Canadian Journal for Traditional Music (1998)

A City ...Waiting for the Sunrise:
Toronto in Song and Sound

Michael J Doucet


One aspect of urban culture is examined to evaluate Toronto's position within the urban hierarchy, namely, the production of songs and sounds about the city. Although much music has been performed and created in Toronto over the years, and many songs have been written about a variety of features of life in the city, the musical images of Toronto remain largely unknown beyond its borders—even to many of the city's own residents. If Toronto is a "world-class city," the evidence for such a claim would have to be found on other dimensions than the one explored here.

No one ever wrote / A single note / About Toronto.
-- Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster (1996)
I find that lately, I'm missing old Toronto,
Where bass is strong and drums are full of fire.
-- from the Lenny Breau song "New York City" (1987)
No nation can exist by the balance sheet alone. Stories, song, dance, music, art and the rest are the lifeblood of a country, the cultural images defining a people just as surely as their geography and the gross national product.
--Robert Lewis, editor of Maclean's (1996)
Interestingly, though, we don 't seem to have an immediately identifiable style. The last time anyone spoke about a 'Toronto Sound' [former Mayor] Alan Lamport was booting hippies out of Yorkville. Unlike a Nashville or Manchester, there isn 't any one thing that makes you say 'That's Toronto'
--Bob Mackowycz, writer and broadcaster (1991)
Toronto itself doesn't have a distinctive civic culture. The distinguishing feature of Toronto's culture is its blandness--;the whole New York-run-by-the-Swiss kind of thing. It's very antiseptic...It's a city that borrows from other places for its culture, so why should the music be any different?
--Dan Burke, talent booker for Toronto's El Mocombo club (1999)

Many measures can be used to assess the importance of a city within the global context. Urban status usually is gauged with reference to the power exerted by a city in three key areas-- the economy, politics, and culture. Of this trio, the category most susceptible to subjective judgment is culture. Clearly, more cultural events--theatre, opera, ballet, concerts, art--happen in some cities than in others, but it is not always easy to rank a city according to such achievements at anything beyond the ordinal scale of measurement. Nevertheless, great cities seem to inspire great cultural accomplishments, so that at the very least, culture can be used to separate world cities from their lesser cousins. Many would agree with Toronto writer and broadcaster Bob Mackowycz's assertion (1991): "an important measure of a city's greatness has always been its [published] songs." Music, with or without lyrics, can convey a particular image about a place to a listener.

The purpose of this study is both to evaluate Toronto's status on this measure and to chronicle the songs that have been written about Ontario's capital. While there has been some recent interest in the evolution of the local music scene, to date no one has attempted to examine the quantity and type of songs written about Toronto. Over the years, music has been used to capture the social, cultural, ethnic, athletic, and political character of the city. Not surprisingly, non-Torontomans have used songs to paint rather different, often less flattering, pictures of Toronto.

Songs of Cities

On reflection, it is easy to recall songs about most of the world's most powerful cities. For some, the output has been truly enormous. In 1983, American singer Mel Tormé filled an entire album with thirteen songs about New York, pieces drawn from the city's rich tradition of jazz, "Tin Pan Alley," Broadway musicals, Harlem bandstands, and vaudeville. A dozen years later, singer-pianist Bobby Short, a fixture for almost three decades at midtown Manhattan's famous Café Carlyle, released a similar recording of fourteen songs. Only five songs were common to both albums, though the duplication is, in itself, a true reflection of the importance of a song (see Figure 1, below).

Great songs are recorded many times and often are subject to several interpretations. New York's status as one of the world's most important cities is reflected in the number and familiarity of the songs written about it. One study, by cultural geographers Larry R. Ford and Floyd M. Henderson (1974), found that between 1890 and 1970 alone, some 112 published popular songs used New York or some part of it as their subject matter.

The city has even been memorialized in extended musical works, such as Gordon Jenkins' 1950s opus Manhattan Tower, a musical narrative intended to give listeners "a glimpse of the spirit dwelling within a great city." In the mid-1960s, jazz pianist Dave Brubeck recorded his "Jazz Impressions of New York," featuring eleven original pieces he had composed for a rather short-lived television series titled "Mr. Broadway." A little over a decade later, New York, New York: Original Motion Picture Score was released by Liberty Records in conjunction with the 1977 opening of the Martin Scorsese film, starring Lisa Mineili and Robert De Miro, and featuring songs by John Kander and Fred Ebb.

For some great cities, it is even possible to identify distinctive voices. Journalist Jim Cormier considered this issue in an article about world-class cities, and identified the following as "songbirds of the city": Vera Lynn for London, Barbra Streisand for New York, and Edith Piaf for Paris (1989). These were probably difficult choices, and would, undoubtedly, be the subject of some debate.

Not only New York, but also Paris and London, and even Chicago and Los Angeles, have been celebrated in a multitude of widely recognized songs. For example, a 1957 album by Fontanna and His Orchestra, titled Rendezvous in Paris, contained ten songs associated with the French capital. Another recording from this era, . Love Paris, by Michel Legrand and His Orchestra included sixteen familiar songs. And, of course, there is George Gershwin's wonderful An American in Paris, which he wrote on his return from a stay in the French capital during 1928.

Chicago: A Musical Vaudeville, which, like New York, New York, featured songs by John Kander and Fred Ebb, opened on Broadway in 1975 as a musical tribute to the 1920s in America's second city. More recently, Sunset Boulevard, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, was set in the Los Angeles of the 1940s and 1950s and opened at London's Adeiphi Theatre in July, 1993. Original cast recordings were released for both productions. Most such musicals "play" Toronto.

Sounds of Cities

Many years ago Capitol Records even issued "high fidelity" recordings of the sounds and people of London and Paris. In fact, French writer Michel Braudeau recently suggested "the most distinctive feature of a given metropolis are its sounds. . . . I reckon I would always be able to identify one of the world's major cities within a minute or two" (1993). These comments were made in a review of Fenêtres sur villes, a 1992 CD by French composer and acoustician Louis Dandrel. For this recording, Dandrel captured distinctive sounds from five large cities — Paris, Tokyo, Cairo, Rio de Janeiro, and Beijing.

While ignored by Dandrel, Toronto does have a distinctive sound to it, something worth recording. Think, for example, of the sounds of Caribana; the toot of the whistle on the ferry before it leaves the dock for the Toronto Islands; the sound of the seagulls on the Leslie Street Spit; the clang of streetcar bells; the throb of the CNE midway; a Downtown Jazz Festival concert featuring the musical power of Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass, one of the world's last remaining big jazz bands; the relative silence of baseball fans at the SkyDome; the roar of a hockey crowd at Maple Leaf Gardens; the peel of the bells in the clock tower of Old City Hall; Ronnie Hawkins belting out old-time rock 'n' roll classics at a New Year's Eve concert on Nathan Phillips Square; and the rush-hour admonition on the platforms of the Bloor subway station: "Mind the doors, please; the doors are closing." It is both a shame and a clear statement of Toronto's place in the urbanhierarchy thatno commercial recordiHg of these sounds exists, ~ a gioup, eu by Chris Malcolm, did begin to assemble a "registry of Toronto's best aural miracles: wind pulses, echos, hums, roars, a!! natural & unnatural environmental sound occurrences" in 1998.

