When Toronto country music venue The Matador closed initially in 2007, there were both hopes of its resurgence and fears for its redevelopment. Opening in 1964, The Matador played host to Jonny Cash, Leonard Cohen, among others in its 43-year run. Investor Paul McCaughey, who purchased the defunct venue in 2010, worked for 8 years trying to renovate the property and restore the venue to its former glory. Complications attaining building permits from the City and investor fatigue led McCaughey to surrender the property, resulting in a sale in May 2019. Now, the new owner has put forth their first OPA & ZBA applications for a 6-storey mixed-use building with 30 residential units and 1,133 m² of commercial space. 

Looking south to The Matador Club, image via Google Maps

Located at 466 Dovercourt Road just north of the intersection with College Street, the 12.2m x 51.4m lot spans from Dovercourt Road to Bill Cameron lane in the rear. 

The new building would house commercial spaces in the basement, first, and second levels; breaking into two angled volumes with residential units above. Designed by Toronto/Hong Hong firm Axia Design Associates, the building would be clad in a sandy-coloured brick, with irregularly punched windows, an angled entrance canopy, and gold window mullions bringing a modern flair.  

Looking south to 466 Dovercourt, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Intention to include old Matador memorabilia is littered throughout the application. Noted in the renderings, the  original venue sign would be placed at the entrance of the building. Documents submitted also state that the ‘signature wall’ of the Matador is planned to be restored and relocated to the lobby of the commercial space, just off the Dovercourt Road entrance.

Entrance to 466 Dovercourt Road, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The question on everyone's mind relates to the future use of the commercial space of course. Time will tell whether offices, retail, or something more in-line with the Matador property's original use will stand in the place of the once-iconic venue, but the ground floor is currently designed so that the reopening of a music venue is a distinct possibility. 

Aerial overview looking south towards 466 Dovercourt, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The residential component proposes a mix of 21 one-bedroom, 6 two-bedroom, and 3 three-bedroom units. 9 residential parking spaces would be included in a stacked parking system, accessible off Bill Cameron Lane. 

You can learn more about 466 Dovercourt from our Database file for the project, linked below. If you'd like to, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread or leave a comment in the field provided on this page.

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