Toronto Nightlife • A Complete Guide

Welcome to Toronto’s premier nightlife guide.

On this page, you’ll discover the vibrant and varied nightlife scene in Toronto. You’ll find the perfect venue for you and your preferred night out. Whether you want to go all-out clubbing or if you’d like a more laid back dinner and drinks with a view, we’ve got your covered.

Enjoy!

An Intro to Toronto

If you are looking for nightlife and nightclubs in Canada, then look no further than Toronto! The most populated city in Canada and the provincial capital of the state of Ontario has a young and vibrant population. The vast history of the city has given rise to a diverse population with people from various ethnic groups and multiple languages spoken in the city.

Toronto Nightlife
Toronto Nightlife

Toronto is a prominent centre for music, theatre, motion picture production and television production and is home to the headquarters of Canada’s major national broadcast networks and media outlets. Its varied cultural institutions, which include numerous museums and galleries, festivals and public events, entertainment districts, national historic sites, and sports activities, attract over 25 million tourists each year. Toronto is known for its many skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, in particular the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere, the CN Tower. The city is also the financial capital of Canada with numerous financial organizations and banks having their headquarters in the city.

Given all the above characteristics and a strong diverse population the nightlife scene of Toronto is very happening. It has a great collection of pubs, bars, nightclubs, discotheques amongst other attractions. We would be seeing more about the nightlife and the nightclubs of Toronto in this article.

Nightlife in Toronto

Nightlife in Toronto
Nightlife in Toronto

The nightlife in Toronto is the most happening one in the whole of Canada, doesn’t matter what you are looking for Toronto has got you covered. From live music bars to hardcore rock music bars to dance clubs to get you dancing all night the city does provide something for everybody. If you want to watch the dark night become darker and “just one drink” turn into “too many drinks” we have your party-central destinations in Toronto. Being the Canadian city with the largest population, Toronto’s only problem when it comes to nightlife is too much choice. There are other nights to sleep, although we don’t know when, because like a fine wine, Toronto gets better with age. The city is waiting for you to get out and stay out.

The magic of Toronto unfolds inside the bars, live music venues, theatres and clubs after a busy day outside. Many of the best bars offer dinner service or a light fare menu, so visitors can grab some light food while they sip in their drinks. Be sure to check the dress code before you head out, as Toronto offers a diverse nightlife and one might need to wear a coat and tie or simply khaki shorts to get through the front door.

Best locations of Toronto for nightlife

Day or night, Toronto’s neighbourhoods are a hotbed for food, entertainment, and culture. From morning to afternoon, every district has its own charm, and when it gets dark, Toronto’s vibrant nightlife illuminates each neighbourhood. Here are some of the best spots to explore in the city once the sun has gone down.

King West

King West
King West

Once upon a time this lively and trendy part of the city was populated by warehouses and industrial buildings but today it is a well-known area for stylish dining and clubbing. Aside from a vast number of bars and clubs, there is everything from swanky hotel rooftops to upscale lounges like The Addison’s Residence, ping pong clubs such as SPiN, and pool hangouts at Roxy on King.

Queen West

Queen West
Queen West

Toronto’s Queen West has always been happening, even before Vogue called it the second coolest neighbourhood in the world. There are plenty of bars that are really popular with the locals, Queen Street Warehouse, Bovine Sex Club, Rush Lane Co., Bar Fancy, Tequila Bookworm, Otto’s Bierhalle to name a few. A lot of people also end up partying at Queen Street’s artsy boutique hotels, The Drake and Gladstone Hotel. Another place to catch Toronto’s uber-cool crowd is Apt. 200, an upscale house party, complete with chandeliers, pool tables, and arcade games.

Parkdale

Parkdale
Parkdale

Parkdale runs along Queen Street West from Dufferin Street to Roncesvalles Avenue. It’s a quirky little hood, and because it’s home to one of Toronto’s most diverse communities you can get some amazing food in the area. It’s a sought-after destination on weekends thanks to all the cool watering holes and live music venues. Parts & Labour is a hip hangout; on the top floor you can grab delicious Canadian food while the lower level hosts DJs and bands. The Yukon has reasonably priced cocktails that you can pair with buck-a-shuck oysters or grab a craft beer at Pharmacy Bar. Other popular haunts include Shameful Tiki Room, Miss Things, and Grand Electric.