There have been a few attempts to capture the sound and character of Toronto in an aural form. For a number of years radio station CKFM was billed as "The Voice of the City in Toronto." One contribution of the station towards this goal was a series of 60-second "sound pieces" called "Our Toronto" which tried to capture the flavour of the city, its citizens and neighbourhoods. Sadly, the tapes containing these sound pictures have disappeared, though a few original scripts have been found dealing with such topics as Little Italy, the 1985 baseball pennant drive, closing the cottage, and becoming a Cub Scout.

A few commercials, especially for Coca Cola, have also tried to capture the spirit of Toronto. For example, several commercials in the "Real Thing" campaign of the early 1970s made pointed reference to the appropriateness of the beverage in specific locations: Markham Street, Toronto International Airport, the Mosport racetrack, and Yorkville. More recently, television commercials for the company's "Always Coca-Cola" campaign have capitalized on the World Series victories of the Toronto Blue Jays.1

1. Material for these three paragraphs was provided to me by Renate Brickman of MIX 99.9 FM, successor to CKFM. Included were examples of the early Coca-Cola commercials and an extended sound piece on Yorkville read by CKFM personality Fred Napoli. For many years Canadian FM stations were required to air spoken-word programming, which encouraged such innovations as the "Our Toronto" series and extended reports on local news and culture. The regulations were eliminated by the federal broad-casting regulator, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in 1993, effectively eliminating all such programming on commercial FN4 stations in Toronto (Zerbisias 1994).

Songs of Toronto

To return to the opening quotation, Wayne and Shuster, though witty as always, were decidedly wrong in their appraisal of songs about Toronto. Over the years, in fact, a goodly number of musical notes have been penned about Ontario's capital. Songs in a variety of musical styles have been written about Toronto's charms, citizens, neighbourhoods, physical features, landmarks, and sports heros. Several have even been written to acknowledge an extremely popular Canadian sport:

Toronto bashing. However, Toronto lags behind the world's great cities in song and sound generation, especially the production of international hits.

Quantity does not mean quality, and very few Toronto songs have been recorded more than once. While a recording of The Sound of [Toronto] Streetcars was produced in the very late 1960s or early 1970s and much music has been made in Toronto over the years, there is, as yet, no "April in Toronto," "Autumn in Toronto," "On the Sidewalks of Toronto," "Lullaby of Yonge Street," nor "I Love Toronto." Not even "A Foggy Day in Old York Town." Frank Sinatra does not sing of "T.O., 1.0." even though it scans properly and, Lenny Breau notwithstanding, rLobody ever crooncd "I Lcft My Heart in Old Toronto." Writer Pierre Berton confessed (1982: 87), "I simply cannot imagine a popular hit praising Toronto (though there have been several spoofing it)."

There certainly are plenty of songs about Canada, but their subject matter tends to be geographically selective. Of the 38 songs contained in Edith Fowke and Alan Mills' 1960 collection, Canada's Story in Song, only one had even the slightest link to Toronto, and not a particularly cheerful one at that: 'The Scarborough Settler's Lament." The definitive 1994 recording, . Foiksong Portrait of Canada, a 3-CD set produced by Smithsonian-Folkways Recordings and containing 94 songs by some 70 artists completely ignored Ontario's capital city. The almost three-and-a-half hours of music in this collection is categorized into six groups:

Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies, B.C. and the Yukon, and songs about Native Peoples—without a single reference to Toronto.

Bibliographies of Canadian music reveal large numbers of song collections, not all of which have a rural orientation (Bradley 1976; Morey 1997). A 1988 album from Newfoundland titled All the Best carried the sub-title Folk Music of St. John's, Newfoundland. It contained a dozen songs associated with that city. Almost no songbooks deal with Toronto music. Ian Bradley (1976: 166-77), for example, identifies just one songbook that could in any way be identified with Toronto: The Happy Gang Book of War Songs. Although associated with a popular Toronto-based CBC radio program, it is not a colledion of Toronto songs.2

Early &Quot;Toronto Songs&Quot;

Nevertheless, there are "Toronto songs" and other musical associations with the city: more, I suspect, than many people imagine, though few are memorable, and most would be unknown outside Canada, with several also unknown inside the country. The history of songs either celebrating or associated with Toronto, its people and institutions, is long; finding copies of them is another matter entirely.

According to Isabel Rose, head of the Music Department at the Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library, the sheet music collection there contains over 50 pieces having some association with Toronto, most dating from the golden age of Canadian sheet music production, 1890 to 1920. The earliest such piece in the collection, Alexander Scott's "The Sunnyside Schottische" was published in 1858, while the earliest direct celebration of the city, W. Braybrooke's "The Toronto Schottische" was published in 1877. Other such songs from the period include A.L. Wilmot's "Our Semi-Centennial" (1884), "Toronto's Jubilee" (1884) by David Edwards and Carl Martens; Charles Bohner's "Sounds of Toronto Waltz" (1890), John M. Whyte's "Toronto the Good" (1895), "The Queen City March" (c.1895) by Frederick Harris, H.H. Godfrey's "Toronto, or The Pride of the North" (1898), and Charles Pi!cher's "Toronto Centennial Song" £1934).

In the collection are also found a trio of songs in celebration of the exploits of world-champion, late-nineteenth-century rower Ned Hanlan; a pair of songs about Toronto rivers: "Come to the Vale of the Beautiful Don" (c.1876) and "The Humber Fairy"[1] (1886); four tributes to boating and aquatic clubs, including the "Argonaut Waltzes" (1899); two songs about the Queen's Plate horse race; a least three songs about Toronto buildings ("Toronto Opera House Waltz," c.1873, "Chimes of St. James: A Reminiscence of Toronto," 1884, and "Rossin House Mazurka," 1885); some seventeen songs about the University of Toronto and its colleges; and several pieces dealing with a variety of topics (e.g., "Toronto's Exposition March," c.1899, and the "Toronto Two-Step Novelty Dance," 1907). Several other songs were written in tribute to Toronto companies, including a piano composition titled "Massey March" (c.1894) and the "Heintzman Co. March" (c.1904).

2 Ideas concerning material for this section were provided by Jim Curran and the late Clyde Gilmour of CBC radio, and Mabel Laine of the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. Mr. Curran was gracious enough to allow me to hear some of the old 45 rpm "Toronto recordings" in his collection. Clyde Gilmour corresponded with me May 23, 1991, and this was followed by a letter from his wife, Barbara, July 25, 1991.

