Posted: August 27th, 2009 by Jimmy J

318 Richmond Street West Floor Plan

1. Aside from club kids scattered about you would never know a club existed here. The only signage was “tri-ad photo engravers” which previously operated in the entire building.

2. A journey up a flight of stairs to the main floor where bouncers (one frequently brought a dog) greeted you with a pat down, then directed you to the first room.

3. The floor here is unique, it’s covered in fish tank gravel that glowed under the black lights. There’s a cover charge to the right. Admission to Exodus events was $7.

4. Continuing east, to the right was a front room which was a standing room with railings for drinks on the north and west walls were lit by spotlights.

23 hop front

5. The second room operated as an alcohol-free bar. In later years the drywall between the two rooms was removed and a second sound system was placed here.

23 hop front room

6. To the north and there was another room which was also a standing room with more drink rails on the north wall.

23 hop room

7. To the right was a third room that had a pool table in it or sometimes used for storage and locked.

8. Beside this room was the office to which owners, managers, and promoters had access to.

9. Continue north up a long graffiti-laden corridor with a multi-coloured lighting effect originating from the north end of the corridor. It made the walk in this direction seem endless.

10. The men’s unisex washroom had urinals and a stall on the north wall, sink on the south.

11. There was a small narrow coat check between the washrooms.

12. The women’s unisex washroom had stalls on the south wall and a sink on the north wall.

13. To the right there was an entrance to the rear staircase to exit below or continue to the top floor.

14. At the north end of this corridor lay the infamous transformable bar and elevator.

23 hop elevator

15. Continuing west was the DJ booth, which was made up of concrete slabs with a few knocked out on the corner for dance floor visibility. There was a small stair case inside as the booth floor was elevated. Turn tables were located on the south wall and lighting controls were on the northwest wall.

23 hop dj booth

16. The main speakers, laser unit, and smoke machine were on the north wall of the venue. Tweeters and large tube strobe lights hung from the ceiling throughout.

17. The dance floor contained numerous rafters that were moved about. A go-go dancer made an appearance once a night on one of these platforms situated towards the center of the room. She was covered in body paint that glowed under the black lights from the ceiling.

18. There was an exit to the cover charge room at the south end of the dance floor. It was time to leave when the DJs completely flooded the dance floor with smoke sometime between 5 and 6am.

The photography above was primarily taken in 1992 during 23 Hop Sykosis parties and other events in the years that followed. Photography from Exodus and other 1991 events is extremely rare, please contact us if you have some.

Have any 318 memories that we missed? Please speak your mind below!

8 Responses to “The Anatomy of 318”

  1. Adrian Says:

    after pleasure force in Kleinburg, summer of 94 i ended up at 318 richmond for an ‘afterparty’ parked a few streets away,, great free parking on sunday, my bud left the club early,, by now around 5pm sunday aft noon,, and came back to tell me the cars gone! shit who stole it??? dumbass, it got towed! 2hrs later, 250bucks later, got the car,, and headed home

  2. Dawgger Says:

    Dood, good job on this… how about commenting on/reconstructing the seldom used 3rd floor?

  3. Jimmy J Says:

    Problem is, I only went up there a few times…the only thing I remember was a little room on the right hand side where disco dan hung out…with security guards on walkie-talkies.

    I can’t remember anything else about it. I do remember the vibe up there being way different, very dark and the crowd had a tougher attitude. It actually kinda freaked me out.

  4. mariah Says:

    holy smokes – i worked there during the 1970’s (it was my very first job) and fyi tri-ad photo engravers had the whole building. there was three other companies in there, but they all worked “with” tri-ad. i can recognize from the map the different offices and areas of the building. room #7 in the lower right corner was the secretary-treasurer’s office and it was in that room that we all watched the infamous hockey game in September 1972 where Paul Henderson scored the winning Canadian goal !!!!
    what a trip down memory lane……………………….

