Another reminder that Toronto isn't New York City after all.
Closed ("temporarily") just five months after opening to much fanfare, Live@Courthouse is now officially dead — leaving Toronto once again without a full-time jazz club that books touring artists over multi-night stands. According to Ashante Infantry's article in the Toronto Star, Nick Di Donato pulled his support from the project. The posh 150-seat club, which operated out of a building owned by Di Donato's Liberty Entertainment Group, was meant to showcase top-flight artists, but never scored a loyal audience.
Coming on the heels of failures by the Bermuda Onion, George's Spaghetti House, the Top o' the Senator and the Montreal Bistro, it raises the question if Toronto has what it takes to support jazz beyond what goes on at the rough-and-tumble Rex and the occasional other local venue. If the rumours prove true, and Toronto fails to draw U.S. attendees in sizable numbers to next January's International Association of Jazz Education conference (the event regularly attracts upwards of 4,500 delegates when it's in New York) the city is likely to develop a real complex.