5 Best Concert Venues In Toronto

Written by: Lorena Magallanes
Posted on: November 4, 2014

Five best concert venues in Toronto

One of my favorite things about living in Toronto is the music scene. Ask anyone on the street and each person will give you a different answer as to which concert venue is their favorite. This is because of the vast array of spaces artists have available to them when they come play shows in the city. Whether it’s a large venue like the ACC or a small one such as the Drake Underground, there is no shortage of spaces for artists and listeners to go out and enjoy some music. This was a particularly hard post to write simply due to the neverending choices of concert venues but I’ve managed to compile a list of my 5 favorite concert venues in the city to see some of my favorite bands.

Lee’s Palace

If you’ve ever walked down Bloor St West, you’ve surely seen Lee’s Palace. The mural painting completed in 2010 makes it a statement in the Annex. This venue has been opened since 1985 as Lee’s palace though it was actually a movie theatre since 1950. The venue consists of three levels, each one providing a different experience for every concert goer. Bands such as Nirvana and Oasis have played at this venue so it’s always been a favorite for Torontonians.


The Phoenix is situated east of downtown on Sherbourne and can brag about not only having one of the largest dance floors in the city but also the largest disco ball in Canada. The space consists of five bars and three different areas consisting of distinct atmospheres. While the Phoenix doesn’t bring by mainstream artists, this actually seems to be part of its charm for concertgoers.

Danforth Music Hall

This Music Hall has definitely had its fair share of turbulence and scandal. It was built in 1919 as a movie theatre and has since been close to permanently shutting down three times until it was finally acquired in 2011 by Impresario, Inc. The best part about the hall is that the floor is sloped, due to it being an old movie theatre, so those standing in the back won’t have to worry about being blocked by those closer to the stage.

Massey Hall

One of the oldest live venues in Toronto, Massey Hall was designated as a heritage spot 20 years ago in 1994. Artists such as Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Rush have graced the stage over the years. Massey Hall has managed to remain relevant to the concert scene through handfuls of renovations and improvements to the building. Seeing a show at Massey Hall is an experience every Torontonian should undergo just for the sake of being able to say that they have been there.

Horseshoe Tavern

Tell anyone you were at “the Shoe” last night and they’ll know exactly where you’re talking about. The Horseshoe Tavern has been open for 62 years and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Artists such as the Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson and the Tragically Hip have played at this venue and they just keep on coming. It has seating all along the front of the narrow bar as well as at the back where the stage and dancefloor are situated.

Well, there you have it. Five of the best concert venues I’ve been in the city. Whether it’s a venue that’s been here longer than most of our parents or a place a little bit more recent, you’d be hard pressed to find a venue to get passionate about. If you think I missed something, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Let me know what you think about the list and if you’d do something differently, tell me why! Give me a shout at @LorenaRomano.

Picture from: TheGate.ca

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