Ontario has been the birthplace of many a global music star, so it’s no surprise to us that Toronto has become a real hub of live music, and is a city brimming with quirky live-music venues. Whether it’s pop, indie or jazz you’re after, there’s bound to be a venue to suit you on our Black Tomato hot list…
The Rex Hotel
For over 40 years, The Rex Hotel has hosted the greatest variety of jazz and blues. The bar is situated in West Queen West and puts on multiple performances throughout the week. Be sure to visit this low key and friendly venue to see both established musicians put on a show and bands in their infancy enter the spotlight.
Another in West Queen West, Rivoli was once a 1920s burlesque club, and is now host to a very diverse set of perfomances. From comedians to up-and-coming Canadian musicians, expect an edgy and eclectic experience in this busy and alternative venue.
If you’re feeling a little bit country, look no further than the Dakota Tavern, just on the edge of Little Portugal, where you can hear some authentic Canadian bluegrass in a southern saloon setting. This is a family venue that serves up comfort food and a truly welcoming vibe to some of the most authentic sounds of the city.
Virgin Mobile Mod Club
Based in Little Italy, this club is host to intimate gigs and great sounds. There is no set genre here, so you could be in for anything from rock to electronica, pop to hip hop. There just so happens to be a swinging 60s vibe about the place too, which will certainly help to get you in the mood.
The Painted Lady
If its soul that you need, the Painted Lady is the place for you. A venue so popular that it plays host to parts of the Toronto Jazz Fest and Canadian Music Week, The Painted Lady is located just across the way from the Dakota Tavern, so venue hopping should be on your agenda. Monday’s see open mic sessions gracing the stage here, so stop by to listen to the city’s newest undiscovered talents.