We kick off February with Bill and John of @Blackswantavern1972
The Black Swan was opened by a couple of Australian guys back in 1972, but this location has had an active tavern license since 1902, originally under the name of Hotel Commerce. One of the very few remaining taverns left in Toronto. Bill & John came to work for their father and uncle, who took over ownership in 1984. In 1986 they became managers, by 2001 their uncle and father retired and they stayed on and maintained ownership. The things they love most about the community is its vibrance, the variety in businesses and the relationships they have with all their patrons.
Bill & John have also been involved with a great music initiative for the past 16 yrs called Winterfolk Blues & Roots Festival, which we have posted on back in Dec. Their long time presence as a known Blues venue in Toronto was an obvious factor for them being one of the hosting venues. They have regular shows at their place, as they have 3 levels to dedicate to performances. They have since expanded their musical repertoire to meet audiences’ tastes. They don’t serve a lot of food appart from their seasonal Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich, pickled eggs and chips which sell very well. The space was never adapted to accommodate a full kitchen. The music is the major draw here & has served them quite well. They are proud to be one of the last few known taverns in Toronto, and wish to preserve that history as long as they can.
They look forward to this year’s Winterfolk XVI Blues & Roots Festival taking place on the weekend of Feb. 16th - 18th. They say it is worth experiencing all the wonderful talents that will be attending. They have seen a great many come through, some of which who have moved on to become well known musicians in the music industry. Apparently there are about 150-200 musicians playing this year, and 5 venues along this stretch of the Danforth that will be hosting them. Tickets and wrist bands will be on sale soon, so look out for further announcements highlighting this event!!