Ossington Avenue

Ossington Avenue
Ossington Avenue

Ossington Avenue has become one of the most vibrant strips in downtown Toronto. Over the years, a number of eclectic bars have popped up on Ossington between Queen and Dundas, transforming it into a great spot for going out. Sweat Betty is a no-frills nightlife landmark on Ossington, SP184 is one of Toronto’s not-so-secret secret bars; for local vibes head to Man of Kent and Bellwood’s Brewery; you can find music at Painted Lady and Reposado; and Hawker Bar or Dakota Tavern are also good for a night out.

The Annex

The Annex
The Annex

During the evening, the Annex is bustling with people hitting up the countless bars for drinks. It gets lively in these parts because the Annex borders the University of Toronto, and lots of students frequent the establishments. Lee’s Palace, Dance Cave, Coda, Brewhaha, and Madison Avenue Pub are the most happening, but if you fancy a midnight game of billiards, head to Annex Billiards.

Little Italy

Little Italy
Little Italy

There’s so much variety in the enclave of Little Italy! Cosy hubs such as Bar Raval, Mullins Irish Pub, and The Hogtown Pub and Oysters are offset by cocktail bars like Eat My Martini, Hapa Toronto, and No One Write To Colonel. Plus, there are upbeat places like Track and Field, Mod Club, and El Convento Rico. Most of the venues offer late-night eats and delicious snacks.

Church Wellesley Village

Church Wellesley Village
Church Wellesley Village

The Church-Wellesley Village is the stomping ground for Toronto’s LGBT community, and the vibe is just awesome here. This the place to come for drag shows, dance parties, cocktails, pubs, and some of the city’s best nightlife. For drag, check out Crews and Tangos. Also, Woody’s is always lively because it has five bars, Boutique Bar serves up yummy cocktails, and leather-loving folks should go to Black Eagle.

Dundas Street West

Dundas Street West
Dundas Street West

Weekend jaunts in Dundas West are always novel. The area is constantly in flux, with places opening all the time. Lots of joints in this locale have something unique to offer, and they are all worth checking out. Get Well has old-school game machines, while the funky, jukebox atmosphere at Communists Daughter is not to be missed. Grab a Harry Potter-inspired concoction at The Lockhart or some fantastic cocktails at namesake spot, Cocktail Bar. Other bars you should visit are Montauk, Bambis, Archive, but this list could go on and on. Go a little further west for Famous Last Words, Hole in the Wall, 3030 Dundas West, and somewhat of a hidden gem in the likes of Unlovable.

Best Bars of Toronto

A glimpse at the Toronto nightlife scene proves that locals are a hardy, devoted set when it comes to activities after dark. You’ll see proof of that in the winter, when eager partiers get bundled and line up for entry to the hottest clubs and bars in town despite sub-zero temperatures. Or, if you’re lucky enough to catch one of the few magical summer days in Toronto when last call is extended from 2am to 4am at a dozen-or-so spots (an event that usually coincides with major festivals like Canadian Music Week or TIFF), you’ll understand why this is a nightlife-loving destination.

From packed dance floors to board game cafés and drag shows, there’s no shortage of ways to spend your evening in the city.

Drake Underground

Drake Underground
Drake Underground

In some ways, Toronto is an underground labyrinth. With subways connected to condos connected to office buildings, there are many months of the year where Torontonians do not see the light of day. Why not celebrate this vampire quality with a music venue that is delightfully underground, settled into the Drake Hotel? Live indie shows range from a Daft Punk cover band to big names like Beck and M.I.A. The 250-person space provides an intimate mood at every concert. DJ dance parties, film screenings and comedy performances round out the offerings on other evenings. There is no cell phone service in the basement, so stay close to your fist-pumping friends.

Get Well

Get Well
Get Well

If you and your friends just want to hang out, Get Well is the perfect place to do that. The vibe is very low-key and casual. Brooklyn Pizza is heated at the back. While you wait, play the mostly free arcade games and imbibe in a great craft beer selection. You can park your butt and be as interesting or uninteresting as you so, please. Rescue the princess in Donkey Kong, stain your shirt with pizza grease and go home happy. There is no cover.

