Standing in front of the Welcome to Little Jamaica mural, Jay Douglas smiles and says, “That’s me.” Infectious energy emanates from the musician who moved to Toronto from Montego Bay in 1963 and remembers seeing Bob Marley walk down Eglinton Avenue West. “I’ve been here many moons,” says Douglas, who cut his teeth in the Cougars and still tours and records and adds, “COVID is a teacher. We have to pay attention to mother nature and stay connected to the universe.” Lover’s Paradise, his record from 2011 was nominated for a Juno and after five decades of performances, Douglas, arriving at the shoot with a film crew in tow, maintains that when music hits you, you feel no pain. “Music transcends all boundaries,” he says. “One love.”
Read the long form essay on the legacy of Little Jamaica here.