Thursday, September 27, 2007

Clubs, Parking Lots & Misguided Emotions

If you follow the Toronto-based Blog-o-sphere, then you couldn't have escaped hearing about the City of Toronto's plan to purchase (or even expropriate) the Matador after hours club on Dovercourt to allow the Toronto Parking Authority to construct a 20-space parking lot.

I am not going to debate the fact that constructing parking lots downtown is a regressive land use, and is generally not a good idea in a city where we need to increase transit usage, I'm getting the feeling that some people want to save the Matador for no other reason than the fact that it was a club that they had a personal connection to. If we used that reasoning for historical preservation, then the city would stall. Nothing would get build, nothing would improve, and the city would crumble under the lack of investment.

I was going to use the line "it's time to put the Matador out to pasture" to end this blog post, but I realized that the matador is the person. Bottom line: don't build a parking lot, but the Matador is dead. Let it die.

The next post will have a better ending - I promise.



At 9/27/2007 6:33 p.m. , Blogger Simon said...

I agree with you The Matador is dead and long live The Matador. The Matador is a unique building with a unique history and if that doesn't qualify as historical I don't know what does.

It is time to reinvent the Matador for the 21st century and allow the building to help a community reinvest in itself. A parking lot is not an investment.

The problem is we look to the City for a solution when the City is the problem. It is perhaps time we look at other possibilities.

At 9/27/2007 7:56 p.m. , Blogger Andrae Griffith said...

The problem is that the Toronto Parking Authority is one of the few city agencies making a profit - from a business sense, this is a wise decision, and many believe that the city should be run like a business.

I don't subscribe to that viewpoint though. If the city builds things because they are profitable, then we truly have lost our way.

At 10/04/2007 1:11 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you aren't allowed to have a personal connection to elements of the city then why in hell bother living here?

i think it's time the city and its "leaders" started serving the people who live here rather than the other way round.

jim rawling

At 10/04/2007 5:04 p.m. , Blogger Andrae Griffith said...

I think you've misunderstood my point - and if so, then it's my fault for not being clear.

My personal belief is that a historic building has to have two characteristics:

1) Something historic has to have happened there - I don't personally believe that "______ played a show there and I saw it" counts, but I'm willing to admit that this may be valid for some people.

2) The building has to be architecturally significant - I visiting the site this past weekend, and in my opinion, the building is not.

I don't want to see it turn into a parking lot either, but I don't think the Matador is "historic".


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