By: Shaughnessy Forestell
Advertising and Marketing Communications Student- Humber College Lakeshore
Toronto has a very diverse music scene; no matter what you like you can always find an amazing show to go see. I personally love going to concerts, music is a huge passion of mine and I have been to quite a few music venues in Toronto. But the one question that always puzzled me was “What is the best venue in Toronto?” Now I have done some research, both online and in person, and have created a list of the top live music/concert venues in Toronto.
I’ll start with Dakota Tavern (http://thedakotatavern.com). Located on Ossington Avenue, Dakota Tavern serves the country and bluegrass fans. The atmosphere is very western, complete with saloon-style décor and all the best whiskey you could want. With friendly staff, great food, and amazing live music Dakota Tavern should be a stop on every music lover’s tour of the city.
Next is The Horseshoe (http://www.horseshoetavern.com). Located on Queen St West for nearly 70 years, this bar has had some pretty legendary acts grace its stage including The Rolling Stones, The Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, Willie Nelson and Stompin Tom. The Horseshoe is a dream for every local band. With its original charm The Horseshoe is must see for classic rock lovers, with walls covered with classic memorabilia.
Next on the list is Lee’s Place (http://www.leespalace.com). This bar isn’t easy to miss, with a large colourful mural covering its main entrance. Lee’s place is located on Bloor St West, and is a dream venue for any fan of Indie or Rock music. It hosted iconic bands such as Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Oasis when they first played in Toronto. This venue is more my style of music, unfortunately I haven’t seen a show here but after researching it, its now number one on my list to see.
Next, and possibly the one of the oldest venues on the list is Massey Hall (http://www.masseyhall.com). Opening its doors in early 1894 and hosting some of the most iconic acts in rock and roll Massey Hall is a must seen for ever music enthusiast. Some of the legendary acts include Neil Young, Ronnie Hawkins and Sonic Youth. Massey Hall is often compared to the ACC with the acts that it brings in, but with a much more intimate feeling for he audience and band.
My fifth venue of choice is The Opera House (http://theoperahousetoronto.com), located on Queen St. East. This venue houses every music type from pop to metal. The Opera House hosts bands that are on the verge of stardom. This venue is for anyone wanting to discover up and coming talent. Be the envy of all your friends; see the greatest bands before anyone else.
The last venue is The Mod Club (http://themodclub.com), located on College St. The Mod Club hosts a wide range of touring and local acts to accommodate every taste in music. You can see anything rock and indie to hip hop and electronic. Every night at The Mod Club is a dance party, no matter who’s playing its always a good time. With great music, great drinks and a cool, inviting environment The Mod Club is a must stop for everyone.
These 6 venues are the ideal places to visit for any and every music enthusiast in Toronto. Music taste aside everyone can find the perfect venue and band to create an amazing, unforgettable night. I know that I will never stop going to live shows. The atmosphere, the audience singing every lyric at the top of their lungs, your favourite band being inches in front of you, what could be better?