Folk music and Yorkville CoffeehousesMain MenuYorkville and the Coffee HousesSo what is a coffee house?What was Folk Revival Music?Yorkville and the Folk Revival in TorontoThe Penny FarthingThe RiverboatIntroThe Mynah BirdSources ConsultedProject InformationThe FlickIntroduction to The Flick coffeehouseThe Purple OnionBrief introduction to The Purple Onion coffee houseStacy Allison-Cassin4ad8166de9c8253ed5763d518324395da4eabf92York University Libraries
City "fathers" visit the Penny Farthing coffeehouse
12017-03-20T12:04:40-07:00Stacy Allison-Cassin4ad8166de9c8253ed5763d518324395da4eabf92157223Image of "city fathers" [members of city council] entering the Penny Farthing on their tour of Yorkville.plain2017-03-20T12:25:29-07:00Toronto Telegram1965-05-27This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from: email@example.comClara Thomas Archives and Special Collections, York University1965-05-27Stacy Allison-Cassin4ad8166de9c8253ed5763d518324395da4eabf92
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12017-03-22T08:21:10-07:00Stacy Allison-Cassin4ad8166de9c8253ed5763d518324395da4eabf92Folk singers on the steps of the Penny Farthing Coffehouse3Image of seven musicians posing on the stoop of the Penny Farthing coffee house in Yorkville. The frontmost man holds onto a guitar case.media/yul-92714_Medium_sized_JPEG.jpgplain2017-03-22T08:27:14-07:00Toronto Telegram18 March 1965This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from: firstname.lastname@example.orgClara Thomas Archives and Special Collections, York UniversityWard2011-03-25Toronto1965-04-22Stacy Allison-Cassin4ad8166de9c8253ed5763d518324395da4eabf92
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12017-03-17T11:36:59-07:00Yorkville and the Coffee Houses10So what is a coffee house?plain2017-04-28T12:54:26-07:00Beginning in the early 1960s, old Victorian rooming houses in Yorkville were converted into "coffee houses" where patrons chatted, sipped on cappuccinos and espressos, ate snacks like apple strudel and bowls of chili or soup, inhaled both legal and illegal kinds of smoke and enjoyed the most popular offerings of Canadian folk singer-songwriters such as Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, Ian and Sylvia and the early offerings of Neil Young. The coffee houses did not have a liquor license. They were permitted to stay open well into the night and served a mixed clientele from locals to late night arrivals of people stumbling out of bars to the "weekenders" who came from the suburbs to be a part of the scene and see for themselves what the hippies were all about. Coffee houses began in England in the 17th century. They were places where people gathered for debates over the namesake drink that had recently arrived on the continent. In the early sixties, coffee houses became pillars of the bohemian and hippie community began for the first time in New York City. This grew out of a desire to have a social space to present art, poetry, and music in contrast to the loud and rowdy downtown bars, fueled by alcohol.
In Toronto, these venues differed from the rowdy rock n' roll clubs of Yonge Street. They were cozy places where people gathered to discuss current events and politics or to just hang out and hear the artist or band on stage. The twenty or so coffee houses that existed throughout the sixties were an essential part of Toronto's music culture and allowed many bands and artists who performed at these venues to gain exposure and reach stardom. The coffee houses began to close in the late 1960 and were mostly closed by the early seventies.