Iconic Toronto Strip Club Location Nominated for Heritage Recognition Amid Redevelopment Plans

Toronto’s iconic Brass Rail Tavern, a historic fixture on Yonge Street since the 1950s, may soon gain heritage recognition. The Toronto Preservation Board is urging the City’s Planning and Housing Committee to designate the properties at 699 and 707 Yonge St., including 701 Yonge St., under the Ontario Heritage Act.

Situated on the east side of Yonge Street, these properties house a three-story brick row building dating back to 1887, which most recently hosted the Brass Rail Tavern. Originally established as a family-friendly restaurant in 1948, it transitioned into an adult entertainment venue in the late 60s and early 70s, contributing to the notorious reputation of Yonge Street as the “Sin Strip.”

In March 2016, the subject properties were listed on the Heritage Register and included in the Historic Yonge Heritage Conservation District, presently under appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal. 

Recent plans for redevelopment surfaced in September 2022, proposing to maintain and restore the three-story brick façade while introducing a 64-story condominium tower with 514 residential units.

The proposed redevelopment, spearheaded by Concord, covers an L-shaped site featuring five low-rise properties, including an H-Mart grocery store and a Pizzaiolo location. 

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However, the fate of Brass Rail Tavern in the future development remains uncertain, as Concord’s vice-president of development, Gabriel Leung, emphasized that it’s too early to determine its inclusion.

The recommendation from the Toronto Preservation Board is set to undergo review by the city’s planning committee on November 30. The proposed redevelopment is yet to commence community consultations and awaits approval from the City Council as of late 2023.

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