Paris Paris

Paris Paris
Paris Paris

Paris Paris is an all-day wine bar in Toronto because Toronto is fast becoming one of those cities that never sleeps…and in sleepless cities, wine is a must. Whenever people go to Paris they almost always gush about the bread and the wine and the cheese. Paris Paris has what you might expect from the city of love: cheese and charcuterie boards, oyster shots and a whole ton of wine-by-the-glass and bottle. It’s a fun place to drop your ambition at the door and while away hours with food, wine and good company.

Beaver Café

Beaver Café
Beaver Café

There is that friend that is supremely hard to drag out. Heck, sometimes you ARE that friend. The Beaver is a good happy medium because it is a little of everything, like the tapas of nightlife. Take some art, throw in a splash of music and nights with drag queens re-enacting horror movies and you might be able to get that friend off the couch. There is themed karaoke night, ample opportunity to get into costumes and mixed drinks that won’t require you to spend your entire paycheque. Tacos on corn white tortillas are a must, piled high with pico de gallo.

Snakes and Lattes Board games café

Snakes and Lattes Board games café
Snakes and Lattes Board games café

For an “out of the box” night out, consider breaking out the board games. Snakes and Lattes has over 2500 board games with an alphabetical menu to help you to decide which game you want to use to stimulate healthy competition. Games range from retro classics like Battleship to modern favourites like Cards Against Humanity. This quirky cafe is open late most dates of the week in case you become invested in a long-playing game like Monopoly. Wash it all down with their infamous Nutella Latte or a draft beer. Enjoy food like pub crawl vegan fries or parmesan chicken bites while you kick some serious board game butt.

Bovine Sex Club

Bovine Sex Club
Bovine Sex Club

Lest you are convinced that you need to have “that talk” with your partner, let’s start straight out of the gate by declaring that Bovine Sex Club is NOT a sex club. This local watering hole has been open since 1991 and has been a haven for everything rock and roll, funk and live music oriented. Just like 90s fashion has gone and come back, this place has managed to evolve with the times while keeping consistently cool. It’s a little grimy, a little dive-y, and it has a rooftop Tiki bar. What more could you want?

These bars are unique in nature and truly exhibit the culture of Toronto. Does not matter if you want to watch the latest sporting action while gulping your beer or if you want to sip in that red wine on your intimate date Toronto has got you covered. Make sure you dress well because a few places do not allow guests without a coat and tie.

Best Bar restaurants of Toronto

If you think that there are only drinking options in the night and not many eating options, then you could not be more wrong. Toronto is home to some of the best bar restaurants in the whole of Canada. The cuisines are a great amalgamation of the local ingredients along with some truly international flavours. Head out to any of these bar restaurants to sip a drink while you munch on the delicious mouth watering food. Here is the list of best bar restaurants from Toronto:

The Drake Hotel

The Drake Hotel
The Drake Hotel

While not associated with the Toronto-born rapper of the same name, the Drake Hotel’s nightlife offerings are no less hip or happening. This boutique hotel is a hub for local events including concerts, DJs and multimedia art. The Drake’s basement venue, the Underground, hosts a rotating roster of dance parties, touring acts and cultural happenings like slam poetry nights. A separate lounge and rooftop bar are suitable spots for a breather when you need it.

Cold Tea

Cold Tea
Cold Tea

This secretive social spot is named after the Toronto-famous codename for after-hours beer at Chinese restaurants. Enter through a nondescript door on Kensington Ave. and go down a long hallway before finding a door with a red light. A sprawling back patio offers relief from the bumping bass inside. Most recently sharing its space with an Asian snack bar pop-up, the Cold Tea folks are always showcasing the next best thing to keep us on our toes.

Friday Nights at the Royal Ontario Museum

The Royal Ontario Museum
The Royal Ontario Museum

Dance with dinosaurs at this weekly bash that brings booze, pop-up food vendors and live music into the country’s largest museum. Nights are often themed around the ROM’s latest special exhibit or a seasonal holiday. We can all agree that booze and snacks make museums infinitely more fun to explore. Stay late to catch a lively dance party that often breaks out on the main floor

Get Well

Get Well
Get Well

This bar on Dundas West pours an impressive list of craft beers on tap along with fancier bottled options that you won’t find everywhere else. With a North of Brooklyn Pizzeria in the bar – along with a decent selection of vintage arcade games– you can happily set up shop for the whole night. Do you like beer? Do you like pizza? How about Galaga, Gauntlet and the original vector Star Wars? What are you waiting for?

