Bruce Cockburn & Toronto: A Historical Tour

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(#13) Performance Venues in Toronto: The Pornographic Onion:

The Pornographic Onion

The Pornographic Onion was a cafe on the Ryerson Polytechnic campus, at which Bruce performed in the late 60's. Housed in the basement of the MGM building on the corner of Victoria and Gould streets, its heyday was only from 1968 to 1970, when the building was torn down.

During its 2 year run, it had its share of troubles (a revolving door of managers being the main one), but was mostly successful. Many top performers found their way to the Onion, including Joni Mitchell and Murray McLauchlan, and the club was regularly full to its 250 seat capacity. After the building was replaced, attempts to reopen the folk club never got off the ground until 1977, when a group of students restarted the Pornographic Onion in Jorgenson Hall, the building which had replaced the MGM building. Unfortunately, times and musical tastes had changed and lack of response forced the closure of the club not long after it re-opened.

This page is part of The Cockburn Project, a unique website that exists to document the work of Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn. The Project archives self-commentary by Cockburn on his songs and music, and supplements this core part of the website with news, tour dates, and other current information.