The most recent pieces in the collection are two works from the 1950s: Ellis McGrath's "The Noronic Disaster," a song about the 1949 fire aboard a ship in Toronto Harbour that claimed 117 lives, and Clarence Duff's waltz "Casa Loma Way"(ca. 1950). That famous landmark had also been celebrated in a 1948 song by Stan Patton, "Castle on the Hill."

Modern Toronto Songs

Recordings of Toronto songs from the post-World War II era are numerous and include "singles," tracks from albums, and even entire albums. In the first category can be found the catchy Metropolitan Toronto theme, "People City," written by Gary Gray and Tommy Ambrose in 1972 and quickly adopted as a signature tune by CITY-TV. At the time of its release to the public early in 1973, Jack Batten described "People City" as "a lush ballad and its lyrics are shamelessly in favor of Toronto" and "super romantic music," and its singer, Tommy Ambrose, as a "Toronto chauvinist in song." "People City" cleverly captured the mood of Toronto at that time. It was a perfect anthem for a growing, confident, rapidly diversifying metropolis, with healthy neighbourhoods.

Other Toronto "singles" were less influential and include "Toronto is Beautiful," a 1976 polka celebrating the CN Tower by the Golden Towers (Ricky and Debbie); "The Toronto Subway Song" (composed by Mel Hamill c.1950 during the construction of Canada's first subway line and containing the now politically incorrect sentiment:

"Yes, we're going to have a subway in Toronto / We've got to get the working man home pronto"); "In Muddy York That Day," a song about William Lyon Mackenzie and his Rebellion of 1837, by Loretta Simms; and a dirge-like 1974 song called "Toronto" by a group named Willow, which contains the rather depressing notion "You're My Home Town / I'd Rather Die Than See You Fall Down." While the 1967 hit, "Opportunity," by vocalist George Olliver and his group Mandala made no direct reference to Toronto, it did open with the words, "we've come 3,000 miles from Canada to L.A.," and so might also qualify as a Toronto song, especially since so many Toronto entertainers have made the same trek. At the very least, it was a very Toronto thing in the 1960s to believe that you might have to go to places like Los Angeles to get an "opportunity" for stardom.

Toronto in Jazz

Toronto is arguably Canada's most important jazz centre. Not surprisingly, a number of Toronto songs have emerged in this idiom. "Hogtown Blues" is one of just two urban-based works among the eight pieces contained in jazz pianist Oscar Peterson's 1964 opus titled Canadiana Suite. Some three decades later he recorded "North York," a tribute to one of Toronto's largest suburbs. Another early Toronto jazz song is bassist Jim McHarg's "Stompin' at the Penny," a Dixieland-style homage to the Penny Farthing, a jazz club in Yorkville where McHarg often played with his band, the Metro Stompers.

An undated album by another local jazz band, Pete Schofield and the Canadians, was actually called Yes, It's Toronto and featured both a song with the same title and an attractive album cover with a stylized Toronto skyline painted by Jacquie Jacobs. Another undated album, The Entertainers, by the Climax Jazz Band featured not only the Dixieland-flavoured tune "Bloor Street Breakdown," but also a front cover with members of the band arrayed in front of one of Toronto's famous Peter Witt streetcars.

In 1977, Toronto flautist Moe Koffman produced Museum Pieces, an entire album of eight songs inspired by the Royal Ontario Museum. Paul Hoffert's score for Outrageous!, the 1977 film about Toronto female impersonator Craig Russell, included a fast-paced, if rather brief (51 seconds), piece "Yonge Street Montage," and the second side of the soundtrack even begins with a Toronto joke: "I'll never forget Toronto. . . the only female impersonator turned out to be a woman." "Runway 23," a song composed by Brian Harris and recorded by clarinetist Henry Cuesta, was a tribute to both a runway at Pearson International Airport and the Runway 23 Lounge of the nearby Skyline Hotel. The late pianist-composer Hagood Hardy wrote and recorded a song called "Leaside Bridge" about the famous landmark that has spanned the Don Valley since 1927.

Then there are a few more tangential Toronto jazz pieces written in tribute to staunch supporters of the jazz idiom in the city. Toronto jazz trombonist Rob McConnell's dynamic tunes "T.O." and "T.O. 2" actually stand not for his home town but for the initials of Ted O'Reilly, a veteran jazz broadcaster on Toronto radio station CJRT; I suppose they still can be viewed as Toronto tunes since they are used, respectively, to open and close his show (cf. also Chapmann 1996). In the same vein is "Watch Out For the Little People," a composition penned by clarinetist Phil Nimmons in 1965 in tribute to Toronto jazz disc jockey Phil McKellar, who closed every one of his broadcasts with the admonition to "watch out for the little people." "The Mayor of the Beach" was written by trombonist Dave McMurdo as a tribute to Tim O'Rourke, a life-long supporter of jazz who resided in the Beach area of Toronto's east end. Another jazz work, Pelle t Suite, by Ian McDougall, Rob McConnell's fellow trombonist in the acclaimed Toronto-based big band The Boss Brass, does contain a movement titled "No! Not Sir Henry," a reference to Sir Henry Pellat, the builder of Toronto's famous Casa Loma.

Recently, Toronto's younger jazz musicians have begun to record works related to the city they call home. In 1989, the young Toronto jazz guitarist Don Ross included a piece called "King Street Suite" on his first album. His second album, released in 1990, contained a work titled "August on the Island," but according to the liner notes, this song was written "on a muggy day in New York," so it may well have nothing to do with Toronto Island.

Pianist Steve Holt and his quartet recorded "Take Me Out to the SkyDome" in 1993, at the very peak of the Blue Jays' success and popularity. Saxophonist Roy Styffe included two Toronto pieces on a 1994 album: "Toronto Time" and "Subway Dream." "East of Spadina" was written by guitarist Reg Schwager for the Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra in the mid-1990s, and provides a rich portrait of the hustle and bustle associated with the area around this important north-south thoroughfare.

A few Toronto jazz pieces have been written about precise locations within the city. One example is saxophonist Alex Dean's 1993 piece, "1110 Dovercourt." In 1995, Mike Murley, another young saxophonist, recorded "Goodbye Gladstone," which he claimed was "a 3/4 tune that reminisces about my residence of the late eighties and early nineties." At about the same time, and for a tribute collection to honour the career of Oscar Peterson, pianist Bill

King recorded "21 Park Rd.," which was "named after the location of Oscar's school in Toronto." Most recently, guitarist Edward Tobin has given us a song to commemorate one of Toronto's great east-west thoroughfares, Highway 5, which wends its way through central Toronto as Danforth Avenue, Bloor Street, and Dundas Street.

