I read this quote in Toronto Life today from this article...and although it's her opinion of food trends, etc in Toronto at this moment, in my opinion it accurately sums up Toronto nightlife as well.
Coming from a creative background in event production, this is one of the things that irks me the most in Toronto. No one puts any effort into their events or themes, because "it's too expensive".
What I think is expensive is a bar only lasting 3 years, then having to shut it down and re-invest in a new name, design, possibly location, etc...and I believe part of that limited lifespan has to do with owners of venues not making any meaningful investments in their venues beyond the initial build out, launch & maybe 3 months of programming.
I guess I come from a unique perspective in that I had a "real job" before I got into the bar industry and I'm not a millionaire who was wildly successful in some other industry and decided "I can do this too" and am in a position to lose a few hundred thousand.
I worked my way up in 7 years from watching the bathrooms to where I presently am and my goal is to be the next Charles Khabouth. Lofty goals and lofty ambitions can only be attained by working hard. That hard work includes doing your research and having a solid vision for where you want to be and how you intend to get there. It requires knowing your craft, understanding fundamentals and being comfortable with making necessary investments. And that's the problem. Everyone thinks the investment only comes at the beginning and the result is mediocrity all around.
It's to the point where I don't wanna leave my house unless it's my own parties, cause I know what I'm going to see. The same people. The same DJs, the same themes over and over and over and over again. There's no creativity, no dedication to anything other than getting as much cash out of the paying public in as short a time as possible "before they get bored".
If any other industry operated on this kind of dynamic, it would cease to exist...I would argue that the people only "get bored" because we don't offer anything to them worth being excited about. The Guvernment has been around for 20 years. It's been re-invented / refreshed a handful of times, but it's main "excitement" is around the DJ bookings and giant festival-like parties like DECADENCE and LABOUR OF LOVE.
Although being a DJ driven venue, it remained relevant over decades because of it's bookings and consistency. They knew what the people wanted to see and gave it to them every single time.
Personally, I would like to see more creativity and excitement brought into the industry. I would like to see greater levels of customer service and professionalism. I would like to see more diversity in venues, mashups not only of music genres, but of people and cultures.
I would like to see venues taking more risks and making more investments. I would like to see Toronto be great...not just "OK", but for that to happen, you, the general public have to decide what exactly "good" is...and not settle for anything less...so that begs the question, just what exactly is "good" to you?