David McPherson Reading

David McPherson reads from his new book The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern: A Complete History at The Bookshelf on Saturday, September 30, 11:00 AM.

What exactly makes The Horseshoe Tavern so legendary, and how has it managed to survive when so many Toronto music venues have closed? Live music and the Horseshoe Tavern are woven into the fabric of Toronto’s history. It’s more than a venue. It’s a pilgrimage place where people gather and commune over a shared passion. The Horseshoe is a beacon for music lovers, a part of Toronto’s rich musical landscape.

As Queen Street West evolved from a blue-collar strip to the more gentrified streetscape today, the Horseshoe has stood the test of time; each era and decade of the tavern’s 70 years are intertwined with the history of the city. From a watering hole for East Coast immigrants, police officers, to a cog in the new Queen Street arts scene in the 1980s to an indie rock haven.

The Horseshoe remains as relevant today as it did when Jack Starr founded the country music club in a former blacksmith shop back in 1947. Throughout 2017, the current owners will celebrate the 70 th anniversary of this storied bar with special shows from September on.

Author David McPherson is president and chief creative officer of McPherson Communications — a writing and public relations consulting business. Over the years his writing on music has appeared in Paste, American Songwriter, Canadian Musician, Exclaim!, and Chartattack.com. He lives in Waterloo, Ontario.