Folk and Country

Toronto songs also can be found in the country and folk music genres. Included as a part of larger collections are Murray McLauchlan's 1971 song "Sixteen Lanes of Highway," about Toronto's urban sprawl; his wonderful 1974 tune, "Down by the Henry Moore," about the late artist's famous, if controversial, sculpture, "The Archer," in front of Toronto City Hall; and a 1983 offering in which he sings about the heart of Canada being in southern places like Toronto, with its "blue suited commanders," while its soul lies "Out Past the Timberline." According to Nicholas Jennings (1997: 130), Joni Mitchell often told audiences that her 1965 song, "Night in the City," was inspired by Yorkville.

In the early 1990s Anne Lederman recorded "Toronto Volunteers," a traditional song written in tribute to a group of Torontomans who went west to Saskatchewan in 1885 to fight in the Riel Rebellion. At his 1996 Massey Hall concerts, Gordon Lightfoot performed a new song titled "On Yonge Street," a tribute to life on the world's longest street (Howell 1996), that finally was released in recorded form in 1998.

At least three songs by Stompin' Tom Connors have dealt with Toronto: "Streets of Toronto," "T.T.C. Skidaddler" and "Don Valley Jail." They pale in comparison to his rousing "Sudbury Saturday Night," though it should be remembered that the destination for the transport-truck driver on his signature tune, "Bud the Spud," is Ontario's capital. As well, Toronto is the destination for a couple of cow-dung entrepreneurs from Newfoundland in his 1991 song "Margo's Cargo." In a similar way, Bruce Cockburn's title song for Donald Shebib's marvelous 1970 film Goin' Down the Road might also qualify as a song about coming to Toronto. Finally, there is the 1971 spoken-word piece "City Tree." Written by journalist Gary Dunford and performed by actor-broadcaster Bruno Gerussi, it is the story of a fragile tree located in the heart of Toronto's financial district that concludes: "Bay Street is such a lonely place for a tree."

Not all songs referring to Toronto have been especially kind to the city, capturing musically the anti-Toronto sentiments so common throughout much of Canada. The 1965 song "Foxy," by the Windsor-based satirical group The Brothers-in-Law, is about a man from the countryside who visits Toronto and is promptly robbed and vows not to return. While the Ottawa-born, but Toronto-based singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn has written and recorded "A Montreal Song," his musical references to Toronto have had a dark tinge to them. One of his earliest recorded songs, "Thoughts on a Rainy Afternoon" contained a rather worrisome plea for any Toronto booster: "0 Jesus don't let Toronto take my song away;" while a later tune, "Anything Can Happen," began with the rather troubling line "You could have gone off the Bloor St. Viadud."

An entire verse of Gordon Lightfoot's wonderful song "Alberta Bound" deals with Toronto and reasons for leaving it. Similarly, in his 1976 ode to rural life, "Watching the Apples Grow," the late Stan Rogers sang, "your scummy lakes and the City of Toronto don't do a damn thing for me I I'd rather be by the sea." In his 1990 song "Bound for Vegas," Vancouver rocker Art Bergmann says his farewells to Toronto, Vancouver, New York, Detroit and St. Louis.

Passing reference to Ontario's capital can also be found in the 1994 song "Throw Me Away" by The Rhinos, a Kitchener-based rock band. The loneliness of the big city is nicely captured in "Neon City," a 1987 song by Cape Breton's Rita MacNeil, with its references to riding on the subway and wandering along Bloor Street, St. Clair Avenue, and the Boardwalk. "Toronto!," a 1989 song by the Montréal satirical duo Bowser & Blue, provides a witty attack on the city's pomposity during the greedy decade of the 1980s. Finally, a wonderfully funny poke is taken at some of Toronto's pretensions in "Garth" the Musical, a wicked piece about Toronto theatre impresario Garth Drabinski written and recorded by Bob Robertson and Linda Cullen, best known as the Vancouver comedy duo, Double Exposure.

Rock and Rap

Rock songs with Toronto titles or references date from at least the early 1970s, and are growing more numerous. Guitarist Domenic Troiano, an artist closely associated with the "Toronto Sound" of that era, contributed at least two songs to this collection:

"356 Sammon Ave." (1972), a short, instrumental tribute to his parents' former home in East York, and "My Old Toronto Home" (1973). Neil Young's 1974 song, "Ambulance Blues" memorializes one of the most famous Yorkville clubs of the 1960s, The Riverboat, from the city's "old folky days," and its closing lines also mention Toronto: "Well, I'm up in T.0. keepin' jive alive I And out on the corner it's half past five" (cf. also Downing1994). The 1975 song "Lakeside Park," by Canada's most successful recording group, the Toronto-based, hard-rock trio Rush, has a Toronto feel to it, but probably refers more to a park of the same name in Port Dalhousie, home of the group's drummer Neil Peart during his teen years. Nevertheless, Port Daihousie's Lakeside Park was a popular recreation destination for Torontonians earlier in this century. However, "Trinity Bellwoods," a 1994 song by Treble Charger, refers to a genuine Toronto park. "Toronto Tontos" is a rather frantic 1976 tune by the hard rock group Max Webster which contributes little more than its title to the musicology of the city.

"Cherry Beach Express" was recorded by the rock group Pukka Orchestra in 1984 and deals with alleged brutality by police at Toronto's 52 Division who, according to the lyric, took young people to remote Cherry Beach to administer beatings in order to extract confessions. "Spadina Bus," a 1986 song by the zany Shuffle Demons, is a rap-oriented tribute to life on the TIC's busy route 77.

In 1992, the self-described "quasi a cappella" quartet Moxy FrUvous had considerable local success with songs such as "The King of Spain" and "My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors" which contained many references to Toronto things like the SkyDome, streetcars, Pierre Berton, the annual International Festival of Authors at Harbourfront, and the Toronto Sun. In April, 1995, the group recorded a satirical song titled "Harbour Mall" that speculates on the future of the Toronto waterfront because of the fiscal problems then being experienced at Harbourfront.

An album with the poignant title Bittersweet Canada: Songs of the New Depression was released in 1992. It contained a song by a group called Lazy Grace that was loaded with references to the Queen Street East area: "Eastern Avenue," a street where "hard times ain't nothin' new." "Serendipitous," a 1994 song by Tyler Ellis, is about a man who "found true love, and he found it on the TIC." Although without direct reference to Toronto, the 1995 tune "In Every Subway," by the Toronto group Trans Love Airways, might also be a Toronto song.

"Jane," a 1994 tune about a girl named Jane St. Clair by the Toronto-based Barenaked Ladies, was said to have been inspired by the discovery on a map of the intersection of Jane and St. Clair by Steven Duffy, a friend of the group'smembers, during a visit to Toronto from his native England. Finally, "She's Going to Toronto," is a 1995 song by Guelph based Lewis Melville, in which Ontario's capital is described as being "too crowded" and "too dirty."

