News / Toronto

Toronto's iconic El Mocambo sign is getting a 'makeover'

The neon palm tree sign was taken down Wednesday, but it's slated to return soon.

Crews from Pride Signs removed the iconic neon palm tree sign from the El Mocambo Wednesday. The sign will be restored ahead of the famous venue’s re-opening.

Contributed

Crews from Pride Signs removed the iconic neon palm tree sign from the El Mocambo Wednesday. The sign will be restored ahead of the famous venue’s re-opening.

At one of Toronto’s most storied music venues, there’s a light that will never go out.

Crews were out at College and Spadina Wednesday, removing the El Mocambo’s iconic neon sign, but don’t worry: it’s coming back.

The sign has been moved temporarily to Pride Sign’s facility in Cambridge, where it will be refurbished ahead of the club’s re-opening.

“The love that Torontonians hold in their hearts for this Spadina landmark was very apparent during the removal,” said Pride Signs’ Matt Auclair. “Passersby were reassured that their beloved sign will be back to light up the city once again after a much needed makeover.”

The plan is to restore the sign to its “original brilliance” with new neon and LED lights, Auclair said.

The El Mocambo – or “El Mo” to its regulars – was a fixture of Toronto’s live music scene for decades after opening in 1948. Up and coming acts like Elvis Costello and U2 played there in the 1970s and the Rolling Stones famously took over the venue for two nights in 1977.

The venue was slated to close in 2014, but Bay Street investor and Dragon’s Den star Michael Wekerle stepped in to save it.

Wekerle reportedly paid a cool $3.78 million for the club, and plans to re-open it as a live venue in the near future.

With files from Torstar News Service

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