Matador revival faces opposition

Email campaign to supporters questions liquor licence application


The revitalization of the Matador Ballroom must clear a crucial hurdle this month in order to proceed.

The owners have been forced to go into damage-control mode ahead of their liquor licence hearing at the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario later this month after opponents of their application began contacting the venue’s list of supporters and asking questions that upset some of them.

In response, owner Paul McCaughey – who bought the storied after-hours haunt in 2010 – emailed supporters to apologize for the disturbance.

The Matador team spent four months canvassing to gather 1,060 letters of support for a plan – announced in January – to turn the Dovercourt and College club into a community hub for weddings, corporate events and concerts.

“This hearing is crucial to the future of this project. Without the licence, the Matador Ballroom is simply not financially viable,” he wrote. “But it’s more than that. It is an opportunity to show the city what we truly care about. Toronto is fortunate to have a huge community that is passionate about the arts, people committed to the music they love and the culture they are part of – and we deserve a venue that matches our commitment to the legacy and future of the music scene.

“We did not know these opposition tactics would be employed, and I hope to reassure you that we would never want you or your family to have been disturbed by these people,” he added.

If the liquor licence is granted following the public meeting in mid-September, the Matador will reopen in early 2016.

music@nowtoronto.com | @nowtoronto

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