Toronto references can also be found in newer forms of music. In 1991, local rap artist Maestro Fresh-Wes recorded a song called "Nothin' At All" that contained several references to Toronto personalities such as boxers Egerton Marcus and Sean O'Sullivan, and jazz performers Oscar Peterson and Salome Bey. In 1998, he recorded "4161905 (T.O. Party Anthem)," the first song to acknowledge the two telephone area codes in the Greater Toronto Area. Devon Martin, another rap performer of the early 1990s, was widely known as "Mr. Metro" and called his band the Metro Squad. He recorded a song titled "Mr. Metro," a plea for police officers to ease up in thçir treatment of youth. The 1998 debut album by the Toronto duo Ghetto Concept was said by Errol Nazareth (1999) to "paint a disturbing portrait of life in Toronto." On a more positive note is the 1993 calypso-flavoured tune "Toronto Rock," by Muhtadi, which celebrates Toronto's diversity and harmony. I am sure that a thorough search of the rap genre would yield more references to Toronto, but I leave that task to others.

The New &Quot;Toronto Sound&Quot;

Noteworthy in the late 1990s is talk, once again, of a "Toronto sound," or at least a Toronto attitude to making music. In the past, the so-called "Toronto sound" often has been derivative: 1960s rhythm and blues, late 1970s punk rock, and Queen Street West roots rock of the 1980s, though the Yorkville singer-songwriter stage in the late 1960s, featuring the likes of Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, and Murray McLauchlan, can be regarded as a more original period.

The glory days of the first Toronto sound culminated in a sold out, 14-hour concert called "The Toronto Sound" on September 24, 1966, held at Maple Leaf Gardens and featuring 14 of the city's best rock bands (Jennings 1997: 138-40). According to Jennings (p. 139), singer Luke Gibson described the Toronto Sound as "kind of whiny, a real screamingly dirty sound," usually featuring a Telecaster guitar and a Hammond B3 organ. A revival of the Toronto Sound concert was held at a club called The Warehouse in 1999. According to reviewer Chris Probert (1999), one of the highlights was the performance of a blues classic called "Going to Toronto" by the group Mainline.

The new sound and attitude, however, is characterized by an openness to new ideas and influences. If it is derivative, it is a much more imaginatively fabricated concoction. Many associate this with Toronto's increasingly complex demo-graphic structure which has transformed it into one of the world's most multicultural cities, and this intermixture of people from different backgrounds now can be seen and heard in many musical venues. The new "Toronto sound" is as complex as the city's demographic structure and, according to the Toronto Star's pop music critic, Ben Rayner, encompasses such musical styles as "Genre Hoppers" and "T-Dot Hip-Hop." Esthero, one of Toronto's leading "Genre Hoppers," recently suggested:

"…the definition of the sound is that it's so multicultural and so beautiful and so open that there's nowhere else you can attain it. I think it's an attitude—I think the whole part of the sound is that it's boundless."

One critic, Lenny Stoute (1997), even talks about the possibility that the mixing of regional musical styles could result in a "pan-African sound that's uniquely Torontonian," while another, Ben Rayner (1998), speaks of an emerging "pan-cultural approach" as the basis for a new "Toronto sound." Examples of the groups involved in this kind of music include Blaxam and Punjabi By Nature. Music from the latter blends Bhangra music from India with dance, rock, reggae, and hip-hop styles, a mix that Calgary critic James Muretich (1996) argued allowed the band to "fight prejudice with music."3

Toronto Albums

Leaving aside tributes to Toronto's professional sports teams for the moment, research has uncovered at least six "Toronto Albums," recordings devoted entirely to songs about Ontario's capital city. But just to stretch things a bit, the year 1990 saw the appearance of an album titled Neil Yonge Street—a reference both to Toronto's most famous thoroughfare and to one of its most famous rock musicians, Neil Young, by a Queen Street West band called Scott B. Sympathy. But this hardly counts as a true Toronto album.

3 Other cities also have a distinct sound. See, for example, the review of a 1998 concert by Toronto's Doug RileyI Phil Dwyer Quartet, which featured Riley on the instrument associated with Philadelphia jazz, the Hammond organ (Miller 1998: C3).

Real Toronto albums include an Original Cast recording of the Theatre-in-the-Dell's 1980 production Toronto, T oronto. Only a few of the 16 songs on this album actually deal directly with Toronto: "Spad ma-China Syndrome" (about cultural change along that street), "Ballard's Babes" (Harold Ballard was the infamous owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs), "Lifestyles," "The Great Canadian Disaster" (about the 1979 Mississauga train derailment), and "Night Time Toronto." Produced by David Warrack, the cast featured. Cleveland native Billy Newton-Davis (now with the famous Toronto-based a cappella group, The Nylons), Jodi Glassman, and Elias Zarou, with music and lyrics by Mark Shekter and Charles Weir.

A second review, Toronto, Toronto 2, followed in 1983. Like its predecessor, this show was written by Mark Shekter and Charles Weir and produced at the Theatre-in-the-Dell by David Warrack. It starred Edda Gaborek, Michael James, and Robert Rozen and contained two dozen songs, with the most memorable from a Toronto perspective being "Toronto Gothic," "Serve and Protect" (the motto of the Metropolitan Toronto Police), "I'm An Owner," "Shulmanphile" (about local politician Morton Shulman), "Roy Thomson Hall," "Yorkville Streets," "City Woman," "Channel 47" (about the world's first multicultural television station, CFMT), and a rousing final number, "Toronto [I Just Can't Let You Go]" (Figure 2).

Both shows were well received in the local press, with Toronto, Toronto described as a "dynamite new revue" (Mallett 1980: F4) and "first-class cabaret" (Conlogue 1980: 16). Lasting well over two-and-a-half years and some 1,200 performances, it was claimed to be the "longest-running professional theatrical production in Canada's history" (Taylor 1986). Sadly, most of this portion of the Toronto song legacy has been lost for the general public. Only a passing reference is given to Toronto, Toronto in the authoritative Encyclopedia of Music in Canada and it receives similar treatment in The Canadian Encyclopedia's entry on "Musical Theatre" (Stuart 1992: 902A; Stuart 1985: 1187). Neither source contains any reference to Toronto, Toronto 2. Only the recording of Toronto, Toronto is available to the public—in the music section of the Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library.

The remaining Toronto albums were either commissioned or produced to commemorate some-thing. In the 1970s composer-arranger Rudy Toth produced an album for the Toronto Star called Toronto: What Other City Calls Its Main Street Yonge?, a collection of 10 songs that included "Woodland City," "Season of the Yonge," "Lizzie Simcoe," "Indian Summer City," and "Hogtown Hoe-Down." Performers on this record included the Laurie Bower Singers and a host of Toronto's best jazz musicians, including Guido Basso, Peter Appieyard, Ed Bickert, and Moe Koffman.