  5. poggy Says:

    318 Richmond!!! The primier Fri nite spot for time. (right up until Shep took it over, renamed it Joker, and turned that place/crowd into something that was somewhat more of a joke than a Joker!)
    I’d never been to 318 when it was still The Hop. 15yrs-old at the time, my 1st rave was Chemisty RaveNewWorld @31 Commish, Dec.92. 2nd party was Chemistry New Years same venue just 2 weeks after that. and my 3rd rave was Phaze-2 in LibertyVill just only about another week l8r. And it was at that Phaze party that i beleive the 1st set of Rise Flyers began to circul8 round the city. My peers and i hit-up The Rise on opening nite and almost every friday nite thereafter (Except for the few times we checked Ron’s Destiny Fridays @31 Commisioner, another legendary spot in TO rave history. Damn i miss that venue too). I still remember some of those 318 nites like it was almost yesterday; trippin on ‘cid, blazing Jamaican gum, loungin in the chill-out room, hearing AphxTwin-PolygonWindows for the 1st time&thinkin, ‘HolyShit that this trak is fuckin wicked!’. Jamaican fucking gum!!! By far the best smoke ever (even the Kush nowadayz ain’t got shit on that JamaicaGum stuff.) I remember when my boy Jimmy 1st brought the gum to the Rise. He went around the the place cooking botz and giving them away to ppl from other klicks. 1 bot gotcha red-out as if u just bunned a fatty of good weed all to your face. 3 botz = 3 times more mashed. 5-8botz = BANG!!! U got lift-off; tripping balls only it was not like trippin on shroomz or LSD, it was more like a really intense THC trip (of which, only those who were there to smoke that shit & remember can truly understand). Mix a few botz of those with a hit (or 2) of those fucking lengedary Califonia Sunshines and BAM you got lift-off; you’r tripping-the-fuck-right-out 15 hours L8r until the early hours of the next afternoon…
    [And HolyShit, after ppl from the Rise got to know about jimmy & the Gum, from the moment he stepped into the 318 and word spread that he was there, a line-up of ppl waiting to grab began to form and when it was done forming, the line stretched out from the chill-out room all the way out the room, around the corner into the hallway & sometimes it’d even spill-out onto the front part of the main room dancefloor.]
    Ya mon, 318 was the shit. Even went to the Chemistry Farewell party which was held there, but i left early from that one due to the fact that i mixed a cpl blotters of WhiteSkeleton w/ about 10 little white crosses (what a bad trip; feeling all nauseous and sketchy from those fuckin ephedrines that were being passed-off as some fake-ass speed while trippin hard on a cpl blotz of strong ‘cid) Hell, at least i learned to stick to the weed and acid and never again did i take another fucking WhiteCross (aka; MaxAlert, which were available over the counter in the U.S. and wherein ppl would drive over the border and bring them back to T.O. so they could sell it as speed! Fucking assholes!) But the memories. . .ya, the memories are priceless. While all so many other kids were staying at home or doing something else dry on a fri or saturday night, at least for those of us who knew about the parties and places to be, we were there. We were the ones who pioneered the scene before it became the commercialized Guvernmentized scene that’s around today. There was a place to be almost every night of the week back then; Whether it was Catch22 on monday, Limelite on wednes, friday night at Destiny or the Rise and even Industry on King (now a shoppersdrudmart) during the mid-later 90’s years, the main Raves on saturnday, or a Sunday morning after party at either The OperaHouse, ZooBar, or even Comfort (before it became a sketched lil hole-in-da-ground), and if you attended any of theae places then you were defin8ly at ‘the spot’. Anywayz.., nuff said. Peace-Out!

  6. Jay Says:

    Wow, that brought back some memories. We called it the Rise on Fri. nights, mostly jungle, DnB. I took some bad mushrooms when Moby dj’d there one night and sat on the floor for 6 hours. Had a bunch of good times there tho.

  7. Dashout Says:

    Wow poggy! That really hit the spot, all those things you were talking about really brought back good memories! Sounds like my stories of that time! Respect brutha!

  8. Chameleon: Toronto's Legendary Rave Act and Live PA Says:

    […] on the town in early 1990, Aaron ultimately ended up at a dark and dank hole in the wall located at 318 Richmond Street in downtown Toronto. With only a strobe light, fog machine, and some strange new sounds pumping […]

Leave a Reply

We've got 23 Hop Replicas and T-Shirts!