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Singles scene heats up at the Coal Bin

The Story

The lineup starts at 5 p.m. and the guests stay right until closing at 1 a.m. Such is the popularity of the Coal Bin, a "dating bar" in downtown Toronto where young single people can meet for drinks and dancing after they finish work. In 1971, bars in Toronto only recently started welcoming women without escorts, but the idea is so new that a reporter for CBC-TV's Weekend is concerned for the young women he interviews. "You come here to meet men... isn't this against what you've been brought up to believe, that girls don't go into bars alone?" asks Walt DeCosta. "Well, I think things are changing now. I think this is one of the first places I've come into in Toronto that a girl can do this and not feel ill at ease. It's made for this purpose," replies 21-year-old Lorna McCaw.  

Medium: Television
Broadcast Date: Jan. 10, 1971
Program: Weekend
Reporter: Walt DeCosta
Guests: Linda Moore, Lorna McCaw, Roel Bramer
Duration: 4:35

Did You know?

• The Coal Bin was next door to the Boiler Room restaurant on Wellington St. near Yonge St. in Toronto.

• The owner of the Coal Bin, Roel Bramer, came to Canada from the Netherlands to study at McGill University and soon after began a career in Toronto as a nightclub impresario. Backed by a group of investors, he opened the Boiler Room, followed by the Coal Bin. By 1972 he had added the Gasworks on Yonge St. at Wellesley and the Generator on Yonge at Eglinton. 

• Bramer went on to open the Amsterdam Brewery, one of Toronto's first craft brewers, in 1986. 



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