Toronto Punk Timeline

pre-1976: BEFORE PUNK

1957-59 Elvis Presley, Gene Vincent, Bo Diddley play Toronto.

1964 The Beatles play Maple Leaf Gardens.

1967 The Ugly Ducklings reach No. 17 on the RPM Music charts.

1969 The Velvet Underground plays Varsity Stadium.

1972 Iggy and the Stooges play the Victory Burlesque Theatre.

1973 The New York Dolls play the Victory Burlesque Theatre.



Sept. 1976 The Ramones play the New Yorker Theatre.

Jan. 1977 Talking Heads play OCA with the Diodes opening.

Mar. 1977 The Viletones play their first show at the Colonial Underground.

May 1977 The Crash’n’Burn opens, becoming Toronto’s first punk club run by punks.

The Androids, Arson, B-Girls, Curse, Dents, Diodes, Dishes, Doncasters, Drastic Measures, Poles, Teenage Head (from Hamilton), Toyz, Ugly, Viletones, Zoom.

Oct. 1977 The Diodes become the first band to release a full length album.

March 1978 The Garys begin booking punk shows at the Horseshoe.

Battered Wives, Cardboard Brains, Demics (from London, Ontario), Existers, Fits, Forgotten Rebels (from Hamilton), Johnny and the G-Rays, Hate, Mods, Nash The Slash, Scenics, Secrets, Swollen Members, Tyranna.

Dec. 1978 The Last Pogo documents the Horseshoe’s last punk show.

Jan. 1979 The Garys now booking shows at the Edge.

1979-80 Punk in transition, from old school to quirky New Wave to rockabilly. Only the Viletones, Teenage Head and Forgotten Rebels played continuously in one form or the other into the 1980’s, 1990’s and 2000’s. In the early to mid-1980’s, first wave bands splintered into new groups such as the Jitters (ex-Mods), Wayouts (ex-Tyranna), Australia (ex-Existers) and the Wild Things (ex-Ugly).

The Anemics, Babyslitters, Bopcats, Crash Kills 5, Dead Bunnys, Dick Duck and the Dorks, Dream Dates (from Hamilton), Government, L’Etranger, Jitters, Martha and the Muffins, Polkaholics, Raving Mojos, Razorbacks, Rent Boys, Rough Trade, 63 Monroe (from London, Ontario), Slander (from Hamilton), Stark Naked and the Fleshtones, V-Necks, Wayouts, Zro4.


1980 The Young Lions and Youth Youth Youth bring politics and hardcore speed.

A.P.B., Blank Generation, Lethal Playthings, Prisoners of War, Quarantine, Sickies, Ugly Models, Sickies, Unknowns (St. Catherines), Young Lions, Youth Youth, Youth

1981 Chronic Submission first to play American style hardcore at the age of 13-14.

Chronic Submission, Dead End, Direct Action, Nothing In Particular, United State, Zeroption

1982 YYY’s Brian Taylor records hardcore bands at Accusonic under N.R.K. label.

1983 Landmark T.O. Harcore ’83 compilation released by N.R.K. First all ages shows at the Upper Lip started by Quarantine’s Pete Jones.

Afhakken, Berlin Wave, Blibber and the Ratcrushers, Bunchoffuckingoofs, Creative Zero, Hype, Jolly Tamborine Man, Madhouse, Microedge, No Mind, Problem Children (Hamilton), Section 8 (Oakville), Sudden Impact, Wet Spots (Hamilton), Wrath.

1984 BYO release Something To Believe In with several Toronto hardcore bands.

1985 Not Dead Yet film released, documenting Toronto hardcore scene.

Early-mid 1980s Post-punk indie scene develops with varying styles. William New starts Elvis Mondays in 1984. It Came From Canada compilation series by Montreal’s Og Records includes Toronto punk/garage bands.

A Neon Rome, Australia, Change Of Heart, Dave Howard Singers, Dik Van Dykes (Hamilton), Fifth Column, Groovie Religion, The Lawn, Living Proof, Look People, Negro Jazz Funeral, Plasterscene Replicas, Punching Nuns, Jane Siberry, UIC (Exeter), Vital Sines, Wild Things.

1984-87 Cameron House becomes centre for roots country to surf and includes ex-punk rockers.

Blue Rodeo, Cowboy Junkies, Dundrells, Handsome Ned, Leslie Spit Treeo, One-Eyed Jacks, Prairie Oyster, Screaming Sam, Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet, Sidewinders.

1988 Elliot Lefko starts booking punk shows at the Silver Dollar and Apocalypse Club.

…more to come

5 Comments. Leave your Comment right now:

  1. by Tara

    Thank you.

  2. I see you don’t monetize your site, don’t waste your traffic,
    you can earn extra cash every month because you’ve got
    hi quality content. If you want to know how to make
    extra $$$, search for: best adsense alternative Wrastain’s tools

  3. by Jim Roberts

    Thanks for this page, I’m enjoying reading it and remembering those years. I remember seeing Iggy and the Stooges at the Victory but it was later, possibly 1973-4, unless they played there more than once.

  4. by tara

    I saw Prisoners of War mentioned. I believe you meant POC or Prisoners of Conscience. They appeared in Not Dead Yet.

  5. by Chrisb

    Iggy and the Stooges were amazing. They had strippers between the sets.

Leave a Reply to Jim Roberts Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>