If you’re looking for a great night out in Toronto you’ll be spoiled for choice with a wide variety of bars, pubs and clubs spread throughout the city’s neighbourhoods. One such spot is Toronto’s Entertainment District.
This area is centred on the stretch of King Street West that runs between Spadina and University. Not only filled with a bevy of bars and clubs, the Entertainment District is also home to a number of different theatres hosting a wide variety of performances.
Another good place to check out at night in Toronto is Dundas Square, the city’s equivalent to Times Square in New York City. Head down once to sun sets and check out the bright lights and giant billboards. There’s a really good buzz around the area and you’ll often find something going on, from impromptu street performances to more organised forms of entertainment.
There’s a pretty vibrant LGBTQ scene in Toronto, too, mostly found in the Church-Wellesley Village neighbourhood. Make your way here to enjoy a drink in the great selection of gay-friendly bars and nightclubs.
Keep in mind that if you are checking out any of Toronto’s bars and clubs, the legal drinking age is 19 and it is a good idea to carry some form of ID with you when you go out.
106 John Street, Entertainment District, Toronto, Canada
Offering around 20 beers on tap, this friendly spot is spread out over two levels and also has a couple of outdoor seating areas. Regular drinks specials cover everything from bottles or jugs of beer to ‘bar rails’ featuring cheap spirits. There’s plenty of entertainment to enjoy as well, including stand up comedy, live music and karaoke.
Open daily 11am-2am.
1150 Queen Street West, West Queen West, Toronto, Canada
A visit to the iconic Drake Hotel is a must during your stay in Toronto as it boasts a fantastic selection of unique bar areas. Enjoy cocktails in the chic Lounge; catch an indie band, a poetry slam, some improv comedy or a live DJ set in the Underground; or head up to the Sky Year, which is the hotel’s all-weather rooftop patio.
Open daily, hours vary by venue; $10 cover charge includes whole building.
14 Madison Avenue, Toronto, Canada
Taking up four floors over two converted Victorian houses, this pub is a legend in the city due to the constant expansion of the premises. Attracting an interesting mix of locals and visitors, the Madison (the Mad to those in the know) is one of the city’s top venues.
99 Blue Jay's Way, Toronto, Canada
The ultimate hockey bar with memorabilia covering every available inch of wall space, this place is owned by Wayne Gretzky, one of Canada’s most famous players. Located very close to the Skydome, it’s an extremely popular haunt with fan of any sport and will clearly show you just how obsessed the nation is with hockey in particular.
136 McCaul Street, Chinatown, Toronto, Canada
Thirty-four draught beers, mostly of the Belgian and German variety, are served up in this cool bar. Thanks to this top-notch selection and a pretty welcoming atmosphere, it attracts a mixed crowd who come to have a chat while they enjoy their drinks. On a fine night, the tables at the big, open windows are the place to be.
Open daily 11am-2am.
370 Queen Street West, Entertainment District, Toronto, Canada
Over the past 60+ years this lived-in bar and live music venue has played host to plenty of stars from The Rolling Stones to Willie Nelson. Today you’ll still hear live acts every night from Monday to Thursday. These include established and up-and-coming bands, mainly playing rock or indie music.
Open Mon-Sat noon-2am, Sun 3pm-2am.
461 King Street West, King West, Toronto, Canada
Taking up two big floors, this large bar has plenty of seating both inside and out. Drinks specials are available from 4pm-7pm and are different every day. A relatively new bar on the scene, it gets a business crowd during the day and a trendy crowd at night. On Thursdays, live music is provided by a cover band.
Open daily 11am-2am.
542 Queen Street West, Toronto, Canada
Recognisable by the bizarre scraps of metal outside, this rock venue is not for everyone. Similar to the exterior, the interior too is decorated with bizarre metal sculptures and intimidating pieces of art. In fact quite a few of the patrons have also succumbed to the supposed appeal of metal and are part of the body pierced set. Nevertheless the place is fun and an experience, if nothing else.
67 Front Street East, Toronto, Canada
Offering a combination of pub and performance area, C’est What is located in the basement of an old warehouse – sound familiar – and has played host to numerous bands which have gone on to much bigger and better things. With nightly performances by local up and coming musicians it is a good place to check out Toronto’s live music scene and maybe even spot some stars of the future.
1303 Yonge Street, Toronto, Canada
One of the largest cineplexes in the world, this is a perfect evening out for those of you feeling the effects of too many nights spent in establishments such of those listed above. It is also worth noting that there are cheap tickets on offer all day every Tuesday but get there early to buy them for the evening shows as they sell out very quickly.
2335 Yonge Street, Toronto, Canada
Toronto is home to a host of excellent comedy clubs and this is one of the best. With amateur stand-up comedians exhibiting their talent on a nightly basis as well as a really good restaurant and a relatively cheap cover charge of between $5 and $15 Yuk Yuk’s offers an alternative night out to those of you who are tiring slightly of the pub and club scene.