Toronto Then & Now: Concord Tavern to Long & McQuade on Bloor

Opening its doors in 1948, the Concord Tavern at 925 Bloor Street just west of Ossington quickly became a hot spot for artists and music lovers. From jazz to blues and everything in between, the Concord hosted an incredible array of talented musicians and the stage witnessed many legendary performances and jam sessions. Here’s a Toronto concert listing from 1957, showing the Jack Long Trio performing at the Concord:

Photo: Facebook/Long&McQuade

Jack Long of the Jack Long Trio is the founder of Long & McQuade Musical Instruments, Canada’s biggest music store. He started the venture in a small Toronto house on Carlton Street in 1956 and expanded to more than 90 locations in all 10 provinces. When the Concord Tavern closed down in 1983, business was booming at Long & McQuade’s Toronto location and in 1988 they moved to 925 Bloor Street West, giving the site new musical life. This music store became a haven for musicians, offering a massive selection of instruments, accessories, and sheet music. Jack Long, a jazz lover whose favourite instrument is the trumpet, is in his 90s now and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2014. Drummer Jack McQuade, who left the business in 1965, passed away in the 1970s from cancer.

The Concord hosted Ronnie Hawkins and his band (later known as The Band) performing up to 7 days a week during the 1960s. Eventually, The Band joined Bob Dylan as his backing band and later became stars themselves.

Photo: The Globe & Mail, 1963

Long & McQuade also holds workshops and events, connecting musicians in Toronto’s musical community to help shape their careers. There is so much love for music in Toronto and the energy at 925 Bloor truly reflects the city’s enduring passion.

Long and McQuade on Bloor Street West

For more history on the Concord and the space after its 1983 closure until Long and McQuade’s opening in 1988 (it was occupied by an Irish pub called The Blarney Stone) check out JB’s Warehouse.

2 responses to “Toronto Then & Now: Concord Tavern to Long & McQuade on Bloor”

  1. Please…more of TORONTO…THEN/NOW

    MORE…MORE….a little colour would help

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