Riverboat coffee house
|Location||134 Yorkville Avenue|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Closed||June 25, 1978|
The Riverboat Coffee House was a Canadian coffeehouse located at 134 Yorkville Avenue in the Yorkville neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was a key venue for folk rock music and singer songwriter music made famous for featuring high-profile acts, and is considered to be "the best-known coffee house in Canada." It opened in October 1964 and closed on June 25, 1978.
The Riverboat was owned by Bernie & Patricia (a.k.a. Sola, a well-known artist) Fiedler. Located in a basement, its decor was modelled after the interior of a boat, featuring port hole windows and intimate booths. Legend has it that American protest singer Phil Ochs wrote one of his best-known songs, "Changes", on the back porch.
Numerous Canadian artists, including Lenny Breau, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Ian & Sylvia, Gordon Lightfoot, Bruce Cockburn and Murray McLaughlan, played the Riverboat. A frequent stop on the touring circuit, many American artists, such as John Lee Hooker, James Taylor, Tim Hardin, Simon and Garfunkel, and Phil Ochs, also appeared there.
Live albums recorded
Live at the Riverboat 1969 by Neil Young
Songs written at or about the Riverboat
- Gordon Lightfoot. "Steel Rail Blues" Lightfoot!
- Joni Mitchell. "Night in the City" Song to a Seagull
- Neil Young. "Ambulance Blues" On the Beach
- Phil Ochs. "Changes"
- "Riverboat". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- "Toronto Feature: Riverboat". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
- Jennings, Nicholas. "The Riverboat and Yorkville's rich music history". heritageyorkville.tripod.com. Retrieved 2015-06-19.
- Riverboat coffee house archival photographs from the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections, York University