Rather than understating Toronto’s dire need for more nightlife venues, we’ll cut to the chase. Populus, well known under its previous title of Toika Lounge, is shutting its doors next month. Placed outside Toronto’s King West entertainment district near the corner of Richmond Street West and Spadina Avenue, Populus (under multiple names) served as a low-key meeting point for underground electronic music lovers yearning for a hidden jewel since 2012.
Sure, Populus’ imprint didn’t earn the foot traffic that the late Hoxton nightclub of Bathurst Street did, but its identity as a cozy and simplistic place made it a heavily-rented venue for event promoters to utilize. Located in what can only be described as a two-storey office building, this one-room lounge was the last place you’d expect be corralled by velvet ropes and security. Instead, Populus will iconically be remembered as a place to dance. Today, Populas quietly announced its penultimate parties, the highlight of which is an open to close performance from a man very familiar to nightclub closures, Mark Oliver. The weekend of August 25th sees the venue’s two last parties.
Feature image by Randy Bui