1940s, 1950s, classics, music, rock and roll, rockabilly, Uncategorized, wanda jackson

Rock-a-long To That Rockabilly Sound

A sad thing that has been happening in Toronto over the last few years.  The arts/music scene has been taking a hit due to the crazy surge in rental and housing prices. Many bars are closing and it is getting harder and harder to survive in Toronto as an artist of any level due to this. One thing I truly love about this city is or should I say did love about this city was its artistic diversity. Sadly for Toronto, much of that has up and moved to Hamilton (amazing for Hamilton). Not only does Hamilton have a growing artists community, it also has a growing Rockabilly scene, something that used to be a much larger scene here in T.O. Don’t get me wrong, our Rockabilly scene is still here and it’s still amazing, but it needs to receive the love it once did. Let’s start giving it back the attention it deserves.


Anyone who is or was into that scene will recognize the bands and places I have listed below. By no means are the lists below complete, but they are the popular choices and I wanted to give you a saucey taste of what is out there. If we start supporting these artists, stores, and venues again, the way we did in the late 90s and early 2000s, we will help them survive and bring them back to the popularity they had back then! We could start a revival!

Johnny Cash In 'Road To Nashville'

I used to head out to the Cadillac Lounge or The Dakota to catch bands such as the Royal Crowns, Ginger St. James and Alistair Christl on the regular. I would be at the Black Dice Cafe on many occasions and I loved spending a steamy night at a burlesque show. Like many, and I’m not sure why I did, I’m just as guilty, as I stepped away from that scene. I’ve been feeling nostalgic for it again. I’m not sure if it’s due to all of the Wanda Jackson albums my fella brings home or that my love for vintage everything has peaked again. Either way, I would love to see this scene thrive again, as it used to. We recently saw Wanda and I was actually surprised that there wasn’t more of a Rockabilly presence in the crowd.


I would love to see the Rockabilly scene in all its glory again! Get your poodle skirt and saddle shoes on. Get that pompadour high and let’s get ourselves out to a night of squealing and dancing to that killer Rockabilly sound!


Well known musicians

Christian DeArmond — https://christiand.ca/

Dodge Fiasco — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVljgXcCsSA

Ginger St. James — http://www.gingerstjames.com/

Hellbent Rockers (Hamilton, but play Toronto) http://hellbentrockers.com/live.html

The Greasemarks — https://www.facebook.com/Greasemarks/?fref=mentions or http://www.greasemarks.com/

The Hellbent Rockers — http://hellbentrockers.com/

The Millwinders — https://millwinders.bandcamp.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/The-Millwinders-333439737373/

The Royal Crowns — http://www.theroyalcrowns.ca/

The Swingin’ Blackjacks — https://www.facebook.com/swinginblackjacks/


Rockabilly Bars (or bars that hold Rockabilly events)

Burdock — http://burdockto.com/

Cadillac Lounge — http://www.cadillaclounge.com/

Castros Lounge — http://castroslounge.com/

Cherry Cola’s Rock n’ Rolla Cabaret Lounge — https://www.facebook.com/cherrycolasrocknrolla/

Disgraceland (Bar and Grill) – https://www.disgraceland.ca/

Grossman’s Tavern — www.grossmanstavern.com/

Gun, Rod and Barbers — rodgunandbarbers.com/

Horseshoe Tavern — http://www.horseshoetavern.com/

Junction City Music Hall — www.junctioncitymusichall.com/

Revival Bar — www.revivalbar.com/

The Black Dice — http://www.blackdicecafe.com     

The Dakota — thedakotatavern.com/

The Hole in the Wall — https://www.facebook.com/HoleInTheWallTO/

The Local — www.thelocalpub.ca/

The Monarch Tavern — http://www.themonarchtavern.com/


Tiki Bars

Bill Hicks Bar – 946 Queen Street East

Bovine Sex Club – 542 Queen Street West

Miss Thing – 1279 Queen Street West

Shameful Tiki Room — 1378 Queen Street West

The Shore Leave -1175 Danforth Avenue


Where to buy clothing

Black Daffodil — 3097 Dundas Street West
Doll Factory by Damzels — 394 Roncesvalles Avenue
Rosie the Rebel — 604 Queen Street West

Social Media Pages

Toronto Rockabilly —  https://www.facebook.com/torontorockabilly/

Toronto Rockabilly/Surf/Burlesque Community —


RnR Dancing in Toronto and beyond  — https://www.facebook.com/groups/120849821417387

Vintage Society — http://www.vintagesociety.ca

1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, bowling, drive-in theatre, movies, music, tiki, vintage, vintage date night

The Perfect Saturday Night Vintage Date Night

Raise your hand if you’ve watched a movie from the 1930s, 40s or 50s and thought to yourself, gee, that would be a swell date night idea. Their dates always look like a lot of fun. I’m raising both hands right now. Fess up so did quite a few of those reading this.

online-dating-header2I love everything about date night of that period. The chivalry, the way that everyone took the time to dress up in their finest and made a real effort to impress their lady or fella. Doors were opened, chairs pulled out, hands held, people took the time to enjoy their meal, the movie, the date, nothing was rushed… I could go on. There is a beautiful romance about these times and I want to recreate them.


