|Ambiance |||Live Music, Sports Bar, Tavern|
|Payment |||Interac, MasterCard, American Express, Visa|
|Neighbourhood |||Danforth/East York|
|Getting There |||Broadview station|
|Cross Street |||Danforth and Broadview|
Profile Last Updated: June 18, 2008
The Black Swan Tavern occupies what was once the Commerce Hotel, an important landmark in Toronto culture. In the ’40s and ’50s in Toronto the Good, the ground level tavern in the hotel was one of the few places where it was possible to down a pint of beer or a highball. Vestiges from the olden days still exist, in particular a raised dais in the middle of the bar, accompanied by a sign pointing out that this was originally the area cordoned off for “Ladies and their Escorts”. Of course, these days ladies, their escorts, and anyone else over the age of 19 can come by to watch the Leafs or Blue Jays game from whatever vantage point they so choose.
Layers of Nostalgia
After the Commerce Hotel closed down and the Black Swan Tavern took over, it expanded, with renovations on the main floor and the two floors above it. The main floor has been updated to a 1980s-style sports bar, complete with a Pac Man table, upright Galaga and Bubble Bobble arcade games, a pool table, and several TVs for sports-watching, including one enormous screen.
The second floor, a dusky place that screams for the return of smoking in Toronto bars, now hosts live music at least five days per week. Musical genres hover around jazz and blues, but also nudge into rock - tribute acts in particular. The third floor’s cozy dimensions best recall the Black Swan’s early 20th century hotel heritage, but is mostly reserved for private parties.
Thursdays: Every Thursday there is a live jam session here, come and watch the fun.