Snakes and Lattes

Snakes and Lattes Board games café
Snakes and Lattes Board games café

Prefer your clubs in the company of diamonds, spades and hearts? Then head to one of Snakes and Lattes’ three locations for a night out among thousands of games. A mere $8 per person get you unlimited play time, making it worthwhile to tuck in for an extended session of Catan or Exploding Kittens. Spend an evening exploring new games or playing old classics. A full food menu and licensed bar make this a worthy destination for an evening out.

The Beaver

The Beaver
The Beaver

The Beaver might look small and subdued, but it’s the West End’s queer culture mecca. A restaurant and café in the early evening, this space quickly transforms into a trivia competition, karaoke party, dance party or drag show almost every night of the week. This is the perfect place to get sweaty. The dance floor is small but a spacious patio out back is ideal to cool down from the action.

The cold weather of Canada has made drinking a part of every meal and hence the Canadians love to drink with the food in the lunches and dinners. Toronto has the arrangements for people to enjoy the fine dine at these superb places. The bar-restaurant of Toronto are of high-class and elite standard. Celebrities love the food and drinks of these restaurants. The roof-top restaurants are the best ones among all.

Major Events happening in Toronto

No matter what time of year you’re visiting Toronto, there are plenty of events to make your trip unforgettable. Discover community events such as art fairs, cultural festivals and markets in unique venues. These events exhibit the true nature of the city and also bring out the best of Canada in a beautiful way. These events happen at various parts of the city and are celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm.

With so many awesome events throughout the year, there’s always something special happening in Toronto,Canada. Here is the list of these events:
January:

  • Toronto Light Festival
  • Toronto international boat show
  • Winterlicious

February:

  • Toronto international auto show
  • Valentine’s day
  • Family day in Toronto

March:

  • Toronto Comiccon
  • Toronto Sportsman’s show
  • March Break in Toronto
  • Canada blooms and national home show

April:

  • Hot Docs international documentary festival

May:

  • Canadian music week
  • Tastemaker Toronto
  • Inside out international LGBT film festival
  • Scotia bank contact photography festival
  • Carassauga festival
  • Great gulf doors open

June:

  • Toronto Pride
  • North by northeast festival
  • Luminato festival
  • Mississauga waterfront festival
  • TD Toronto Jazz festival
  • Redpath waterfront festival Toronto
  • Bud light dreams festival

July:

  • Toronto outdoor art festival
  • Toronto fringe festival
  • Summerlicious
  • Beaches international jazz festival
  • Salsa in Toronto festival
  • Toronto Carribean carnival
  • Toronto summer music festival
  • Honda Indy Toronto
  • Toronto Beer festival

August:

  • Rogers Cup
  • Taste of the Danforth
  • Small world music festival
  • Canadian national exhibition
  • Fan expo Canada
  • Toronto international Buskerfest

September:

  • Toronto international film festival
  • Southside shuffle
  • JFL42
  • The word on the street festival
  • Toronto oktober fest

October:

  • Nuit Blanche Toronto
  • Toronto international festival of Authors
  • Halloween in toronto

November:

  • The royal agricultural winter fair
  • Hockey hall of fame
  • Toronto Christmas market
  • Santa Claus Parade
  • One of a kind show and sale
  • Cavalcade of lights

December:

  • New years eve at Toronto

One needs to visit Toronto during these fests to witness how the city comes together to celebrate them with much fanfare, fun and frolic. These events are diverse in nature and come from varying back grounds like history, art, modern events, sports and so on. Make sure to visit these events when in Toronto.

What time does nightlife peak in Toronto?

The nightlife in Toronto starts in the late evening. Though most of these places are open through the day, the actual fun starts sometime in the evening. The bar-restaurants in this town of Canada close slightly early compared to the pubs and the nightclubs. Mist places would take the last order around 2:00am. The nightclubs on the other hand stay open until the dawn as they offer live shows, music, and performances. You will also get a chance to attend the film promotion ceremonies in the evening and night. The clubs stay open until 6:00 am where you can enjoy the DJ music, dance, and drinks. So, get ready in the evening and enter a bar-restaurant. After eating and drinking there you can move on to the clubs. It is the best timing schedule for the nightlife in Toronto. The party peaks around mid-night and goes on till the early hours of the dawn. Even during the harsh Canadian winters, the nightlife is happening in Toronto, you will see tons of people with their warm winter clothes on and heading to the bars and nightclubs for their nightlife. One more thing, the que can get quite long in the weekends so make sure you get there well ahead of time or ensure that you have a reservation before hand.

