Muzik nightclub’s future debated

Toronto-East York community council considers issue

The future of Toronto nightlife attraction Muzik Nightclub is being debated in light of some violence there — including at Toronto-East York community council, where there are concerns that the club isn’t operating in the public’s interest.

This fall, council voted 8-0 to recommend that the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario review the club’s liquor license due to violent incidents.

Police have been called to the club at 15 Saskatchewan Rd. on the grounds of Exhibition Place over assaults and alcohol infractions.

Councillors have expressed concern about Exhibition Place’s official plan, which would extend arrangements for all Exhibition Place ground buildings beyond 21 years. Earlier this month, the Exhibition Place board of governors voted to ask the executive committee and council to add 10 years to that 21-year plan. In effect, the proposal would keep the club’s doors open until 2034.

But the executive committee rejected the board request to extend Muzik’s lease and pushed a decision on its future to the first meeting of 2016.

Police Const. Victor Paul Kwong states that the Toronto Police Service works in partnership with Muzik event planners and the Alcohol Gaming Commission of Ontario to determine safety concerns and necessary security measures.

Downtown Toronto resident Tanya Cassandra visited the club once and doesn’t plan to visit again: “I visited Muzik in March. Then, security was standard. They did the normal touch-down and checked your bag. Inside I didn’t see an overwhelming amount of security, mostly workers. I personally never went back.”

Club-owner Zlatko Starkovski is improving security after a double shooting in early August, when two people were killed and three were injured outside of the club during Drake’s OVO after-party.

The club voluntarily closed after the shootings and reopened on Sept. 12 for their event “Muzik Box,” with new security. Improvements included 80 contracted security guards, surveillance cameras and metal detectors. Each visitor must pass through the detectors before having their arms, legs, torso, and waistline patted down.

Toronto resident Jessica Rose visited the club after its reopening, stating that the crowd was what pushed her to leave: “There were a lot of people who were waiting to get into a fight, which is why I left. The security was very stone cold…. They were completely no fun and games.”

Starkovski says the new improvements will make Muzik the safest venue in Canada.

Unless the Toronto police witness a contravention of the club’s license, the decision to lift Muzik’s liquor license is left up to the Alcohol Gaming Commission of Ontario to make, in February 2016.