Toronto's Sesquicentennial, in 1984, resulted in two recorded collections of "Toronto songs." Musical Toronto: A Concert Party, performed by the Elmer Isler Singers and an instrumental ensemble conducted by John Beckwith, featured a number of historical pieces that dealt with Toronto: "King's Street" (1838), "Sunny-Side Schottische" (1858), "Toronto Opera House Gallop" (c.1875), "Toronto's Jubilee" (1884), "Toronto the Good" (1895), "Toronto, the Pride of the North" (1898), "Take Me to Toronto Fair" (1915), and "Toronto Centennial Song" (1934). In the same year, pianist-musicologist Elaine Keillor recorded an album titled Piano Music by Torontonians that included "A Favorite Toronto Air" (1844?), "A Storm on the Lake" (1884), and Mary Gardiner's "Mosaic (Toronto 1984)."

Finally, the battle against Bill 103, a piece of provincial legislation written and passed in 1997 to merge the municipalities within Metropolitan Toronto into a single jurisdiction, which came to be known as the Megacity, resulted in the production of the NO Mega-CD. This 1997 release was a collection of fifteen songs and spoken-word pieces by prominent singers, groups, writers, and artists, including Moxy Früvous, The Rheostatics, Nancy White, Margaret Atwood, former-Mayor John Sewell, and actor Eric Peterson as William Lyon Mackenzie. The album was created as a benefit recording to raise money for the anti-megacity lobby group Citizens for Local Democracy. 4

Song and Sports

In recent years, many songs have been recorded for Toronto's professional sports teams, especially the Maple Leafs and the Blue Jays. "Pride of the Maple Leafs," a song written exclusively for the use of the team by Van Halen, now greets the players whenever they skate onto the ice for a game in Toronto. It is not available for sale to the public. Other, more accessible, songs include a 1966 paean to a very popular Maple Leaf hockey player "Clear the Track, Here Comes [Eddie] Shack" by William McCauley; "The Ballad of Wendel Clark, Parts I and II" by the Rheostatics, John Gramm's "The Blue & White"; "The Leafs Are the Best" and "The Playoffs Are Here" by Richard Samuels and Glenn Anderson. The Blue Jays' theme song "OK Blue Jays," played during every seventh-inning stretch at the SkyDome, has managed to sell more than 50,000 copies in Canada, making it a true hit record.

4 As this article was being prepared for publication, a new Toronto album, Harbord Street, was released by Trio Lyra. The title piece, a work of six movements intended as reminiscences of growing up on Harbord Street, was commissioned by the owners of the Harbord Bakery and composed by Milton Barnes in 1991.

A contest sponsored by the Toronto Sun, urged people to compose a song for the Maple Leafs to spur them on through the 1993 NHL playoffs. More than 700 entries were received, with "The Leaf Song: Go Leafs Go" by truck driver Wilf Ainscow declared the winner. It was recorded in 1993 by the popular country group The Good Brothers and even featured then-Maple Leafs' coach Pat Burns on guitar. "Fifty-Mission Cap" is a 1992 song by the Kingston-based rock group The Tragically Hip. It chronicles the tragedy of Maple Leafs' defenceman Bill Barilko, who died in a Northern Ontario plane crash in the summer of 1951, short months after scoring the winning goal against Montreal in the Stanley Cup championships of that year.

More scream than song, "Alomar" by the Rheostatics provides another musical link with Toronto's sporting life in its tribute to the Blue Jays' one-time magical second baseman. The Blue Jays Album, a collection of songs about the team and its players, was produced in 1989 to raise money for the Variety Club of Ontario. A second edition was released in 1992, and a third edition, Salute to the Champions, was issued in 1993 following the team's first World Series victory. Most of these songs are parodies of old rock 'n' roll hits. For example, "Help Us, Mookie [Wilson]" is a takeoff on the 1960s hit "Help Me, Rhonda" by the Beach Boys, while "Wham, Barn Blue Jay Gang" mimics the late Jim Croce's 1970s hit "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown," and "Along Came Joe [Carter]" is based on The Coasters' 1959 hit "Along Came Jones."

Unrecorded Toronto Songs

No discussion of Toronto songs could be complete without some analysis of the contributions of Nancy White to the lyrical interpretation of Ontario's capital. Satirist extraordinaire, White began writing and performing her clever and witty songs for the CBC radio program "Sunday Morning" in 1976, and, except for a brief period between 1980 and 1983, remained a regular and popular part of the program until 1994. Even she may not know exactly how many of her songs have been related to Toronto over the years, but some of her more memorable contributions have included "When the Wino" (about the problems encountered in dealing with panhandlers and which contains the poignant observation "When I first came into this town they often caught my eye, I Then I grew a Toronto face and now they mostly pass me by"), "Ah, Lotusland" (in which the congestion and pollution in Toronto are contrasted with the pristine nature of life in Vancouver), "I'm Glad that I Don't" (a song written for a concert in support of striking workers from Toronto-area Eaton's stores), "It's Been Bland" (a song written to mark the 1985 retirement from politics of Ontario Premier William Davis), "Fly Birdie Fly" (a tribute to the 1983 incident in which then New York Yankee outfielder Dave Winfield killed a seagull with a thrown baseball and was charged by the Toronto police), "Happy Now?" (a tune written about increasing pollution in the Toronto area that was directed at Toronto-haters everywhere), and "Tragedy in Forest Hill" (about the loss of the side-door pickup of garbage in a wealthy Toronto neighbourhood).

Other Toronto songs exist, but have never been recorded, at least not in the usual sense of the term. For many years, the streets and subway stations of the city have echoed to the sounds of buskers at work. Some "Toronto songs" may have been produced in the process. Take the case of Ben Kerr, troubadour, candidate for mayor in every election since 1985, and proponent of the medicinal use of cayenne pepper. For many years, Kerr has performed his country and western style songs in front of the entrance to the Hudson's Bay Company store at Bloor and Yonge. At least two of his songs, "The Fringe Candidate" (cf. Spears 1997) and "All the Way with the Blue Jays" could be classified as songs about Toronto.

Unrecorded "Toronto songs" have emerged from indoor stages as well. Lister Sinclair's infamous and witty 1946 radio play, We All Hate Toronto, contained a number of musical pieces, none of which was particularly flattering to the city. In "Song of Toronto" Sinclair took a solid poke at the city's alleged fascination with making money: "Every one is hopping I On the hunt for smackers. / Busy old Toronto / Ain't no room for slackers." And in another, unnamed piece, the play's hero, a young man contemplating a move to Toronto, is warned: "In Toronto the Good, it's quite understood / That sin is a thing to beware-i-O! / But if you are bad, you've got to look sad, / For nothing is fun in Ontario."

