Toronto's Orbit Room Is Closing Its Doors

Once co-owned by Rush's Alex Lifeson, the bar hosted live music seven nights a week

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Jul 16, 2020

Long-running Toronto music venue the Orbit Room — a space co-founded by Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson known for hosting live performances each night of the week — is closing its doors for good after initially shutting down due to COVID-19 in March.

Orbit Room co-founder Tim Notter shared the news through the venue's Facebook page, writing that the West End club located at 580 College St. would remain closed in spite of ongoing reopening efforts. 

"This doesn't mean that we are out of the live music business," he wrote. "It just means that our shows will no longer be at that address."

Notter added, "For 22 of the last 25 years, we have had a band play every night of the week. Like everyone else, we will have to wait and see how the business reopens and what it will look like before we can make any plans for the future. Apparently, the people that make those decisions have no idea what sort of timeline we are looking at."

Notter thanked venue staff, everyone who had paid a visit throughout, and the musical talent that graced the stage throughout the years, concluding, "I'll make announcements about future shows so please stay tuned."

Notter and Lifeson opened the Orbit Room as co-founders in October of 1994. On occasion, the Rush axeman had been known to sit in on performances, if not join in the playing himself.

The Orbit Room was featured during Lifeson's 2009 appearance on The Rick Mercer Report, which you can revisit below. After a long day of indoor skydiving and flying planes, the pair stop in for a pint around the 4:50 mark before picking up some real (and plastic) instruments.

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