Music Memories of Yonge

Explore Downtown Yonge’s music history with us!
Content researched and written by Nicholas Jennings.

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279 Yonge Street

A legendary watering hole throughout the 1970s that featured popular local bands and surprise out-of-town guests like Bob Dylan and Frank Zappa.


The Nickelodeon, above Friar’s Tavern, opened in 1971 to capitalize on the lowering of Ontario’s legal drinking age to 18. But Gord Josie, who managed both Friar’s and the Nick, attracted all ages when he booked Ronnie Hawkins for a long-term residency. On Jan. 9, 1974, special guests showed up to catch the Hawk’s show, including his former backing group the Band and an incognito Bob Dylan, who just performed at Maple Leaf Gardens. Another time, Frank Zappa dropped in after his Gardens concert to jam with David Clayton-Thomas. Through the ’70s into the early ’80s, the Nick featured oldie acts including the Drifters, the Coasters and Sly & the Family Stone and such local heroes as Goddo, George Olliver and Bob Segarini. Today, the space is home to the Friar’s Music Museum, which pays homage to the history of music on Yonge Street.