was the last gasp of the vibrant street culture that existed in Toronto
in the late 60's.
The "popular hangout for hippies," included many street musicians, and sellers--not all of which purveyed bad stuff.
The Riverboat was a coffeehouse/music hall that existed there as well. Most of the names in Canadian folk music performed there, including: Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, Ian and Sylvia, Bruce Cockburn--most before they were well known.
Towards the end of the 70's, Yorkville, as other areas, saw massive police actions to clean up the bad elements--basically anything that got in the way of upscale marketing, and profit.
For me, it was the last vestige of the Toronto I had grown up in, the last trace of the livable, human-scale city. birdonmyshoulder* speaks of the hole in the center of the city--that is why I will never live there again.