Some Things Never Change: Remember How Not to Be Forgotten

It's not every day that you encounter something or someone that creates a lasting impression. Most days are filled with cursory glances, casual thoughts and generally translucent memories. Things you see and retain for a few seconds, and then release back into the infinite abyss of consciousness. What is it that creates a genuinely enduring feeling of nostalgia and positivity? How does one solidify one's legacy amongst so much noise in today's world?

Well, speaking from experience, we have some pointers on this subject.

Let's start with a pop-quiz: QUICK! Think of your top 3 favourite memories as a child. All done? Did any of them involve food? Chances are at least one of them brought you back to a delicious time and place! You see, the way memory works is a little bit different for everyone, some people remembering sounds or conversations better than visuals and images, etc. However, one thing is for sure: Memories are enhanced and engrained in our minds much more powerfully when they involve your senses. Something that tasted really good or bad is sure to stick in your mind for days, weeks, or months after you've experienced them. Sometimes people even get traumatized by certain memories of food/drink, like those who "can't drink tequila anymore since that one night in Mexico". A better example of powerful sensory recollections is people usually having a very strong connection to or recollection of their (grand)mother's cooking, certain smells instantly bringing you back to that specific kitchen, or tastes that vividly recreate past scenarios in your mind. Remembering the tastes and recipes that transport us to a different place and time is something we at The Rex are very fond of. We understand how powerful these memories can be, so we strive to bring that nostalgia to our business by incorporating that kind of love into our menu.

Classic Rex Breakfast (available every morning from 7AM)

One of the most important components of the Rex is our kitchen & restaurant. Not only were they some of the first established facilities in our building, but also they are easily the source of some of our greatest memories! Food brings people together, and makes families re-appreciate life, little by little, around the dinner table. We strive to create dishes that not only bask in their own simplicity, but that also bring us back to a simpler time, where family dinners mattered and going to your local pub was cherished as a weekly communal experience. For these reasons, the Rextaurant's food is hearty, classic and delicious! Because some traditions are worth preserving.

A view of the main bar and stage (facing South)

Speaking of tradition, one of the longest-running rituals we have at The Rex is our daily live music performances. Our shows are just as classic as our cuisine and have become a substantial focus for our business. From humble beginnings, it all started by offering a musician friend a place to show off his talent, while also arranging for some kind of compensation for his art. From there, the proverbial 'snowball effect' came into place (much stronger because of our Canadian winters) and 40 years later, we have become a hub for all ranges of musicians and performers looking for success and stardom, or even just a beer. We are extremely proud to have fostered the creative and musical communities in our city for the past few decades and therefore are pleased to be able to offer live music every single day. That's right. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. (That's over 70-90 shows on any given month!). So much practice in this craft has made it so that The Rex is usually known as the place where Jazz musicians go when they want to listen to Jazz. That doesn't make us some elitist underground speakeasy club that you need a password to get into. On the contrary:  We are family-friendly and fun for all ages! Young and old alike come from all around to bop and groove to our magnetic melodies. Nowhere else in town has the same feel, charm or dedication to producing as much live musical entertainment as we do. This business runs in our family (literally and figuratively) and it is our mission to share our family magic with the rest of the city, and the world.

A vary typical scene of a big bang performance in our main lounge (facing West)

That brings us to our last memorable point. Aside from fantastic food and mesmerizing music, there is one other thing that can carve itself into your mind and heart, more so than even your sense of smell and sound. It's still technically a sensation, but not a physical one. One way we can think to describe it is through another example of your memory. Think of a time where you were happiest, most joyful and comfortable. Did that memory involve family and/or friends? Chances are it did, and now you're starting to get why this all works so well.

Music brings people together. Food brings people together. But family... friends... that's what keeps us together. There is nothing more fulfilling than the feeling of belonging, and that's why we at The Rex put so much importance on the "home away from home" experience, both for our hotel guests and our club patrons. Nothing is as powerful as the connection made between people and that is part of the reason the Rex has lasted for so long. The connections made between performers and international guests, serving staff and local residents, worldwide tourists and vintage regulars, are what keeps us alive and thriving. The relationships forged in our establishment had made us a hotbed for culture, comfort and community. 

A picture of The Rex building in the 1950's, when it changed from being just clothing store to offering a beverage room and monthly accommodations.

We are and always have been always a safe space in the city, especially for unique and talented fractions of society. Our place looks, tastes and sounds like home for global travellers, neighbours, wanderers and anyone in between. Our family is constantly growing since we love adding new members to our community of staff and patrons. So if you're trying to start your own business and want it to be memorable, don't forget these notes, since they can be helpful and worth remembering. If you're just reading for the pleasure, then we are pleased to provide you with some company. If you are trying to figure out somewhere to go or something to do in Toronto, we'd be happy to join you along on your ride of wonderful discovery through our beautiful city.

 Find out for yourself!

Come to The Rex and gift yourself with an unforgettable experience!




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