Coffee, Beer and Mosh Pits: Celebrating the Toronto Music Scene

February 10, 2014 | Brent

Comments (0)

IMG_7249 2

From February 8th to April 19th, The TD Gallery at Toronto Reference Library will feature Coffee, Beer and Mosh Pits a survey of the music scene in Toronto from the 1960s to the present. Posters, photographs, fliers, zines, CDs and underground comics—most taken from the library’s Special Collections and Arts Departments—help tell the story of Yorkville, Queen West, West Queen West and all the other venues that helped establish Toronto as a creative hotspot for popular music.

Interest in all aspects of Toronto’s historic music scene is at an all time high, whether it be the early days of Yorkville, historic concerts like the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival, early punk rock venues or the genre crossing Wavelength concert series. 

The Yorkville Scene of the 60s is represented by posters, photos and artwork featuring locations like the El Patio Café, the Flick and the Mynah Bird as well as artists such as Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell and Ian and Sylvia. Luckily albums by some of the key Yorkville bands like Kensington Market and the Paupers have been reissued on CD.


            114310045[1]   Kensington+Market+++avenue+road[1]

           PaupersVerveForecastLPMagicPeople[1]    Pauperstwo[1]


Linda Goldman and Henry Martinuk's DVD and Stuart Henderson's book on "Toronto's First Scene" are great places to start:



The Punk and New Wave movements that defined Queen Street West are represented by promotional materials from the Horseshoe, the Cameron, the Rivoli and the Bamboo as well as historic posters and fliers featuring bands like The Viletones, The Government, Rough Trade and Martha & the Muffins.



There's been a slew of recent books on the early punk scene in Toronto:

                        TreatMeLikeDirttCover[1]    Perfect Youth   

         GodsoftheH   Trouble-in-the-Camera-Club-Cover[1]   DirtyDrunk


Selections from the Zine Collection from the 5th floor Arts Department help round out the survey from the 90s up to now. Featured artists include Peaches, Broken Social Scene, Choclair, K-0SMichie Mee and Diamond Rings.



We have lots of releases from Toronto Bands in our Local Music collections and we feature lots of live musical events in our Make Some Noise concert series. And yes, there are lots of books:

   Have Not Been The Same    Drake Far From Over     What Are You Doing Here?

                    Army Of Lovers     This Book Is Broken

Join us at 7:00 pm on Monday March 3rd in the Appel Salon of the Toronto Reference Library for a special Star Talks celebrating the Toronto music scene with Murray McLauchlan, Lorraine Segato and Broken Social Scene's  Brendan Canning. Peter Howell from the Toronto Star will host. A gallery tour will follow. Order your tickets here.

Coffee Beer and Mosh Pits