Unless they're on their way to Massey Hall a block away, no one hits the Yonge Street strip for its music. But there was a time. "I never seen a street like it anywhere in the world," the legendary and excitable bandleader Ronnie Hawkins said. "Yonge Street was the promised land." In honour of the street's legacy, music journalist Nicholas Jennings gives eight walking tours this summer. (Sunday's is fully booked; preregister for future walks at heritagetoronto.org). Here are four of the 14 outdoor stops on the musical history tour.
201 Yonge St.
Jazz and blues haunt provided a stage for Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughan, Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf.
At Dundas Street
Unaware Ryerson students there one night in '74 were sitting next to an incognito Bob Dylan.
At Queen Street
Listen to Oscar Peterson's 1958 album On the Town to hear what the room sounded like.
Le Coq d'Or
333 Yonge St.
The house that Hawkins (and Bo Diddley, Fats Domino etc.) built.