Toronto Nightlife

The nightlife scene in Toronto is as varied as the neighborhoods. Downtown—in the Entertainment and Financial districts and Old Town—bars and pubs cater to theatergoers and weekday worker bees. They can be dead on weekends after dark, however—especially in the Entertainment District—until 11 pm rolls around and the big loft-style dance clubs get going. To hang with locals at their neighborhood

joints, head to Little Italy or the Annex, where university students mix with residents of the surrounding Victorian-lined streets.

Gay nightlife centers around Church and Wellesley streets northeast of the downtown core. Everyone under 40 ends up on Queen West at some point, patronizing the once-bohemian, now-established arty bars and cafés. Ladies who lunch meet for midday martinis in swanky Yorkville and later clink glasses at the tony lounges. Throughout the city are dedicated music venues, bars, and supper clubs that specialize in jazz, Latin, blues, rock, hip-hop, and everything in between.

Most recently Toronto has emerged as a food-obsessed city with late-night restaurants (from hole in the walls to the crème de la crème in fine dining), offering sips and nibbles to those who wish to feast past the usual dinner hour. Other emerging trends include a flourish of local brewpubs and luxury hotels offering unique evening programs which have locals and tourists swarming. In this section, we've covered the places that have cemented their place in the city's scene, but new hot spots are always emerging. Check local news outlets to get the latest.

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Fodor's Choice

Area

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East and West of City Center 11

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Leslieville 5

West Queen West and Ossington 6

Harbourfront, the Entertainment District, and The Financial District 10

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Entertainment District 5

Harbourfront 3

The Financial District 2

Yorkville, Church-Wellesley, and Rosedale 9

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Church-Wellesley 5

Yorkville 4

Queen's Park, The Annex, and Little Italy 7

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Little Italy 4

The Annex 3

Old Town and the Distillery District 6

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Distillery District 2

Old Town 4

Chinatown, Kensington Market, and Queen West 6

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Chinatown 2

Queen West 4

Dundas Square Area 3

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Category

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Bars/ Pubs 30

Brewpubs/ Beer Gardens 4

Comedy Clubs 2

Dance Clubs 6

Music Clubs 8

Piano Bars/ Lounges 1

Wine Bars–Nightlife 2

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Best For

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Gay and Lesbian 2

Toronto Nightlife

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The Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar

  • Music Clubs

Legendary on the Toronto jazz circuit since it opened in the 1980s, the Rex has two live shows every night plus afternoon shows on weekends...

The Roof Lounge

  • Bars/Pubs

Such Canadian literary luminaries as Margaret Atwood and Mordecai Richler have used the 18th-floor Roof Lounge as a setting in their...

The Second City

  • Comedy Clubs

Since it opened in 1973, Toronto's Second City—the younger sibling of the Second City in Chicago—has been providing some of the best...

The Silver Dollar Room

  • Music Clubs

Some of the top blues acts around play here, as well as rock bands. The bar is dark and the viewing area narrow, but the blues-loving...

The Sultan's Tent and Cafe Moroc

  • Bars/Pubs

Not far from the historic St. Lawrence Market, the Sultan's Tent re-creates a traditional Moroccan banquet atmosphere complete with belly...

Wayne Gretzky's Toronto

  • Bars/Pubs

The pregame Jays and Leafs fans and the post-comedy-club crowd from Second City next door flock to this sports bar. When he's in town,...

Woody's

  • Bars/Pubs

A predominantly upscale, professional male crowd (20s to 40s) frequents this cavernous pub. DJs mix every night. Check out weekly events...

Wrong Bar

  • Dance Clubs

This is your go-to spot to dance yourself silly in the West End. Opened in 2007, the venue has hosted notable acts such as Hot Chip,...

Yuk Yuk's

  • Comedy Clubs

Part of a Canadian comedy franchise, this venue headlines stand-up comedians on the rise (Jim Carrey and Russell Peters performed here...

dBar

  • Bars/Pubs

This high-end lounge in the new flagship Four Seasons Toronto is modern and subdued. The bartender serves up some of the city's best...

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