members of the industry are invited to come out to the Brewery from 5 to 6:30pm, where beers will be available for $5 (cash only), with $1 from each sale going to the Downie Fund. If you’d like to attend, just head to the brewery and look for the ‘Toronto Music Industry for Gord’ signs.

The group has sold more than 170 tickets to industry personnel, which includes a donation to the Downie Fund. The event, organized by staffers at Universal Music Canada, has raised more than $650 for the fund so far, with organizers hoping to raise more than $1,000 by the end of the night.


Dâm-Funk to headline free UNITY Festival Concert at Yonge-Dundas Square

July 20th, 2016


On Saturday, July 23, 2016, UNITY, a charity that empowers youth 10-18 to use artistic self-expression to make positive life choices, will host a free concert at Yonge-Dundas Square, sponsored by Tangerine. The UNITY Concert will be headlined by American modern funk artist Dâm-Funk, along with Toronto artists Zaki Ibrahim, The Soul Motivators, Above Top Secret, Sacha Williamson and many more.

The UNITY Concert is the fourth event of the UNITY Festival, which kicks of July 20 at the Super Wonder Gallery (876 Bloor St. West @ Ossington). The festival will feature an MC/Spoken Word Showcase on Thursday, July 21, and a Dance & Beatbox Battle on Friday, July 22.

Earlier in July, UNITY performed a showcase in Nathan Phillips Square as part of the Live From City Hall concert series. The showcase featured emcees, beatboxers, spoken-word poets and dancers from UNITY’s school and community programs.

Saturday’s Reggae Lane Crawl will celebrate Toronto’s reggae music history

July 14th, 2016



Local artist Adrian Hayles at the Reggae Legends mural located at the end of Reggae Lane. Photo Credit: Zainab Abbasi

On Saturday, July 16, 2016, the City of Toronto invites reggae music fans of all ages to the Eglinton West and Oakwood neighbourhood for The Reggae Lane Crawl, hosted by Councillor Josh Colle, The Laneway Project, and the York-Eglinton BIA. The unique community event will celebrate the unveiling of a second mural on Reggae Lane (1529 Eglinton W), which honours the local history and origins of Toronto’s reggae music scene.

The Reggae Lane Crawl and mural unveiling will feature drumming workshops, dub poetry, and performances from local reggae legends like Otis Gayle, Carl Henry, Everton Pablo Paul, Bernie Pitters, and Jay Douglas. The event will also celebrate the induction of JUNO Award winning reggae artist Nana McLean to the Reggae Hall of Fame.

“A Laneway Crawl is a great way to expand a neighbourhood’s public space,” says The Laneway Project’s Michelle Senayah. “The Reggae Lane Crawl will turn this particular laneway into active community space for the afternoon, where local musicians, artists, hairstylists, restaurants and more will show us what makes the York-Eglinton neighbourhood great.”

In 2014, Councillor Josh Colle began the initiative to name the laneway south of Eglinton Avenue West and extending easterly from Oakwood Avenue to honour the local history of the neighbourhood, and preserve an essential part of Toronto’s music history.

The event poster can be seen below, and you can stay up to date on Reggae Lane news by joining the Friends Of Reggae Lane group on Facebook.