Closing Day & A Little History

Gasworks Closing Day

The final day of the "classic" Gasworks came on January 9 1993. To call it a surprise that caught many off guard would be an understatement. Like all good things the era of big hair and loud guitars was coming to a close so maybe the writing was on the wall and most of us just didn’t see it. An investor from Hong Kong (Billy Fok) had bought the building and was looking to turn it into something with a better profit margin. So the word came down, "Close the Gasworks", and the scramble to prepare the final blast began.

Thanks to a tireless effort by manager Dan Cleveland, head waitress Marianne McCauley and the whole staff the wheels were set in motion. The task of getting the final day’s entertainment together was given to Greg Godovitz (Goddo) who came through with flying colours. I'm sure his phone was getting pretty warm as he spread the word. Goddo with Sebastian Bach (Skid Row) headlined along with members of Triumph, Saga, Helix, Platinum Blonde, Coney Hatch and a host of others to give the club a well deserved final send off. Those who were lucky enough to be there got treated to what could probably be the most unique hard rock event in Canadian club history. The battle cry for the day was Don’t Call Last Call!

Its been over two decades and the sights, sounds and smells are long gone. The building that once was the Gasworks is still around but has gone through a number of incarnations, from restaurant, to dollar store, to a surplus store. But I sometimes wonder if late at night a few ghosts don’t come out to crank it up one more time. Like many of you I paid a lot of visits and saw a lot of bands there and sure miss the old gal.

- Ben Bergmann

A Little Gasworks History

The Gasworks is aptly named as its original purpose was as a steam generating plant supplying heat for the neighbourhood. In the 60s, prior to becoming the bar we all knew and loved, it had a small bowling alley upstairs (not sure what was downstairs).

The big hair, hard rock, heavy metal era...
Opening Day - circa 1968
Closing Day - January 9 1993

After the initial closing of The Gasworks’ doors the new owner Hong Kong businessman Billy Fok, having seen the response of the crowd that day, changed his development plans and decided to renovate the club to re-open it again as an upscale music bar. Sadly the place didn’t have the same appeal and after a few years the doors were closed for good on rock and roll. Today the building is a dollar store.

More info coming soon ... we’re (still) revamping the site