According to Buffy Saint Marie, who was one of the more prominent folk Figures who visited the Onion, it was the place to be in talking about politics and music. The Purple Onion was a place for aspiring folk artists to gather. In its later years of 1965, a shift would be seen and more jazz and rock would be featured by bands made up of young eager teenagers. This was to keep up with the change of pace Yorkville would see in the mid to late 60s. One famous rock band that consisted of teenager's who gigged at the Onion was Luke and Apostles.
At its maximum capacity it could only fit 90 people and was described by on goers in the Toronto star to be as spacious as a telephone booth with the stage being the telephone. Old photos reveal that Inside there where old chairs and tables that gave a diner like feel. True to the old-fashioned Victorian houses of the time, the exterior of Onion was described by a Maclean's reporter to be "a Victorian parlor that was blown up by a gas explosion during a whist drive"