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Zipperz says goodbye as building is set for demolition

Toronto gay nightclub closes after 18 years

Credit: Daily Xtra file photo

Another gay space in Toronto’s gay village has closed its doors for the final time. After 18 years, Zipperz/Cellbock said goodbye July 7, 2016, with an aptly-named Last Call event.

“It’s bittersweet. Everybody was there. It was so nice to see everybody; people I haven’t seen in years,” says owner Harry Singh. “We had a good run, 18 years, and I accomplished what I set out to do.”

Singh hired Mykel Hall, better-known as DJ Blackcat, as a green DJ nearly 15 years ago, and for a time, Hall also worked as a busser at Zipperz. “I made a lot of friends over the years that I probably wouldn’t have made in any other situation,” Hall says.

Now a seasoned performer and event planner, Blackcat spun at the last Zipperz party.

“After my set I went outside to the patio at the back and I just stood there for a little while and just remembered the different things. I was having a moment back there,” Hall says. “A couple of years from now, that’s gonna be a condo and I wanted some memories for myself. It was very important to the community and Harry was — Harry is really important to me.”

Singh laments the condo developments pushing gay dance spaces out of the Church-Wellesley Village.

“Every city should be a balance. The way things are going there’s gonna be no place for people to go. What are tourists going to see? Somebody’s apartment?” he asks.

The former Zipperz building will be demolished “within the next month or two,” according to Peter Jakovcic, project manager at Tribute Communities, the development company behind the condo tower at Church and Carlton. The developer says the new building should be finished by 2019.