Toronto jazz hub 120 Diner permanently closing

Toronto’s 120 Diner and Club 120 are permanently closing their doors due to the financial strain of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Church Street establishment is known for hosting live jazz almost every night at the 120 Diner and for offering a highly inclusive nightclub experience at Club 120.

An incredibly artist-friendly space with a robust local booking policy and a strong sense of community, the 120 Diner has welcomed some of Toronto’s most talented jazz artists in a casual downtown setting with a selection of classic diner fare.

Thanks to donations from the community, the 120 Diner would be able to survive until the end of May.

However, co-owner Todd Klinck announced in a Facebook post on Wednesday that the long-lasting effects of the pandemic will make it impossible for the club to last any longer.

“With the way the world is turning, there is no sane or rational way that we can keep this space alive,” he wrote.

Klinck explained that the uncertainty around if and when restaurants and live music venues will be able to re-open and operate at full capacity makes it “impossible for us to hold out.”

The building is owned by the developer Madison Properties and is slated to eventually be demolished for a two-tower condo project. However, the 120 Diner owners and their landlord had recently signed a five-year lease agreement.

Goodhandy’s nightclub first opened in 2006 — named after its other co-owner, Mandy Goodhandy — and changed its name to Club 120 in 2012. Two years later, they opened the 120 Diner on the main floor, and the restaurant became a hub for Toronto jazz.

Klinck gave special thanks to its resident acts, including Heather Luckhart, Jennifer Walls, Jill and Mike Daley, and Fifth Element.

He also left the community with a note of optimism.

“This is not the end,” he wrote. “Once the dust settles we will be back.”

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