Really Big Little Shoe

April 5, 2016

image from

Almost seedy. Almost downtown. Almost bohemian. Almost famous.

When in Toronto, if you like music, you go to the city’s  fabled ‘venues’: The Dakota, Cameron House, Lee’s Palace … and of course, The Horseshoe Tavern (The Shoe). And there it is. A dank, unassuming place that boldly proclaims its ‘legendary’ status. On Queen Street West, over near Spadina, right next to a Dub. Very Toronto.

Here’s a good infomercial masquerading as a doc, that is a wee bit ‘overdone’ but nonetheless gives a very good oversight into one of The Big Smoke’s live music club treasures.

‘The Shoe’ is a place like Honest Ed’s. Torontonians try to make it far more than it really is. But in reality, at the end of the day, it is what it is: good for Toronto, good for music and in this case, good for booze.

The Shoe: 65 years of Horseshoe Tavern history

by 16x9onglobal


And though there have certainly been many, many more high profile performers at The Horseshoe……it’s only fitting to give a salute to the one and only Stompin’ Tom Connors – live at the Shoe. But those of us of a certain vintage in Canada may remember his Marketplace bit from the early seventies (go to truncated  YT video link). The stories of how he started a stompin’ to hear his own beat in those noisy bars back before he became famous are legendary.

post by jwatchorn


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