The Pornographic Onion: Ryerson’s Hot Spot from 1968-1970

The Pornographic Onion – Ryerson’s Coffee House 1968-1970


The Pornographic Onion was a folk club located on the Ryerson campus, at the corner of Gould and Victoria in the MGM building from 1968-1970. When the building closed, students tried to re-open the coffee house in Jorgenson Hall, however times had changed and the club did not flourish to its previous status. The Pornographic  Onion was a place for students to come together and enjoy popular folk acts, whom nurtured the youth counter-culture of the time, such as Bruce Cockburn, Lenny Breau, David Wilcox, and Jerry Jeff Walker. It was also visited by top folk artists such as Phil Ochs, Joni Mitchell and Ian Tyson. Open mic nights were a regular occurrence, allowing students to express themselves musically, and also speak their minds. This was a place on campus, where students and other youth could come together, and form their own “public.” The texts that fostered this community, were visual, spacial and audio. The atmosphere of the Pornographic Onion, the music played, the words spoken will remain as memories for those who attended. The only remaining evidence survives in news clippings and posters, and their various digital documentations.

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About Ryerson On Yonge

A course in the Faculty of Arts, we have been studying the history of the neighbourhood around Yonge and Dundas, and Ryerson campus, in order to consider the social context and cultural importance of the new Student Learning Centre, which will occupy 341 through 355 Yonge Street. This blog is not an official Ryerson publication, and is a student-composed analysis of campus and its neighbourhood.
This entry was posted in Coming Together at Yonge and Dundas: Liberation, Subcultures and Media and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Pornographic Onion: Ryerson’s Hot Spot from 1968-1970

  1. Pingback: Coming Together at Yonge and Dundas: Liberation, Subcultures, and Their Products | Ryerson On Yonge

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