Hugh’s Room explores ways to stay open: update

Facing insolvency, the west-end live music venue and restaurant closed its doors


UPDATE 01/16/17: According to an email received Thursday, January 12, a committee has met to explore ways to restructure and move forward under a community-ownership structure, with the goal of re-opening the doors as soon as possible, developing a business plan, and making sure staff, artists and audience members are fairly treated.


West-end live music club Hugh’s Room has closed.

The mid-sized concert venue and restaurant’s owner is facing insolvency and has shuttered the club in order to mull over financial options.

“To all our supporters – performers, audience, and staff – I am sincerely sorry to have to say that Hugh’s Room has reached a point of insolvency,” owner Richard Carson said in a statement. “More information will be available over the next few days as to how we can proceed from here, but at this time we are closing our doors until we can see what options are available to us.”

Rumours the venue was experiencing financial troubles began to spread on social media over the weekend after shows were cancelled at the last minute.

“We are in serious financial trouble, but we have not declared bankruptcy,” Hugh’s Room booker Colin Puffer told NOW. “Although that is one of the options being looked at. However, it is only one of a few options.”

The 200-capacity venue offers patrons the chance to catch folk, jazz and blues acts in an intimate and quiet setting while having a meal. Located at Dundas and Roncesvalles, Hugh’s Room was conceived by Carson and his late brother Hugh as a more comfortable alternative to downtown rock clubs.

Hugh’s Room opened in April 2001 and has hosted artists such as Ron Sexsmith, Loudon Wainwright III, Jane Siberry and Judy Collins.

With files from Sarah Greene.

music@nowtoronto.com | @kevinritchie

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