Spadina Avenue's bars deserve their own 'Rock Walk,' Michael Wekerle says

Spadina Avenue's iconic rock venues may soon get special recognition with their very own sidewalk shrines.

Coun. Joe Cressy's 'Spadina Rock Walk' motion to go to council next week

CBC Dragon's Den star Michael Wekerle is pushing the idea of a 'Rock Walk' along Spadina Avenue to honour clubs like Grossmans Tavern, the El Mocambo and the Silver Dollar Room.

Spadina Avenue's iconic rock venues may soon get special recognition with their very own sidewalk shrines, if a famous Canadian business figure and a Toronto city councillor get their way.

The El Mocambo, Grossman's Tavern and the Silver Dollar Room would be among the honourees, CBC Toronto was told Thursday. Coun. Joe Cressy is pushing the idea along with CBC Dragon's Den star Michael Wekerle.

The project will take the form of a walk-of-fame. But Cressy, who represents the neighbourhood, said he envisions images embedded in the sidewalk in front of each bar, rather than the traditional plaques.

Michael Wekerle has promised to re-open the iconic El Mocambo tavern, which has hosted some of the world's biggest bands, including the Rolling Stones. (CBC News)

"Is it a musical image? Is it a maple leaf? Do we use pennies from the past?" Cressy mused. "We'll have an art competition to help us design this."

The concept was first proposed by Wekerle, who's been dubbed the "rock star of Canadian business."

He said over the years, the street's unassuming venues have hosted some of the biggest names in rock and blues music, acts like the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and U-2.

The Rolling Stones performed a surprise concert at the El Mocambo in 1977. (CBC)

"Lots of really great history," Wekerle told CBC Toronto Thursday, "and the tying in of the Rock Walk really pulls it all together."

He's been talking with city staff about the project in recent months, and has also volunteered to cover some of the costs, Cressy said.

City Coun. Joe Cressy in front of Grossman's Tavern on Thursday. (CBC News)

Cressy has prepared a motion that calls on staff to formalize those talks, to pinpoint venues and locations for the commemorations, and delve into what they should look like.

He said he hopes to have work underway within the year.

The Hotel Waverly, located on the northwest side of Spadina Avenue and College Street, would be one of the venues honoured on the 'Rock Walk.' (Wikimedia Commons)

Cressy says his motion will come up at the council meeting that starts next Wednesday.