In 1981 Paul Hoffert and Tom Hendry's musical Hogtown, starring Craig Russell, was produced in Toronto at the Bayview Playhouse theatre. Little trace of it remains, except for a review in the Globe and Mail by Carole Corbeil

(1981), who found the show promising (cf. also Kallmanm et al. 1992: 607). Although Corbeil said it had songs with lots of commercial potential, her review did not nam.e any of them. In 1990, children's performer Helena Fine wrote a tribute to Toronto's multiculturalism called "Toronto Song," which at the time of writing had yet to be recorded (cf. Serge 1991).

Early in 1999, pianist Catherine Wilson gave the premiere performance of Toronto composer Srul Irving Glick's Old Toronto Klezmer Suite, a work said to have been inspired by the city's Jewish past. The suite's four movements capture important landmarks within Jewish Toronto: Roselawn Cemetery, The Rabbi's Wedding at the Palmerston Street Shul, The United Bakers' Dairy Restaurant, and Kensington Market. The work has yet to be recorded (Goddard 1999).

Joey Miller wrote some splendid songs about Toronto in the 1930s that were used in the 1991 musical That Scatterbrain Booky. A theatrical adaptation of the "Booky" series of children's novels by Bernice Thurman Hunter, it played at Young People's Theatre: "Dead End Veeny Street" (about the Swansea area in the west end), "Opportunity Days" (about regular sales at Eaton's), "The Palais Royale" (about a popular lake-front dance hall that remains standing), but no recording of them yet exists (cf. also Chapman 1991). The latest example of this genre is a work titled Honest Ed— The Bargain Musical, a satirical depiction of the life of Ed Mirvish, one of Toronto's most famous retailers and theatre owners. It played briefly at the Poor Alex Theatre early in 1999.

Many "Toronto songs" have been written for the city's often vibrant cabaret theatre scene which over the years has included enterprises such as Spring Thaw, Theatre-in-the-Dell, and Second City, but these remain largely unrecorded and/or unavailable. In fact, the lack of preservation of the documents of Toronto's comedic past is both sad and shocking. Consider, for example, Spring Thaw, an annual topical and satirical review that ran in Toronto from 1948 until 1971. All that remains of this effort in the Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library is a single 45 rpm recording that was not intended for sale and the remnants of four scripts from the early 1950s.

I suspect that much Toronto material has been lost. For example, the 1951 edition contained a clever sketch called "Babes In The Subway: An Original Canadian Pantomime," complete with several short songs, all designed to poke fun at Toronto. Nor is the picture much brighter in recent times for such theatrical ventures. Since 1973, the Second City comedy troupe has entertained patrons at the Old Firehall Theatre on Lombard Street, and more recently at a new facility on Blue Jays Way. To my knowledge, not one of the forty-five productions mounted by early 1999 had ever been recorded for commercial sale, and no cast recordings are to be found within the collection at the Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library.

A 1993 production written by Richard Ouzounian and David Warrack titled Torontosaurus and starring Brian McKay, Ted Simonett, Dan Chameroy, Margery Lowe, and Ann Mantini, contained no fewer than 28 songs about a wide variety of aspects of life in the city, from people lost to AIDS to the annual Festival of Festivals movie extravaganza to romance at the defunct Windsor Arms Hotel to the sorry plight of the Toronto Argonauts. At the time of writing, twenty-two of these tunes had been preserved in a recorded format on cassette (Figure 2), but the show itself was prematurely canceled when the Limelight Dinner Theatre, where it was being presented, was suddenly sold to new owners who intended to convert it from a dinner theatre into a nightclub. As a result, the original cast recording received very limited exposure, and is not found within the music collection of the Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library. Much of this saga was reported in the Globe and Mail under the delightfully witty headline, "Torontosaurus Wrecked?"

There are hundreds of other unrecorded songs about the city. For example, as part of the celebration of Toronto's bicentennial in 1993, the Toronto Musicians Association organized a song-writing contest to pick an official theme song for the year. Among the 176 entries, the judges (who included Mayor June Rowlands, singers Sylvia Tyson, John Allan Cameron, Tabbie Johnson, and Patti Jannetta, and jazz musicians Jim Galloway and Hagood Hardy) chose "Toronto, It's Our Home," by Matt Homer and Tom Eakin (Chapman 1993a; 1993b). I have never heard the piece performed.

In sum, although there is a long list of "Toronto songs," most are quite old, most remain unavailable for purchase in any recorded format, and few of them can be said to be pieces of music that are performed or even hummed in Toronto, let alone around the globe.

Tangential Associations: Band Names and Album Covers

Over the years, there have been a number of musical associations with Toronto in the very names of some musical groups. During the big-band era, there was a famous group of jazz musicians known as the Casa Loma Orchestra, but the core of the band was composed of American performers. Even though they had performed in Toronto, perhaps even at Casa Loma, in the late 1920s, they did so under another name. The name "Casa Loma Orchestra" was adopted later, while the band was playing in New York. (Kallmann et al. 1992: 342).

From 1967 to 1969, a Toronto rock band known as "Kensington Market" met with some success that even included a 1968 album Avenue Road, and a sound described by Globe and Mail rock critic Peter Goddard as providing "impressions of cacophonous Toronto streets" (Jennings 1997: 163; Kallmann et al. 1992: 681). According to Nicholas Jennings, another Toronto band of this period was called "Cabbage Town," though it seems to have left no known legacy (Jennings 1997: 252). Between 1978 and 1983 there was even a successful hard-rock band that called itself "Toronto," but its members did not sing about their home-base (Quill1983). All in all, it did not do nearly as much for Toronto as Chicago did for another Great Lakes city.

Another band, formed in the early 1990s, was known as "The Leslie Spit Treeo," a direct reference to Toronto's largest landfill project of the era, the Leslie Street Spit (Kallmann et a!. 1992: 1257). About the same time, the five-piece band "bloorstation" was formed by Gregg Lawless and met with some success in local clubs (Pace1994). By 1993, talent scouts at radio station CILQ, more commonly known as Q-107, had uncovered yet another Toronto-named group, "Hoggtown"; but their first record, "Suspicious Heart," also had nothing to do with Toronto.

The city has been named and portrayed in album covers, even if the songs on those records had little to do with Toronto. In this regard, two early jazz recordings are noteworthy. Live in Toronto 1952 was recorded by the Lennie Tnstano Quintet on July 17, 1952. On May 15, 1953, at the invitation of the New Jazz Society of Toronto, five of the world's finest bebop musicians (Charlie Parker, alto sax; Dizzy Gillespie, trumpet; Bud Powell, piano; Charles Mingus, bass; and Max Roach, drums) assembled before a one-quarter-capacity audience to play and record what came to be known as Th e Greatest Jazz Concert Ever: Jazz at Massey Hall.