There are many ways to make your date night a vintage date night. You’ve already dressed in your vintage glad rags, so why not go out on the town and jolly it up vintage style. It could be dinner and a movie, dinner and then drinks at a Speakeasy, I mean Tiki bar, a night of bowling or a romantic picnic in a park. There are many ways to turn your date into a dreamy vintage night out.


Living in Toronto, we are fortunate to have a plethora of vintage or vintage style diners, bowling alleys, dance events and drive-ins. If you are having a vintage style picnic or romantic dinner at home, don’t forget the music. There are many options for music as well as ways to play it. If you don’t have a stereo that plays vinyl, you can also stream vintage music online and with the right gadget, you could possibly even have it play through that vintage radio you have sitting on your mantle or beautiful corner table. I suggest Radio Vintage for this. http://www.radiovintage.net/

If your vintage date night is a movie night and your city has a Rep Theatre, check out their selection of classic movies. Get some popcorn and a soda pop and you are ready to snuggle up to your fella or flame. My personal favourite date night movie is The Creature From the Black Lagoon. I think it’s adorable when my fella jumps and squeezes my hand tight during the scary parts. What’s your favourite vintage date night classic movie? If a drive-in theatre is more your thing, pack a cooler with your favourite drinks and snacks or go to the concession stand when those wonderful kitschy retro ads play between movies.


If you are in the mood for a picnic, pack up that wicker picnic basket and fill it with a gingham tablecloth, a lovely packed meal and if your city allows it, maybe a nice bottle of wine. Bring along your portable radio so you can place some classic, swinging jazz.

If you live in Toronto and as I mentioned above, there is a grand selection of places you could go for your date.  I have listed options for bowling alleys, drive-ins, rep theatres, speakeasies aka tiki bars or vintage diners below.



All-Star Bowl – 2791 Eglinton Ave E Toronto, 416-261-5011

Bathurst Bowlerama – 2788 Bathurst St, Toronto 416-782-1841

Bowlerama – 5837 Yonge St North York, 416-222-4657

Brimley Bowl – 26441/2 Eglinton E Toronto, 416-261-4216, 2644 Eglinton Ave E, Scarborough

Brunzwick Zone – 2561 Stanfield Rd, Mississauga, 905-270-8634

Classic Bowl – 3055 Dundas St W, Mississauga, 905-607-2695

Danforth Bowl – 1554 Danforth Ave (downstairs) Toronto, On – 416.463.3000

Kennedy Bowl – White Shield Plaza, 2300 Lawrence Ave E, Scarborough, 416-759-6181

Lucky Strike Lanes – 1 Bass Pro Mills Drive, Vaughan Mills, 1-905-760-9931 (up-scale Mod)

Newtonbrook Bowlerama – 5837 Yonge St North York, 416-222-4657

North Park Bowl – 1359 Lawrence Ave W, North York, 416-240-9373

Parkway Bowl – Parkway Mall, 67 Ellesmere Rd, Scarborough, 416-447-1761

Playtime Bowl – 33 Samor Rd Toronto, 416-787-4533

Rexdale Bowlerama – 115 Rexdale Blvd, Etobicoke 416-743-8388

Shamrock Bowl – (1950s style, rentable space) 280 Coxwell Ave, Toronto 416-406-2695, info@shamrockbowl.ca

The Ballroom – 145 John St Toronto, 416-597-2695

Thorncliffe Bowlerama – East York Town Centre, 45 Overlea Blvd Toronto, 416-421-2211

West Bowlerama – 5429 Dundas St W, Etobicoke, 416-239-3536


Rep Movie Theatres :

Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (The Annex) – 506 Bloor St W, Toronto 416-637-3123

Carlton Cinema – 20 Carlton Street at Yonge, Toronto, 416 – 494-9371

Fox Theatre – 2236 Queen St E, Toronto, 416-691-7330 http://www.foxtheatre.ca

Revue Cinema  – 400 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada M6R 2M9

Royal Cinema – 608 College Street, Toronto, 416-466-4400 http://www.theroyal.to



Vintage Toronto Diners — https://www.facebook.com/Vintage-Toronto-Diners-1384779678460763/?fref=ts
Aunties & Uncles — 74 Lippincott Street
The Ace —  231A Roncesvalles Avenue

