Church on Church: Evolution Not Revolution
Mychol Scully-Toronto: On Thursday, August 23, 2012, I had the pleasure of attending the media preview of a new dance club on Church Street in Toronto. Located in the former premises of George’s PLAY on Church, the new club, cleverly named “Church on Church” offered a heady mix of the aroma of fresh-cut lumber and complimentary cocktails, beer and wine to an enthusiastic crowd of friends, family and miscellaneous media types.
Although the new space offered a “Pride Preview” over the Canada Day weekend earlier this summer, it appeared that their renovation schedule may have been compromised, as the event last Thursday had a bit of an edgy “not quite ready” vibe that several people I spoke to commented on. As one bartender advised me, when I made reference to the elaborate assemblage of plywood boxes that made up the back bar wall, each box was intended for a specific purpose, which apparently included the installation of flat panel TVs that had not yet arrived.
DJ Alessandro provided a high-energy mix of music that inspired a few people to have a spin on the polished concrete dance floor. Lighting was minimal but effective, enhanced by the occasional fog cloud billowing out from under the DJ booth. The acoustics of the space were good, with speakers well-positioned to provide both volume and clarity without too much distortion. When I left the club, I experienced none of the ringing in my ears that sometimes results from a poorly-balanced sound system. Kudos on getting that technical detail right!
When the doors finally opened to the public around 10:00pm, there was a steady stream of curious locals and club kids from around town, eager to check out the newest dance spot in the Village. While it’s still too early to say for certain, Church on Church is well-positioned to offer something of an evolution in party spaces in the Village, designed to appeal to the queer contingent as well as a straighter crowd. Not a revolutionary venue, but definitely a potentially evolutionary concept for party space downtown, with a grass-roots vibe that’s both friendlier and less pretentious than the mega-venues centered in clubland around Richmond and John streets.
I plan to check them out again in a couple of weeks, when some of the decor details get sorted out. I’ll post an update then.