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The Singles Bar That Shook Up 1970s Toronto

After the fern bar craze had swept the U.S., the Coal Bin arrived in the growing, but still-conservative Canadian city.
By 1968, the fern bar trend had yet to make jump over the border into conservative Ontario. The city’s “swinglers” (to use the nomenclature of the day) mostly went elsewhere to meet and mingle. Then came the Coal Bin.
By 1968, the fern bar trend had yet to make jump over the border into conservative Ontario. The city’s “swinglers” (to use the nomenclature of the day) mostly went elsewhere to meet and mingle. Then came the Coal Bin.City of Toronto Archives

There was no place quite like the Coal Bin for Toronto’s young singles in the early ‘70s.

Located in the heart of the city’s booming downtown, surrounded by gleaming new office towers, the crowded 300-seat basement room was one of the first bars in Toronto specifically targeted at swinging singles.