Apache Burger — 5236 Dundas Street West

Bloor Jane Restaurant — 2434 Bloor Street West

Bus Terminal Diner — 1606 Danforth Avenue

Cardinal Rule — 5 Roncesvalles Avenue

MARS FOOD — 432 College Street

Skyline Restaurant — 1426 Queen Street West

The Lakeview Restaurant — 1132 Dundas Street West

The Senator Restaurant — 249 Victoria Street


Bill Hicks Bar – 946 Queen Street East

Bovine Sex Club – 542 Queen Street West

Miss Thing – 1279 Queen Street West

Shameful Tiki Room — 1378 Queen Street West

The Shore Leave -1175 Danforth Avenue

Drive-In Theatres (In or near Toronto):

5 Drive in Theatre — http://www.premiertheatres.ca/5drivein/theaterinfo

Stardust Drive-In http://www.thestarlite.ca/stardustfilms.php

The Docks — http://www.thedocks.com/movies/

1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, classics, edwardian, food, music, tiki, victorian, vintage

Living Vintage in Toronto

Why do I love vintage clothing, purses, jewelry, and movies so much? I think I have always been in love with everything vintage. When I was a little girl, I would beg my mother to dress me up as a flapper. My earlier teen years I was obsessed with dressing in a 1950s style and later teens and early twenties, I was a blend of goth, Edwardian and the 1920s. These days it is a mix from the 1920s to the 1950s. I don’t recall a time when I wasn’t dressing or in love with vintage.


Over the years I have been influenced by many and lately, it has been Miss Lemon, Miss Fisher, Clara Bow and every single movie from the 1930s I’ve been watching. I adore the 1930s and every single year of that decade.


When I was a teenager and growing up in a small town, it was hard to find vintage clothing, so I made my own and I even learned to sew on a Treadle sewing machine. Between that and learning to knit, I didn’t have to rely on stores or mail order catalogues. My mother even relented at one point and gave me her purses from the sixties. Purses I sadly don’t have any longer as I wore them out. Having those skills today is also a benefit. As a curvy girl, it is harder to find sizes in a lot of vintage clothing. I tend to lean towards vintage reproduction or making my own using and resizing vintage patterns. At the moment I have a growing pile of fabric that needs my attention. I have patterns from the 1930s to the 1950s ready to be drafted and my knitting WIP includes sweaters from the 1930s and 1940s. I recently also started making my own hat pins.

1940s-shoesI am always on the hunt for vintage clothing and antique stores, diners, events, and music. I often envy places like England, where there is a wealth of vintage everything and wish that Toronto had more vintage events. As our own vintage community grows, I hope events and flea markets do as well. I have decided to start a list of what we currently have in Toronto and by no means is this list complete. These are places I’ve been to, shopped at, eaten at, events I’ve attended or generally know about. I also have had input from friends as well. If you see something that needs to be added, please let me know. I would love to keep this list up to date. 🙂


Neighbourhoods great for vintage and antique stores
Roncesvalles Avenue
The Junction
Parkdale (Queen Street — Roncesvalles to Dufferin)
Liberty Village
The Annex (Spadina to Christie)
Bloordale (Dufferin to Landsdowne)
Bloorcourt (Christie to Dufferin)
Ossington Avenue (College to Queen)
Kensington Market

Stores — Vintage and Antique
Dufferin/Dupont area
Vintage Studio 342 — 342 Westmoreland Avenue

Mrs. Huizenga — 28 Roncesvalles Avenue

Queen Street
Kind Exchange – 611 Queen Street West
Pearls and Pockets — 672 Queen Street West
House of Vintage — 1239 Queen Street West
Three Fates — 1394 Queen Street West
In Vintage We Trust — 1580 Queen Street West
Frou Frou Vintage — 1616 Queen Street West

Dundas West
Penny Arcade 1177 Dundas Avenue West
Door Number 2 — 2792 Dundas West
Smash Vintage — 2880 Dundas West

College Street and area
Print Vintage — 834A College Street
Arts Market – Dufferin Grove, 846 College Street
I Miss You Vintage — 63 Ossington Avenue

Kensington Market
Breathless Vintage — 9 Kensington Avenue
Courage my Love – 14 Kensington Avenue
Space Vintage — 34 Kensington Avenue
Exile Vintage — 60 Kensington Avenue
Vintage Depot — 70 Kensington Avenue
Winsome Vintage — 146 Augusta and 4 Kensington Avenue
Bungalow Vintage – Kensington Market, 273 Augusta Avenue

Bloor Street and The Annex
Monarch Vintage —
897 Bloor Street West
Siberia Vintage — 955 Bloor Street West
Ransack the Universe — 1207 Bloor Street West
Puddin’ and Pie Vintage — 1248A Bloor Street West
Jellyfish Emporium — 1586 Dupont Street
Gadabout Vintage — 1300 Queen Street East
Rewind — 577 Mount Pleasant Avenue

