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10 Not-to-Miss Musical Venues in Toronto

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Toronto stands shoulder to shoulder with North America’s finest when it comes to live music scenes. On any given night, music enthusiasts can dive into a world of sound, from intimate bars and clubs to grand theatres and stadiums, enjoying performances by both local talents and international stars.

Experiencing Toronto’s vibrant music scene is essential for a complete visit to the city. Here are 10 top music venues that are beloved by locals and visitors alike.

Toronto’s music venues offer a rich tapestry of sounds and experiences, ensuring that every night spent in the city resonates with the harmony of live performances. Whether you’re seeking the intimacy of a small club or the grandeur of a concert hall, Toronto’s music scene has something for every ear.

The Orbit Room

Strolling east to west along the welcoming stretch of College Street, just beyond Bathurst Street, one might easily overlook the treasures behind the door of 580A. A quaint mosaic announces the venue, but it barely hints at the wealth of live music played almost nightly within. Unique in Toronto, the Orbit Room features an in-house Hammond B3 organ and impresses with its musical diversity, spanning funk, rock, reggae, jazz, and blues.

The Orbit Room Website

The Rex Hotel, Jazz and Blues Club

A pub-style bar that has become a cornerstone for jazz and blues in Toronto, The Rex hosts multiple shows nearly every evening. It’s a legendary spot where touring jazz musicians mingle with fans, making it a hub of musical camaraderie and top-tier performances.

Cherry Cola’s Rock’n’Rolla Cabaret & Lounge

Lovers of hard rock will find their sanctuary here, amidst an eclectic mix of bands and events. Cherry Cola’s, with its burlesque cabaret-inspired decor (complete with occasional performances by burlesque dancers during the music), offers an imaginative yet elegant celebration of rock’n’roll.

The Paddock

One of Toronto’s oldest nightspots, The Paddock, founded in 1946, has seen the likes of Frank Sinatra among its patrons. Today, it continues to charm with a cozy food menu (the mushroom poutine is a must-try) and a diverse lineup of performances, from folk music to theatre and open mic nights.

The Phoenix Concert Theatre

A flagship venue for Toronto’s rock, alternative, and pop scenes, The Phoenix is known for its spacious main hall, retro nights, new artist showcases, and a vast dance floor where youth and energy abound.


Narrow yet inviting, N’awlins captures the essence of New Orleans with its bayou-inspired cuisine and decor reminiscent of a long train carriage. Several nights a week, the venue hosts intimate performances by local jazz, soul, and blues musicians, making for a cozy musical dining experience.

Lula Lounge

A haven for world music enthusiasts, especially fans of Latin American rhythms, Lula Lounge offers a vibrant calendar of salsa, jazz, and Caribbean music concerts. An evening here is like stepping into a 1940s and 50s Havana cabaret, complete with a lively dance floor.

Jazz Bistro

For a sophisticated jazz night out, Jazz Bistro is unparalleled. With a distinguished menu and refined atmosphere, it features a seven-foot Steinway piano and hosts renowned local and international jazz artists, echoing the grandeur of jazz’s golden era.

The Home Smith Bar at the Old Mill

Set within the enchanting Old Mill, a Tudor-style building with early 20th-century origins, The Home Smith Bar is a favorite spot for a tranquil musical evening. Its historic charm and cozy ambiance, enhanced by a fireplace, offer guests an intimate connection with the performing musicians and an exceptional wine list.

The Cadillac

Reflecting the transformation of the Parkdale neighborhood, The Cadillac has evolved from its funkier days into a vibrant community hub for artists, musicians, and families. This quaint bar and restaurant on Queen Street West is perfect for a family brunch or an evening enjoying a diverse array of musical genres, embodying the creative spirit of the area.

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