Tributes & Events

‘Riverboat Coffee House: The Yorkville Scene’ will be presented at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto.

The show is about Canadian singer-songwriters Gordon Lightfoot, Ian and Sylvia, Murray McLauchlan, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Young. These singers launched their music in the basement of a Victorian row house, the Riverboat Coffee House, in 1968. Through this show they reminisce the time when the place was the ‘it’ place to be at and how celebrating music was their common goal. The group consists of multi-disciplinary artists. Mike Ross will music-direct the group. Together they will present the stories and songs that made Yorkville famous during 60s.

There were many articles written around 1968 that highlighted the emergence of Joni Mitchell at the Riverboat. It was a tight coffeehouse that was located below street level at 134 Yorkville Avenue. The place was supposed to be the focal point of the Toronto folk-music and counter-culture scene. Those were the modest days when songs were about the innocence and optimism that is rare these days. The club or the coffee house had red booths, pine walls, and brass portholes. It witnessed the historic performances of artists like Gordon Lightfoot, Odetta, Kris Kristofferson and Neil Young. Before the house was shut, the last performance was that of Murray McLauchlan. He was a singer-songwriter. The innocence and optimism of the 1960s almost died with the closing of the Riverboat.

The artists will perform from October 6-14, 2017, at Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane, Distillery Historic District, Toronto, Ontario M5A 3C4. More info.