Life Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

R.I.P. Hank Young, the “Gladstone Cowboy”


Hank Young, country-and-western musician from Halifax turned Gladstone Hotel character-at-large, died of a stroke this past weekend at the age of 68. I first met him at the Gladstone during its grungy pre-renovation days at its karaoke night, where he was known for his rendition of Hey Good Lookin’. When the hotel underwent its transformation from fleabag to boutique, the management made him the operator of its antique elevator and his enthusiasm made him the hotel’s unofficial historian and tour guide.

In addition to his better-known work at the Gladstone, Hank also did a fair bit of community work. He opened a centre to help teenage kids off the street, volunteered at a program to feed the homeless and advocated for his neighbours at City Hall.

Hank always had a smile for anyone who passed by and a hearty “Hey, Accordion Man!” whenever I dropped in. He was one of Parkdale’s finest characters-at-large, and the neighbourhood was a little bit better thanks to his presence.

R.I.P., Hank.

5 replies on “R.I.P. Hank Young, the “Gladstone Cowboy””

Thanks for this Joey.
This is very sad news.
I remember being very honored the first time he came to my event.
He did Okie from Muskokie,
and while I knew I wasn’t a perfect fit for his idea of a night out,
he was always very kind and always said hello.

I will miss your smile and your warm hello whenever you saw me and you always had a kind words for me when I was down. I will miss you always you will be in heart now and forever

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