Yorkville, Toronto: The Neighborhood That First Inspired David Crighton
This is the story before the story. The prequel.
The drawing that I consider to be the one that "started it all" is of a building in Yorkville. What I didn't know then, was that York had a rich and controversial history. I know now that it was the Canadian neighbourhood of its time.
It was legendary. A bohemian underground culture was ignited in the 60s and for Canada it centred in Yorkvilled. Emerging artists such as Joni Mitchell and Neil Young started playing in coffeehouses such as the Riverboat... they were cool, they were hip...rad...outasight. Legends such as Bob Dylan and Gordon Lightfoot were bumping elbows with writers and free thinkers of the era.
It was groovy. It was THE scene. Everyone wanted to catch the vibe. The Village had established itself as the counter culture hangout, anti-war politics were discussed, free thinking defined youths as individuals with a voice. Anti-establishment discussions were spoken between live performances and strong cups of coffee. "The Man" was everything that was wrong with the world.
For the first time in history you were defined by your choices in music, poetry and art. This was a cultural revolution. At this time, Andy Warhol was creating experimental films and defining Pop Art. It may have started with the HIppie Movement but by the 70s it had become a 24 hour a day happening.
The prolific drug culture made it far-out and psychedelic. McLuhan emerged. LCD was touted as mind expanding by cultural prophets such as Timothy Leary. It was only in 1962 that hallucinogenic drugs were made illegal in Canada. cannabis was controversial...and everywhere. Needless to say, some pretty trippy times took place.
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