Toronto has a long history as Hollywood North, a popular destination where movies are shot on a year-round basis. Most often, the city stands in for Chicago or New York, but recently it has played itself in such flicks as Scott Pilgram vs. the World. However, we also have a vibrant music scene, a top spot for many of the world's most famous artists. On this episode of On the Road, I take a mini road trip of two of the most famous venues and highlight the musicians who rocked their walls.
The first thing I wanted to mention about the all-new Ford Focus on this episode is the great mirror-in-mirror feature. The side mirrors are enhanced with this special touch, so you have an expanded view in the blind spot mirror so you can safely change lanes and have a clear view of cyclists and pedestrians. I also like that I can load up music on a USB key and take it with me for the ride. For today's trip, I'm listening to my favourite online indie artist "Brad Sucks." It's a one-man band (who doesn't suck) that has produced some excellent tunes that are perfect for driving around in the city.
My first stop was the Masonic Temple, which was built in 1917. In the 1960s it was known as The Rockpile, where Led Zeppelin held its first concert in 1969. It is also well-known as a rehearsal space for the Rolling Stones and its current name is the MTV Temple. From here, I take advantage of the car's navigation system once again to find a point of interest. My second stop? Massey Hall.
Although I've had this car for a few weeks, I've only filled up a couple of times (the all-new Ford Focus gets approximately 902 highway kilometres on every tank of gas). My drive down to the next music venue is a long one, thanks to Saturday afternoon traffic and construction. With my favourite music and a great stereo system, the ride is quick, not to mention the step-by-step directions that ensure I take the best route and avoid areas where I'll be delayed.
Massey Hall was named the Best Live Music Venue over 1500 seats in 1994 by the Canadian Music Industry. Gordon Lightfoot is the most frequent artist to this famous location, with appearances that span 40 years. Bob Dylan has also appeared on stage here, and according to the building's website, in 1965 he outraged the audience when he and his band went electric during the second half of the show.
While I could probably spend a week touring the music sites in the city, these two venues have the most interesting histories.
Although it's the end of the road, so to speak, for this web series, it's been a blast to drive the Ford Focus, especially around the city. It's a high-tech car that keeps you connected, while still allowing me to tour efficiently and safely on my way through this series.
Thanks for joining me, and see for yourself – take the all new Ford Focus out for a test drive yourself.