Toronto Nightlife

From underground cellar bars and warehouse clubs to British-style pubs and glitzy cocktail bars, Toronto’s nightlife is nothing if not diverse. The music scene has its roots in rock, blues, jazz and dance, but the city’s young and cosmopolitan population has driven a growing interest in alternative and experimental genres. A combination of big international acts and eclectic local talent makes Toronto the definitive nightlife capital of Canada.

Drinking hours run until 0200 and nightclubs often stay open until dawn. Since it is illegal in the Province of Ontario to serve alcohol and not serve food, bars can often be considered places to eat as much as to drink. The legal drinking age in Toronto is 19.

The free, alternative weekly, eyeNOW ( provides the latest information on club nights and gig listings, while Xtra ( covers the gay scene.

Bars in Toronto


If you thought that molecular gastronomy was all about food then think again. At Barchef, you’ll be served concoctions that look like they belong in Frankenstein’s lab, with foaming drinks and liquid nitrogen-filled fish bowls heralding a spectrum of delicious flavours.

472 Queen Street West, Toronto, M5V 2B2, Canada
Telephone: +1 416 868 4800.
Madison Avenue Pub

The Madison Avenue Pub is something like a super-pub, taking up four floors within three converted Victorian houses. It was founded in 1983 and has been going strong ever since, gradually getting a reputation around the world for its incredible 12 bars, six British-style pubs and five multi-level patios.

14 Madison Avenue, Toronto, M5R 2S1, Canada
Telephone: +1 416 927 1722.
Track & Field Bar

Ball games and beer go hand in hand at Toronto’s first ever lawn games bar. The basement venue has a dance floor that gives way to bocce and shuffleboard courts, and games lubricated with cocktails and craft beer.

860 College Street West, Toronto, ON M6H 1A2, Canada

Clubs in Toronto


This new addition to Toronto’s nightlife scene channels a relaxed, hipster vibe with its pop art-lined walls and modern loft interior. When you’ve had enough of dancing to hip hop and house, relax on the patio with a hookah or recover in one of the private cabanas that line the outdoor roof area.

647 King Street West, Toronto, M5V 1M5, Canada
Telephone: +1 416 477 5460.
Lost and Found

If you find yourself in Toronto late on a Monday night and fancy a spot of postprandial entertainment then head for Lost and Found. This recently renovated venue on trendy King Street West has established itself as Toronto’s premier Monday evening hotspot, with stylish young professionals getting down to hip hop, mash ups and house.

577 King Street West, Toronto, M5V 1M1, Canada
Telephone: +1 647 995 5772.
Maison Mercer

This gigantic club, located bang in the centre of Toronto’s entertainment district, creates a trippy vibe with its psychedelic décor and the giant LED screens. However, the real bonus of this unapologetically commercial venue is the rooftop terrace, which has incredible views over the city.

15 Mercer Street, Toronto, M5V 2M9, Canada
Telephone: +1 416 477 2288.

Live Music in Toronto

Lee’s Palace

Rough around the edges, but still one of the best live music venues in Toronto, the Lee’s graffitied exterior is symbolic of its alternative vibe. In the past it has hosted the Torontonian debut of Oasis, Nirvana and The Smashing Pumpkins, and continues to put on the top talent of today.

529 Bloor Street West, Toronto, M5S 1Y4, Canada
Telephone: +1 416 532 1598.
The Horseshoe Tavern

The Horseshoe Tavern, a gritty down-home and historical venue, is a good place to hear local and international acts. When it opened in 1947, the Horseshoe was a blues and jazz bar, but nowadays it dabbles in a range of different genres.

370 Queen Street West, Toronto, M5V 2A2, Canada
Telephone: +1 416 598 4226.
The Opera House

Don’t be fooled by the highbrow name – Toronto’s Opera House is one of the city’s grittiest live music venues, with a reputation for hosting quirky international acts. It was originally a Vaudeville theatre and still channels its cabaret heritage with a huge diversity of bands, comedy acts and DJs.

735 Queen Street East, Toronto, M4M 1H2, Canada
Telephone: +1 416 466 0313.
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