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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Yorkville, Church-Wellesley, and Rosedale 16

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Church-Wellesley 8

Yorkville 8

Harbourfront, the Entertainment District, and The Financial District 15

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Entertainment District 8

Harbourfront 4

The Financial District 3

East and West of City Center 13

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Leslieville 6

West Queen West and Ossington 7

Queen's Park, The Annex, and Little Italy 13

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Little Italy 7

The Annex 6

Chinatown, Kensington Market, and Queen West 12

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Chinatown 3

Queen West 9

Old Town and the Distillery District 9

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Distillery District 2

Old Town 7

Dundas Square Area 3

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Category

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Bars/ Pubs 43

Brewpubs/ Beer Gardens 6

Comedy Clubs 3

Dance Clubs 11

Music Clubs 16

Piano Bars/ Lounges 1

Wine Bars–Nightlife 2

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Best For

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Gay and Lesbian 5

Toronto Nightlife

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Cold Tea

  • Bars/Pubs

Located in the heart of Kensington Market and just a stone's throw from the heart of Chinatown, Cold Tea has an intimate, but rowdy bar...

Crews & Tangos

  • Bars/Pubs

Downstairs is Crews, a gay and lesbian bar with a stage for karaoke or drag shows (depending on the night), a dance floor in back with...

Fly

  • Dance Clubs

Some of the biggest and best DJs from around the world have spun records at the original "Babylon" from television's Queer as Folk.

Free Times Cafe

  • Music Clubs

This casual restaurant specializes in Jewish, Middle Eastern, and Canadian food, with many vegetarian and organic options. There's live...

Gladstone Hotel

  • Bars/Pubs

In a restored Victorian hotel, the Gladstone draws a young, stylish Toronto crowd who appreciate a multitude of creative events: karaoke...

Guu Izakaya SakaBar

  • Bars/Pubs

An original concept imported from Vancouver, Guu has wowed local audiences with its rowdy Izakaya atmosphere—every guest is greeted...

Hemingways

  • Bars/Pubs

One of the few Toronto pubs that isn't overtaken by rowdy sports fans or students, Hemingways is a homey bastion in a sea of Yorkville...

Horseshoe Tavern

  • Music Clubs

Since 1947, this club has evolved from a legendary country-music venue (Charlie Pride, Tex Ritter, Hank Williams, and Loretta Lynn) to...

Jazz Bistro

  • Bars/Pubs

Finding a quiet place to relax and listen to great music is a rarity in busy Dundas Square (the Times Square of Toronto). Luckily, there's...

La Carnita

  • Bars/Pubs

It may seem odd that this wildly popular Mexican spot is in Little Italy, but don't let it deter you. Originally started as a pop-up...

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