Nor are such associations limited to early jazz recordings. For example, the album Show Stoppers from O'Keefe Centre was produced c.1963 in tribute to the Broadway musical which, according to the theatre's music director, William McCauley, was the "backbone of O'Keefe Centre's success." An album titled The Toronto Mass was produced in 1972 to capture a liturgy created by members of Toronto's St. Basil's Church; it included music, written and arranged by Tom Elia, blending blues, rock, jazz, and classical forms.

Martha and the Muffins, a new wave band from the Queen Street West area, released an album titled Metro Music in 1979. While the album's cover featured a reproduction of a topographic map of central Toronto, the songs inside the sleeve did not deal specifically with the city. In the same year rock singer Bob Segarini released an album titled Goodbye, L.A. that featured a very clear artist's impression of the Toronto skyline on its front cover, with a smog-enshrouded photograph of the Los Angeles skyline on the back. The two sides of the record were called, respectively, "That City [Los Angeles]" and "This City [Torontol." While the California metropolis was celebrated in the album's title tune, none of the songs referred to Toronto. Perhaps a picture is worth a thousand notes!

The Toronto skyline also appears prominently on the cover of the 1984 album Listen to the City, which featured the original soundtrack by Gordon Deppe of the rock group The Spoons for the Ron Mann film of the same title. Gi yen the setting for the film, the songs "Theme for a City" and "Romantic Traffic" may have some loose association with Toronto. A 1981 album produced to promote new rock groups was titled Toronto Calling. Although its cover contained no photograph of the city, the title was reproduced some nine times on it. The same year witnessed the release of Moving Pictures by the power-rock trio Rush. It featured a close-up photograph of the front entrance to the Legislature at Queen's Park on its front and back covers.

Also in 1981, an album was released to help pay for Toronto's new concert hall, a building that would later become Roy Thomson Hall. Superstars Salute New Massey Hall featured artists' renditions of the exterior and interior of the new building on its front and back covers, respectively. Not surprisingly, the same building also appears prominently on the front and back covers of a 1984 album by Andrew Davis, then the conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, titled Andrew Davis Plays the Organ at Roy Thomson Hall.

Mutual Street, a 1991 jazz recording featuring duets by guitarist Ed Bickert and trombonist Rob McConnell sported caricatures of the two performers perched atop the distinctive Toronto-style street sign for the unimposing downtown thoroughfare that has, in years gone by, been home to both the CBC and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 1994 promotional recording Northern X-Posure prepared in conjunction with the annual Canadian Music Week, contained a photograph of the Toronto skyline at night that was credited to the CN Tower. A host of similar examples probably exist.

Especially in the jazz realm, many albums have been recorded live at Toronto clubs: for example, Lenny Breau with Dave Young Live at Bourbon St., Moe Koffman Live at George's ISpaghetti House], The Gene DiNovi Trio Live at the Montreal Bistro, Toronto, and The Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra Live at Montreal Bistro. Isn't that a sad reflection of the music scene in Toronto? The first two clubs no longer exist, and the final one is named after Toronto's arch-rival among Canadian cities!

Conclusion: Not Quite Ready for Musical Stardom

While there are many Toronto songs, recorded or not, the evidence suggests that Toronto is still not in the same musical league as the world's most powerful cities. To my knowledge, not one of the Toronto songs discussed in this study has been recorded more than once. Most remain known only to their authors, their families, and a few devoted fans. Moreover, some musical associations with Toronto have proven to be rather embarrassing. As we have already seen, one of the best jazz clubs in the city is named "The Montreal Bistro."

In 1998, Jazz Toronto, a tribute to the musical prowess of the city was released. It was produced by Montréal-based Justin Time Records. Although it contained works by many of the city's best musicians, it contained no jazz works about the city.

Even Ontarians can ignore the provincial capital in their thematic works. Howard Cable's 1984 opus Ontario Pictures Suite contains three movements: "Downbound from Thunder Bay," "Point Pelee," and "Old Fort Henry." None concerns Toronto, though "each movement [depicts] a different geographical area of Ontario."

Above, I introduced Jim Cormier's concept of "songbirds of the city." Cormier included Toronto in his list, and the "songbird" he picked for the Ontario capital was none other than Carole Pope, the Queen Street West rock diva who made her name with the group Rough Trade, a popular band from 1974 to 1986. The problem with this choice is that Pope moved to Los Angeles shortly after Cormier's list was made. But, then, for many Torontonians there is no better pop icon than one who lives in the United States. I suspect, however, that Cormier's choice was intended primarily to deflate the growing world-class pretensions emerging in Toronto in the late 1980s.

There have been even more embarrassing moments in Toronto's recent musical history. While there would be, as always in such matters, some debate over the city's most influential musician, the name of Glenn Gould would appear at or near the top of most lists. He was very fond of Toronto, and even agreed to act as guide for a tour of the city for the late-1970s television series Cities. At the time of his death in 1982, Gould lived in a penthouse apartment near St. Clair and Avenue Road. In 1994, the City of Toronto agreed to name a local park in his honour. When then-Mayor June Rowlands unveiled the new sign for the park, it read "Glen [sic] Gould Park" (Josey 1994).

Perhaps most telling of all with respect to Toronto's lack of memorable melodies is Jack Hutton's account ofToronto's most famous song (1984). According to Hutton, the honour belongs to "The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise." Composed in 1904 by a young Torontonian, Ernest Seitz, it became the most successful popular tune in Canadian history, largely because of the number of American artists who recorded it. The lyric for the song was written in 1916 by another Torontoman, Gene Lockhart, one-time player for the Toronto Argonauts and later Hollywood star. On the copyright application for the song, Seitz, a concert pianist who feared embarrassment over his association with a popular tune, used a pseudonym, Raymond Roberts. He died in Toronto at the age of 86 in 1978. In 1984, then-Mayor Arthur Eggleton dedicated Sunrise Park, a small parkette near Avenue Road and St. Clair, in memory of the city's most famous song. At least the spelling was correct.

Toronto may yet rise up to become an important musical mecca, complete with its own songbird and collection of well known tunes. It does have a strong core of musical institutions and traditions. The city was once called "The Choral Capital of North America," and the index to the most recent edition of the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada contains 146 entries that begin with the word "Toronto," compared to 105 for Montreal and 96 for Vancouver (Kaiirnann et a!. 1992: 1443-1524).

(Use of entries that begin with the names of L the three citiesas they appear in the index of the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada is, at best, a rather crude measure of the musical importance of each city, for it grossly underestimates the musical activity in each place. For example, neither the Canadian Opera Company nor the National Ballet of Canada would be included for Toronto under this procedure. The totals for each city also include references to their universities.)

Infrastructure for the production of music certainly is present in the city today (Table 1). Now, if only someone could write a hit song or two about the city, or a musical about life in Toronto that opened on Broadway, or if journalists in other cities would write about the "Toronto sound"! Meanwhile, in the popular musical idiom, Toronto remains very much a city "waiting for [its] sunrise."

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