Blackbird Vintage Finds — 11 Trinity Street
Gypsy Found Objects — 762 St Clair Avenue West

Thrifter Sisters, Aurora — https://www.facebook.com/thriftersisterscanada/

Stores — Vintage Reproduction
Black Daffodil — 3097 Dundas Street West
Doll Factory by Damzels — 394 Roncesvalles Avenue
Rosie the Rebel — 604 Queen Street West

Vintage Markets, Flea Markets, Fairs — Toronto
Arts Market at 846 College St — https://www.vintageb.com/ 
Geary Avenue Flea —
St. Lawrence Market Antique Market —
Vintage Clothing Show and Sale (Exhibition Place) — http://www.torontovintageclothingshow.ca/
Wychwood Vintage Clothing Show and Sale — https://www.facebook.com/VintageShowTO/

Vintage Markets, Flea Markets, Fairs — Close to Toronto
Freelton — http://freeltonantiquemall.com/
Pickering Flea — http://www.pickeringmarkets.com/

Vintage Collections/Collectors (online or at shows)
Union Label Vintage — @unionlabelvintage (instagram)

Events — Regular
Lindy Hop — http://www.torontolindyhop.com/
New Orleans Connection Allstars at Grossman’s Tavern  (Every Sunday)
Spadina Museum — https://www.facebook.com/spadinamuseum/
Toronto Burlesque Festival — http://torontoburlesquefestival.com/

Toronto Silent Film Festival – http://www.torontosilentfilmfestival.com/
Toronto Vintage Crawl — http://www.vintagecrawltoronto.com/
Vintage Prom — https://www.facebook.com/VintagePromToronto/


Bars and Restaurants


Apache Burger — 5236 Dundas Street West
Aunties & Uncles — 74 Lippincott Street
Bloor Jane Restaurant — 2434 Bloor Street West
Bus Terminal Diner — 1606 Danforth Avenue
Cardinal Rule — 5 Roncesvalles Avenue

MARS FOOD — 432 College Street
Skyline Restaurant — 1426 Queen Street West
The Ace —  231A Roncesvalles Avenue
The Lakeview Restaurant — 1132 Dundas Street West
The Senator Restaurant — 249 Victoria Street

Vintage Toronto Diners — https://www.facebook.com/Vintage-Toronto-Diners-1384779678460763/?fref=ts

Bill Hicks Bar – 946 Queen Street East
Bovine Sex Club – 542 Queen Street West
Miss Thing – 1279 Queen Street West
Shameful Tiki Room — 1378 Queen Street West
The Shore Leave -1175 Danforth Avenue

Cadillac Lounge – 1296 Queen Street West
Cherry Cola’s Rock n’ Rolla Cabaret Lounge — 200 Bathurst Street
Disgraceland (Bar and Grill) – Dovercourt, 965 Bloor Street West
Gun, Rod and Barbers — 2877 Dundas Street West
Reservoir Lounge (Jazz + Swing) – 52 Wellington Street East
Swan Dive — 1631 Dundas Street West
The Black Dice — 1574 Dundas Street West
The Hole in the Wall — 2867 Dundas Street West
The Local — 396 Roncesvalles Avenue
The Rex Hotel (Jazz + Swing) – 194 Queen Street West


Websites and Blogs
Cabaret Vintage — www.CabaretVintage.com
Chronically Vintage — http://www.chronicallyvintage.com/
Fashion in Motion — http://fashioninmotion.wordpress.com/
Leslieville Flea Blog – Mod Mad — http://leslievilleflea.com/mod-mad-party-madcap-recap/
Petite Plus, Meow!  Blog — http://petiteplusmeow.wordpress.com/
Suzanne Carillow — www.suzannecarillo.com
Swing Toronto — http://swingtoronto.com/
The Vintage Inn — http://www.vintageinn.ca/toronto-vintage-society-events/
Toronto Vintage Society — http://www.torontovintagesociety.ca/
Yesterday’s Prints — http://yesterdays-print.com/search/canada

Instagram Accounts To Follow

musicMusicians (not a complete list, some of my favourites — this list will grow)
Alistair Christl — http://www.alistairchristl.ca/
Christian D — https://christiand.ca/
Ginger St. James —http://www.gingerstjames.com/
Luau of Die — http://www.luauordie.com/
New Orleans Connection Allstars — http://torontojazz.com/artist/new-orleans-connection-all-stars
The Royal Crowns — http://www.theroyalcrowns.ca/

Artists (not a complete list, some of my favourites — this list will grow)
CheapTrills Co. — https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/CheapThrillsCompany
Vintage Love (light switches) —

Events near Toronto
Elvis Festival — Collingwood — https://collingwoodelvisfestival.com/
Vintage Car Show — Wasaga — https://www.wasagabeachcruisers.org/
Vintage Film Festival — Port Hope — https://www.vintagefilmfestival.ca/