Best Nightclubs of Toronto

Toronto has the amusements for the nights in the form of nightclubs, and late-night bars. In this part of the guide, we will be seeing more in detail about the famous nightclubs located in Toronto where you can enjoy the dance, music, and drinks at the same time. Here are the details of the most amazing clubs located in Toronto which stay open until the dawn: –

Lost and Found

Lost and Found
Lost and Found

Housed in the lower level of a hundred year-old building in the heart of King West, Lost and Found presents a unique space for discovery. The old brick walls contrasted with the swanky leather couches give this nightspot an air of classic meets modern. It’s a popular hangout on Monday nights when most other clubs are closed. Come to lose yourself in the music – and find new friendships, relationships and experiences.

Cube

Cube
Cube

With its retro ‘70s design, high ceilings and extensive selection of bottles and beverages, Cube styles itself as “the next dimension of entertainment and style.” A large dance floor, private booths and comfortable leather lounge offer multiple options for an evening of fun. Upstairs, the rooftop patio provides stunning views of the Toronto skyline and is always a hot spot during the Toronto International Film Festival for celeb-filled parties.

Nest

Nest
Nest

Found on College Street, away from the club district, every weekend Nest can be counted on for a happening dance floor. Enjoy big sounds from well-known international DJs and local up-and-coming talent all powered by a massive DYNACORD sound system.

Coda

Coda
Coda

If you want another spot out of the club district where you can still enjoy a butt-kicking sound system, CODA in the Annex neighbourhood is worth your time. A mix of dressed up clubbers and band T-shirt-wearing partiers populates the dance floor and the surrounding seating area. You can even get a bite to eat there if you’ve burned up all your calories on the floor.

Uniun

Uniun
Uniun

Partying at Uniun is more than just a night out; it’s an experience. Conceived by nightlife visionary Charles Khabouth as “the first of its kind,” Uniun boasts LED-light installations, a state-of-the-art sound system, and a unique industrial décor. Lush VIP banquet seating is contrasted by cement walls, factory beams and bronzed metal arches awash in the glow of bright coloured lights. Uniun is a mashup of old and new that all comes together to create a multisensory experience like no other.

Maison Mercer

Maison Mercer
Maison Mercer

A hot crowd of party-goers, stylish interior and ultramodern sound system – what more can you ask for from a nightclub? Centrally located in the heart of the Entertainment District, this 12,000 square foot multi-level venue boasts a rooftop patio, elevated seating areas, performance stage, dance floor, catering kitchen, LED lighting and video screens and advanced sound system. Whether for a private event, live performance or weekend dance party, Maison Mercer is a place to see and be seen.

These nightclubs are a huge attraction in the nightlife of Toronto and they are all unique in their own ways. One needs to get well dressed and head to these places or they need to get ready to be denied entry at the gates. So, reach their around mid-night when the party is just peaking and grab a drink and get on the dance floor because Toronto promises you a night like no other perfectly blended with international sounds with the rawness of Canada.

Conclusion

Toronto located in the state of Canada is a perfect mix of culture, business, education and fun all packed in one. It is the most populated city in Canada and one of the most diverse cities in the world in terms of population. The city is home to some of the best bars, pubs, restaurants, nightclubs, discotheques amongst other attractions. One needs to visit these places to taste the best drinks and some finger licking good food.

There are events held through the year in this city which portray the culture and the vibrance of the city. People come together in a lot of fanfare to celebrate these events. And these events are combined with a lot of music, dance, food and drinks. Make sure you visit these events when in Toronto.

Nightlife begins late in the evening and goes on till the early hours of the dawn. Even during the harsh Canadian winters, the nightlife is on in this splendid city. During the weekends the lines outside the clubs can get long and slow so make sure to have a reservation well in advance and head there early. Party typically peaks around mid-night. Overall, the nightlife in Toronto has a beauty and charm of its own that is best experienced by visiting the places. Make sure to make the most of it when in this splendid city of Canada.

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