Toronto’s Big Box Days Look Numbered

Circa, a mammoth nightclub in Toronto funded by New York club impresario Peter Gatien, is seeing a financial restructuring, likely due to a combination of its size and the economy.

Arena Entertainment, the company that runs the 50,000-square-foot Circa, has $2.1 million in liabilities, according to the Toronto Star. The club, currently owned by Stephan Katmarian and Ari Kulidjian, is working on a restructuring plan, a spokeswoman told the paper.

The recession scaled down a lot of corporate events, and the club has seen financial problems for about six months, the spokeswoman said.

With Gatien pouring cash into Circa, it launched in 2007 as a flagship venue that would renew Toronto’s entertainment district.
“It’s no longer the cool thing to go to a nightclub the size of a Walmart,” city Councilor Adam Vaughan told the paper. He called Circa’s current situation the end to the “era of the big-box nightclub.”

Circa, which has a rent of CDN$120,000 per month, had its liquor license under suspension for serving alcohol to minors and other infractions, according to the Star.

The club, which was built on the site of former nightclub Lucid, has hosted acts including 50 Cent, Justice, Lupe Fiasco, Snoop Dogg, Lady Gaga, Cut Copy and The Veronicas.