Toronto Then & Now: The Town Tavern- 20-Storey Office Tower

The Town Tavern, located at 2 Queen Street East for 23 years, was another venue like the Friar’s Tavern and the Colonial Tavern that played a crucial role in the Yonge Street music scene. It opened in 1949 as a theatre restaurant and became a jazz venue in 1955 on the suggestion of pianist Oscar Peterson. In 1957, Peterson, along with Ray Brown and Herb Ellis, recorded their famous live album here. During the 1960s and 1970s, it hosted renowned musicians like Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Carmen McRae, and Lester Young. The Town Tavern closed in 1972 and the building was later demolished.

Now, where the Town Tavern used to be, there’s an office tower owned by Brookfield Properties. Built in 2003, it has 20 floors, 459,000 square feet of office space and 17,000 square feet for stores. It’s right across the street from the Eaton Centre mall, the Queen Subway Station is under it, and it’s connected to Toronto’s PATH underground walkway.

The Town Tavern’s historical plaque was installed at the site by Heritage Toronto in 2016 . 2 Queen Street East, Toronto.

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