‘Business as usual’ at Toronto’s Phoenix concert venue despite developers’ interest

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The owner of Toronto’s Phoenix Concert Theatre says “it’s business as usual” at her popular live music and entertainment venue despite a new proposal to develop the site into a 39-floor residential tower.

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“Development of this building has been talked about since we took over The Phoenix eight years ago,” said Lisa Zbitnew via email to the Sun on Tuesday.

“We have just opened to full capacity after being restricted for over 20 months. Our focus is on getting things reopened and running, not the long-term potential of development, which is happening everywhere in the city.”

A new development application was submitted on Sunday for 410 Sherbourne Street to become a 39-storey mixed-use building, but it still has to go through a municipal process.

The Phoenix, meanwhile, dates back to the ’50s and has enjoyed various incarnations.

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First, it hosted ballroom dinner and dances as the German-Canadian Club Harmonie before becoming The Village Gate, The Diamond and The Phoenix, hosting the likes of everyone from the Rolling Stones to Bob Dylan over the last 30 years as the latter.


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