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Toronto’s Phoenix Concert Theatre to close after 33 years in business – Toronto | Globalnews.ca

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Toronto’s famed Phoenix Concert Theatre is closing its doors after more than 33 years.

Owners of the downtown venue, which has hosted Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and Billie Eilish, said Wednesday they’ve marked Jan. 15, 2025, for the final show as plans go ahead to transform the grounds into residential housing.

In the coming months, they plan to announce a packed sendoff calendar with performances from artists who’ve played the space over the years, an effort to recapture the venue’s untethered party atmosphere.

“Many of us, including myself, have grown up in this venue and seen some of the biggest acts on the planet,” co-owner Lisa Zbitnew said in an interview.

“And there are aspects I don’t remember,” she added with a chuckle.

The closure is the latest in a string of small Toronto concert venues that have been replaced with condos, including the Hoxton and the Silver Dollar Room.

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The Phoenix has a storied history. It served as a German-Canadian club for community events before it was repurposed in the early 1980s as the Diamond Club.


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It became the Phoenix in 1991 and eventually a hot spot for budding local musical talent and established favourites looking to play smaller rooms.

When Dylan rolled into Toronto for three shows in 2004, he picked the Phoenix as one of the different-sized venues, giving an exclusive audience a rare experience.

A year later, the Stones charged the venue’s “regular cover” price of $10 for their show.

Other acts who’ve hit the Phoenix stage include Canadian legends Rush, the Tragically Hip, and Alanis Morissette.


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Zbitnew hopes to reignite some of that past excitement before the venue locks up.

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“I’m going to call some of my old friends and family from the label side and say ‘Hey, would you like to come back? I know you’re an arena act, but c’mon!” she said.

The days have been numbered for the venue for quite some time, she added.

Sorbara Group, the new owner of the Phoenix’s property, filed an application to redevelop the land and reached a settlement at the Ontario Land Tribunal to extend the lease until the end of the year.

“The Phoenix is an integral part of an ecosystem for our local businesses and the closure will have profound impacts for our budding artists, night economy, and on our downtown recovery efforts,” Toronto city Coun. Chris Moise said in a statement.

“I remain steadfast in my commitment to supporting the Phoenix find a new home.”

Zbitnew said that search is already on. She expects the venue will rise from the ashes at a new location in the downtown core and keep its name.

A number of “promising possibilities” are up for consideration, each with a capacity of just over 1,000 people, though she said it’s too early to make the announcement.

“The best we can do for the music community, the artists and the venue is to have an amazing sendoff,” she said.

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“So we can start off wherever our new home is in a positive fashion.”

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